Tim Cook named the most powerful person in US wireless

Apple may not always sell more phones than the competition, but between its trend-setting handset designs and gargantuan fan base, it’s easy to see why it’s considered one of the most powerful companies in the wireless industry.

In fact, the folks over at FierceWireless just posted their annual list of the top 25 most powerful people in US wireless. And out of all of the carrier CEOs and heads of government agencies, they ranked Tim Cook number one…

FierceWireless says that this list is a compilation of people who they think are the innovators and leaders in the US wireless industry. They took into account several things including influence, business savvy, leadership and technical expertise.

Starting things off, Jack Dorsey, of Square and Twitter, barely made the list at #24. Then came more familiars: Thorsten Heines, CEO of RIM, Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, and Peter Chou of HTC came in spots #23, #21, and #20 respectively.

As for the top 10, the chairmans from Dish Network and Qualcomm placed #10 and #9. Then came JK Shin, president of Samsung Mobile at #8 and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at #7. And finally, the CEOs for the big four US carriers took spots 6-3.

The top two selections are where some people may really disagree. FierceWireless ranks Google’s CEO Larry Page at #2 and Apple’s Tim Cook at #1. Some may argue that because Android currently owns the mobile market, Page should be first.

But while Android has the marketshare, the iPhone literally has the power to make or break carriers. Remember Sprint, before becoming an Apple partner, was bleeding customers. Last quarter it reported its best Q3 postpaid churn ever. And T-Mobile, who has yet to ink an iPhone deal, cited the iPhone 5 launch as a major factor in its loss of 500,000 subscribers.

And this means that what Tim Cook does or doesn’t do with the iPhone over the next 2-4 years will not only greatly impact Apple, who makes a big chunk of their profits off the handset, but it will also impact the wireless industry. I can’t imagine the pressure he must be under, and it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts.

What’s your take on this top 25 list? Would you have ranked anyone differently?