Report: Steve Jobs wanted Apple to be a wireless carrier
By Hayley Tsukayama,
Steve Jobs originally wanted Apple to be able to operate the iPhone without help from carriers. That’s what John Stanton, a venture capitalist and wireless industry veteran, told his audience at a Seattle speech Monday, IDG News reported.
According to Stanton, when Jobs was first percolating ideas about the handset from 2005-2007, he discussed the plausibility of going around carriers and using the unlicensed spectrum that WiFi networks rely on for the phones.
“He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using WiFi spectrum,” Stanton reportedly said. “That was part of his vision.”
Analysts and tech geeks have spun hypothetical scenarios of Apple as a wireless service provider before. With the proliferation of devices that can run on 3G wireless networks, they’ve argued, it would make sense for the company.
In May, The Next Web’s Matthew Panzarino outlined his vision for AppleNet, a data-only network that would use voice-over IP services and Facetime for calls. The simplicity of having just a data plan to deal with, he argued, would be a great draw for customers. In his dreamed-up scenario, Panzarino said that Apple could buy a smaller carrier such as Sprint and use its infrastructure as a starting point.
As Panzarino points out, Apple has been steadily cutting into the services traditionally offered by wireless companies. That’s been made even more clear with the addition iMessage — the texting and multimedia message service that Apple introduced with iOS 5.
While it’s doubtful that Apple will be making its own carrier any time soon, it is clear that it’s eyeing some parts of the wireless industry formerly reserved for carriers.
Stanton told his audience that Apple has made a huge impact on the industry even without being its own carrier, and cautioned that the operators should be careful about shifts in power such as this, the report said. He said that companies should continue taking chances on smaller, innovative companies and new services.