Apple may be planning to ditch carriers and offer its own wireless service

Apple may be planning to ditch carriers and offer its own wireless service
This is not really a new idea, but an analyst thinks that right now may be the best time possible for Apple to toss aside the pesky carrier system and begin to offer its own wireless service directly to iPhone and iPad customers. The idea of subverting the carrier system is one that we think of in terms of Google and the supposed push of the Nexus One to break the carrier stronghold (though we don't fully believe that was ever really the aim), but in regards to Apple the idea was one that came to light in the Steve Jobs bio. Jobs had wanted to replace carriers, and spent a lot of time on the idea in the years leading up to the original iPhone launch. Jobs' vision was to use unlicensed WiFi spectrum to create Apple's own carrier network. 

Wireless industry strategist Whitey Bluestein doesn't posit as to how Apple would create its own wireless network, but he does believe that the time is right for the move to happen. Bluestein has a history of working with major wireless carriers and big name tech companies like Microsoft, Nokia and Best Buy. Bluestein says that Apple's infrastructure of retail distribution combined with its iTunes platform (and the stored payment data for 250 million people) give it the perfect base to launch its own wireless service, and Apple has pending patents from 2006 which pertain to network architecture. 

Bluestein thinks that Apple will be the first to move on this, and leave Google "scrambling" to catch up. The logic there is that Google "lacks retail distribution, experience with subscriber services, and the iTunes ecosystem of content." We would definitely agree with the first two points there, but the Google Play store is catching up to iTunes in terms of content very quickly. 

The only bump in the road for Apple would be in regards to carrier subsidies, which would quite obviously disappear if Apple were its own carrier. Apple could use its vast cash reserves to lessen that hit, but it would still be losing upwards of $380 per handset, unless it could convince customers to buy iPhones at full price. Of course, if carriers start to push back and lower Apple's huge device subsidies, that may be just the push needed for Apple to start its own carrier service. 

source: BGR



1. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

Not gonna happen......unless they buy T-Mobile.....or something

3. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

With T-Mobile not looking so strong, not a far fetched idea. If this happens in the coming years, it could create a very good competitive environment for the consumer. Other carriers would have to essentially lower pricing on Apple handsets or give customers a credit, so as not to upset Cupertino, or even lower subsidized handset pricing all around again to highlight their carrier value. In a way, I kind of hope this does happen, but I can see Apple squeezing the cash cow from other networks first before they make their move.

5. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yeah I don't think it WILL ever happen. BOTH Verizon & AT&T are such HUGE players & have the most spectrum that an upstart from Apple even with its large bank accounts couldn't compete. If Apple got a network up and running it will pale in comparison to both Verizon & AT&T. I don’t know how a Wi-Fi signal would reach the woods like Verizon’s signal does. People want to reduce carrier mobile towers not add more. I think people would not go for more towers & Apple might be screwed. Shoot I might even put Sprint in there because they have a large footprint also. I think it would be a FAIL by Apple.

13. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i dont think it would be a major player, but its a neat idea. They could easily do as Walmart, boost, virgin, or a dozen others do it.. and ride the backs of the big boys for expanded coverage. The only big thing I see.. is I dont see a benefit. If Google got into that arena, it would be at a low price to mess with the system the way google likes to. If Apple got in, it would be against their nature to go in as the low priced carrier.. they would want to be a premium brand with a premium tag. At that rate, what would be the benefit of going to Apple Wireless for service? The one thing I could see for them as an advantage, would be to keep their prices just slightly lower than ATT/VZW, but give away iphones for contracts, since they would more than make up the subsidy on the 2 year contract. But again, that goes against every philosophy they currently have about premium pricing.. sooo... unless Cook really wants to change Apple's direction, I dont see them ever entering the space.


Posts: 12; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Apple should Buy T-Mobile. Or Google should or Comcast should. Anyway someone should buy T-Mobile before they go out of bussiness.

64. dodo1234

Posts: 40; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

"Should" isn't the correct term here, cuz Tmo is the best available low cost servive on or off contract with highend smartphones, nationwide coverage n blazing HSDPA+. But "could" or "would" seem much more likely.

72. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

1984? Scary stuff.


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

A company more evil and expensive than Verizon.. good luck with that Apple lol!

70. Gawain

Posts: 441; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

You're not kidding!! LOL... I actually hope it happens, it would give me an excuse to dump the iToy I have been using (it was a gift, so I can't just toss it) and go to something more productive.

4. elandrumiii

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

That wojld deserve a look depending on rate plans and data restrictions. And yes tbey could buy tmobile

6. spindoctor55

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

I would ditch my cell phone altogether if I had to get into bed with Apple as my carrier!!!

46. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

if you go into bed with your cellphone you have other issues to worry about

47. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

but.. its warm.. and it vibrates. giggidy! :)

75. spindoctor55

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 27, 2012


7. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

Acquiring spectrum is a complicated process and Apple would have to spend billions to build infrastructure.

19. sithman

Posts: 299; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

They have hundreds of billions

55. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

@sithman, not quite. $100B =/= hundreds ($200B+)


Posts: 12; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

not if they bought T-Mobile

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The only thing about this is using WiFi spectrum. Great if you live in a city, but once you're out of WiFi range (which is nowhere near as far reaching as cellular) you've got an iPod touch. So what then, get another phone for when you leave a metro area? In an emergency situation like car troubles or if you get lost, your iPhone becomes a shiny paperweight.

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Well considering its track record for signal reception strength and ability to hold a connection, a WiFi network might be an improvement...

12. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Oh look an unfunny troll

57. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

@taco how is that trolling? It's proven fact. The iphone4 was, and remains, the worst rated phone in terms of signal reception quality, call holding capability, and other connection issues in (new, that is, post-Cingular) AT&T's history. Apple admitted this with the bumper case fiasco and with the massive overhaul of the 4S' antenna designs and communication handling methods on the software level with later iOS updates, and with the design tweaks for the verizon 4 model.The software was revised to give data less of a priority (which is how it was initially designed and released, especially with iOS 4.0. It even affected 3G and 3GS owners who updated to it) and give more priority to voice services, which it should have had in the first place, being an iPHONE not an iPod+voice once in a while

14. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Are you mistaking the iPhone with the Galaxy line of phones?

17. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Haha yea the nexus phones have had terrible reception. Of course fandroids are hypocrites and just troll. Look at remix losing the bet and continuing to be a worthless troll.

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

group opinion. who lost the bet? taco or remix? Who outsold who in Q1 2012.. Apple or Samsung? If apple won, then Remix is to be banned. if Samsung won then Taco is to be banned. Go, search the site. Find the info. Tell us who won. bye bye taco

29. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

That's the problem with you fandroids. It's not about your opinion OT your "friends". It's about facts.

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

u dont have friends or a valid opinion. Nor do you have facts. Phone Arena has yet to post a single article, picture, blurb, or anything that agrees with you. You found one article that agrees with you in a sea of them that dont. If you dont trust PA's writing and news, then why are you here to begin with? If you have such proof, where is it? The last time you posted "proof" it didnt agree with you at all. You try to cherry pick hoping people wont read it. Unfortunately for you, they do... and they know you are full of crap.

33. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Sounds like someone is upset the facts aren't on his side. Aah remix do you ever get tired of being wrong?

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

can you please find the phone arena article that says apple won and samsung came in second please? if not, then your just a worthless liar.. like always.

41. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Is PA the only source on the planet? You the same guy who disputes articles all the time. Lol the irony.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.