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

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77 Comments

77. tibbi64

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

I hope they do this. I'm so tired of the carriers trying to get more money out of us and taking unlimited data. I hope if Apple does do this they really make sure its what we want/need at a price that everyone could pay. Please let us have unlimited data, and have data be data. Text,E-mail, Web, Facetime over 3g/4g its all data. Then let the customer pick the minutes down to the minutes. Don't force us to pick from tiered plans. And merge the icloud backup packages into this plan maybe more people would pay for it, if say its "only" $20 more. Also there are many people that buy at retail now with Apple to not sign a contract. I'm never signing a contract. I'm going to us my unlimited data with verizon till they take it, then I'll find another carrier.

74. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Well, having in mind that Apple's current free cash is enought to buy the whole mobile industry, I do think that it is very possible for this to happen. They are the leaders in the last decade, after all. :)

68. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

I could see them entering into a partnership with Clearwire's new TD-LTE Advanced Network. Clear's new network will have a ton of capacity and speed with 20x20 carriers TD for much better building penetration.

67. joey18

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Depend of the price if so spenced who wans the iphone remember apple overprice there products

66. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

I can't foresee Apple doing this, but I could definitely see Google doing this tho. Afterall, Google did take part in bidding for 700mhz spectrum before.

60. phones522

Posts: 94; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

its an ok idea but really a network with only one phone

44. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

lets call this iWi-Fi

39. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

You will be paying a arm and a leg with their expensive plans.

36. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Remix - go to FierceWireless.com - Samsung sold more smartphones than Apple for Q1 2012 - it is official....

48. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

oh, im quite aware. its Taco that is in denial. He found some off the wall company that has been using its own stats to say that apple outhedged samsung. 1 article that even though others mention, they all say is full of junk.. yet Taco holds it up as ultimate proof that he won. lol. like always he is loud, clueless, and vile.

28. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Sounds great. I recall hearing this a few times earlier about Apple's intentions as a carrier. It'll work, maybe starting off in selected markets (a few cities here and there) and moving up the food chain. Maybe instead of subsidized iPhones they could lower the monthly plans?

27. PaloAltoWorldView

Posts: 2; Member since: May 01, 2012

25. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

REMIX FTW!

21. tluv00

Posts: 134; Member since: Oct 18, 2007

Another analyst article littered with "ifs", "maybes", "possiblies" etc. Sure it's possible. It's also possible Google could do the same.There is zero benefit and would place 100% of the level of service on Apple and I don't think they want to have to deal with cell phone coverage. It's easier to blame the carrier or the way you are holding your device.

20. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

So which one is the winner??

11. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

This could work by Apple using wifi and renting towers from carriers like a reseller. Apple has a track record of making the user experience pleasant so considering how unpleasant it is now Apple could actually do very well. Of course Apple wouldn't do this unless they had a very solid plan in place.

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

now if only they had a plan for beating samsung in Q1 2012. hmm. why are you still posting? going to admit your a worthless liar and not good for your word?

16. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Please honor the bet and get off this site. Samsung lost. I've already provided the proof.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what proof was that? the last link you posted said that samsung had won. but i forgot you dont actually read the "proof" you provided. hey PA posted yet ANOTHER article saying that samsung won today. Yet you are still here. you are one sad sad little internet troll.

26. Pdubb

Posts: 250; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

The way the iPhone impacted the AT&T network one woould assume that the same would impact the "new" network. The Apple experience would take a hit if they had to actually put up with cellphone customer's problems. They get some but if they had to deal with fixing the network when things went wrong (slow data, dropped calls,etc.) I do not think they would have a good track record. Especially after the past few snafus they have encountered with the new releases.

59. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I'm glad you admit that the user experience is "unpleasant ... now" and that "Apple could actually do very well" improving it. I'm so happy you've come to realize that dropping calls, getting crummy reception, having to pay for decent apps, and all while trying to use a tiny screen hardly equates a "pleasant experience"

9. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

Hmmm., i think buying TMO would be the way to go. $20bn i think at&t was paying for it?

35. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

4 billion.

58. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

$39 billion was AT&T's offer. It failed, so they paid the breakup fee of $3 Billion and $1 billion worth of wireless spectrum for the 700Mhz AWS frequencies

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.

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

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