Steve Jobs wanted to create his own mobile carrier

Steve Jobs wanted to create his own mobile carrier
We all know that Steve Jobs loved to control Apple products from end to end, so it should come as no surprise that he wanted Apple to run its own mobile carrier and bypass the system overall. This news is according to John Stanton. Stanton is somewhat of a legend in the mobile world. He was the founder  and CEO of Western Wireless, former CEO of VoiceStream Wireless (which became T-Mobile), and CTIA, and current chairman of venture capital firm Trilogy Partners. And, when Stanton was CEO of VoiceStream, the company invested in Danger, which went on to create the Sidekick, and had had developers spin off to create Android. 

According to Stanton, he and Jobs spent a considerable amount of time between 2005 and 2007 discussing ideas for Apple to create its own wireless carrier. He said that Jobs "wanted to replace carriers" and that eventually Job's vision became to use unlicensed spectrum (WiFi spectrum) to create a mobile carrier. This way Apple would truly control everything from end to end, not to mention it would have been able to avoid the rash of problems users have had over the years with AT&T. 

It's unclear how Apple could have built up a wireless carrier with enough coverage using WiFi in the US alone let alone globally in all of the regions the iPhone has been made available. Perhaps that logistical issue is what led Jobs to kill the idea in 2007. Of course, rumors still continue that Apple or Google may try to buy a carrier like Sprint or T-Mobile in order to disrupt the carrier model from the inside, but as yet, we're still at the mercy of companies like Big Red. 

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64 Comments

1. mills0806

Posts: 37; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

Couldn't hurt i guess the carriers now are pretty much douches anyways.

26. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

But with the OS, Phone and Network all owned by a single company... all cool but It's starting to feel scary.

54. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed the level of control,surveillance and money goughing by an apple carrier network would indeed be scary,but maybe it might be an eye opener for apple when they see so many of their bill paying customers complaining of dropping calls and threatening to cancel their contracts.

53. DincWithMIUI

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Douches that employ over 250,000 employees directly in the US and probably a million people total. You are right. They are horrible.

2. xiobnb

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

i wish google would come out with a new and cheap carrier...its ridiculous how expensive phone plans are today

3. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I think at some point google will become a carrier. They already own spectrum and offer google voice which now includes voip on pc's

7. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

really doesnt make any business sense for google to start its own carrier. its better that google piggyback on sprint. share spectrum and offload most of the data that users need to wireless service providers.

14. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It makes perfect business sense, especially since given Sprint's success rate, it seems pretty likely that Google could run the company better than it's been running itself.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

one could hope. and yes, with google's open arms policies, an iphone would probably live happily side by side with a nexus on google's carrier.

11. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

check the samsung korea thread where you get owned by facts again.

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and this is why you are the biggest troll on the site. 1) you bring up something that has NOTHING to do with what anyone is talking about 2) you didnt own me on anything. your an idiot. hey look..i think someone is crossing a bridge somewhere.. shouldnt you go stalk them?

46. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you are really just a big stupid troll arent you? you didnt own anything.. i doubt u could own yourself. And what does any of that have to do with this conversation. You are just trying your best to start a flame war up. I hope the next time you get a vacation, its permanent.. geesh. you obviously learned nothing from your time away.

32. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

true but Apple would never allow their phone on that carrier as Google is a direct competitor whereas the existing carriers arent competing with Apple. Also Im sure Google would want no part in bad iphone deals like Sprint signed so they wouldnt agree to apple unless Apple was to give a fair price.

42. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

If the iPhone didn't exist on Google's carrier it would be because Google wouldn't agree to the ridiculous subsidies that Apple demands, not that Google shut it out as an anti-competitive move.

56. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

michael, if google became a carrier, i would love to be a fly on the wall of the meeting with tim cook where they try to come to terms over iphone sales.. lol.

13. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It seems almost inevitable that Apple or Google would eventually be a carrier. It's just a matter of whether the government would allow it to happen, especially with Google.

18. Scuba_Steve

Posts: 79; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Agreed. Google is already on the radar and or dare I say, s**t list, for the gov?

20. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I am curious to see how Republic Wireless' approach to wifi and VoIP turns out. $19 a month is pretty cheap.

59. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i totally forgot about them. have they already started launching plans? interesting concept anyways.

16. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

what i dont like is the "plans" why we dont pay exactly what we use ?

43. hepresearch unregistered

Although I don\'t know if I would like it, that is an interesting idea. Prepaid, for the little you do get (if you are not paying $50+/month for unlimited), tends to be quite expensive... postpaid plans, while they tend to offer more \"unlimited\" services (like free nights and weekends, mobile-to-mobile, and the like) for less cost at the low end, are more expensive when you want all-you-can-eat unlimited services. So, if you really want your money\'s worth, the only way to go is prepaid unlimited or low-end postpaid... and you\'ll end up paying $40 to $60 per month either way. If you try to pay less than, say, $40 a month, you will get very little in comparison... like a small prepaid bundle of minutes and texts and web access, but no free nights or weekends or mobile-to-mobile calling, for example. If you try to pay more than $60 a month, you generally aren\'t getting much more service than you could on a prepaid unlimited plan (aside from possibly having better coverage, and also knowing that in a mass emergency situation, your home-network postpaid calls will be routed through first at the expense of roaming or MVNO prepaid subscribers). Either way, the range of most service for least cost, or best value, lies fairly consistently somewhere between $40 and $60 per month among major nationwide players in recent years. I don\'t like having to spend $40/month to get the best value.

45. hepresearch unregistered

So, ivanko34\'s idea... pay only for what you use. Prepaid is like that at the low end, but fairly consistently gives poor value for those who do not use a lot in a month. Why not have a postpaid pay-as-you-go option? It would be like a revolving credit account... you use whatever services you want, no limitations, just set rules for what costs what and how much per item/minute/kB/SMS/MMS/whatever... the carrier sets their prices and rules, and once you are approved for the credit you do what you want, and pay at the end of the month. The carrier sets the prices for data and voice minutes, texts, and all else based on supply (available bandwidth and backhaul capacity) and demand (requested data throughput), and thus there is no need for data caps or other limitations beyond simply pricing the services appropriately. People like me, who don\'t use their phone for internet or texting, get occasional emails, and make about 300 to 500 minutes of calls a month (mostly in-network or on weekends anyway), will probably pay very little (guessing about $15-20) after a month, while those who use tethering and such or have lots of calling to do, and/or have multiple lines, may end up paying upwards of $80 in a month. Perhaps they could even price themselves to compete really well with land-based broadband over time. And if you don\'t have the good credit necessary to get a postpaid account, maybe they could offer a prepaid version of the same service that simply cuts you off once you use what you have paid for... until you put in more cash, and then you are at it again. Maybe the carriers could even allow postpaid customers to set their own cut-off limits on data, text, or voice minutes... like some kind of self-imposed frugality meter... and the customer would get a message when they are about to reach one of their limits... I like account self-management tools!

48. hepresearch unregistered

one question... why do I end up with a backslash every time I use an apostrophe? \\\' \\\' \\\' \\\' \\\' just testing... and am I alone in seeing every page of PhoneArena in Web1.0? update... never mind... every website I go to looks like this. It must be on my end. PA, feel free delete this post.

4. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I read that in his book Michael. He told AT&T Apple was prepared to become a reseller if they couldn't come to an agreement. I was dissapointed by the book overall though. I was hoping to hear more of his own words. The book became repetitive by the end.

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

A biography must have multiple sources. Everyone has their own perspective. Imagine if I was the sole source of your biography.

10. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

That's not what I meant. The multiple sources are fine to define the man. I wanted to hear more of his personal views and thoughts. That's why I bought the book.

12. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

What specifically would you have liked to hear him speak about?

19. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

taco50: "I was hoping to hear more of his own words." Sniggly: "Imagine if I was the sole source of your biography." Those books are known as autobiographies ....

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The point is that there's a certain bias from different peoples' perspectives. Okay, sure, Taco probably wants something more like an autobiography or memoir. But that's not what the book is. It's a biography, written by another man from an impartial perspective. It's not "The world according to Steve Jobs," it's a book about his life and its impact on others. It was especially important to gain insight from many people who weren't Steve because Steve was known for his "reality distortion field."

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Wow are you trolling again? I bought the book because I'm interested in Steve Jobs. I WAS interested in the world according to Steve Jobs. Have you read the book?

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