Steve Jobs wanted to build a wireless carrier, but gave up

Steve Jobs wanted to build a wireless carrier, but gave up

Steve Jobs spoke to wireless industry veteran and venture capital firm Trilogy Chairman John Stanton at length about creating a brand new network based on unused WiFi spectrum, reports Nancy Gohring for Computerworld. Apparently Jobs wanted to ‘replace the carriers’.

“He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum,” said Stanton. “That was part of his vision.”

The discussion about the carrier happened between 2005 and 2007, while Jobs and Apple were working on bringing the iPhone to market. Stanton, who divulged this information on Monday at a Law Seminars International event, said that after “around 2007”, Jobs ‘gave up’ on the idea, but still managed to have a “major impact” on wireless carriers.

The iPhone has heralded a massive shift in the way that the dynastic carrier system operates. Its singular draw for customers, along with Apple, and Jobs’ insistence that the experience remain pure and un-encumbered with carrier addon apps and services, has driven a wedge into the typically tightly controlled carrier/manufacturer relationship.

Before the iPhone, the carriers were the gate keepers and manufacturers kowtowed to them in a big way. Now, Google still plays the game to a degree, but has made motions towards more autonomy, but the iPhone is more independent than ever.

It is so popular, in fact, that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said that it is the ‘number one’ reason that people switch from one carrier to another.

We have explored the idea of Apple building its own carrier before here at The Next Web, from a couple of different angles, including using existing spectrum. This discussion just fans our flames of desire for an Apple controlled carrier yet again.

Simple plans, simple pricing, autonomy from the archaic text-messaging and voice pricing system. One can only dream.

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