Steve Jobs Wanted His Own Cell Carrier for the iPhone

We know that Apple discussed the iPhone with several networks before launching it exclusively through AT&T. It's also widely believed that the company was in serious talks with Verizon before eventually signing a 5-year deal with AT&T. However, what we hadn't known up until now is that Apple CEO Steve Jobs originally wanted to launch his own network with unused Wi-Fi spectrum and bypass the carriers completely.

IDG reports that Venture Capitalist and 'wireless industry pioneer' John Stanton recently spoke at the Law Seminars International event in Seattle and revealed that Steve Jobs' plan in the beginning had been to launch his own cell network.

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

Jobs is said to have given up on the idea after two years, in 2007, the same year that the iPhone launched. We know that the phone hit AT&T exclusively and was supposed to be exclusive to AT&T for five years. However, earlier this year, the iPhone 4 arrived on Verizon, and the iPhone 4S launched with availability through AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Though Steve may have scrapped his idea for his own network, Stanton maintains that the former Apple CEO made a huge impact on the wireless industry regardless. Apple's iMessage, similar to BBM, is just one of the ways that Apple is stealing revenue that carriers would have otherwise been able to call their own thanks to users SMSing and MMSing each other. It's a power shift that Stanton says would concern him if he were a carrier.

However, the question remains, would people be willing to move to a newly established Apple-branded network for the iPhone? 

Read the full story here.

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • dlux
    Jobs ... Wanting complete control over everything?! ... Nooooo.
  • house70
    Jane, please put that poking stick down...
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Wanted own cell carrier, wanted to kill Android, wanted this, wanted that - dead now, so he gets nothing, and that's good, I say.
  • tului
    Last time I checked, iMessage was free. Calling it stealing revenue isn't really true then. More like saving consumers money from the greedy cell carriers.
  • jellico
    Steve Jobs was an egotistical megalomaniac... gee, there's a frakking surprise!
  • mayne92
    "However, what we hadn't known up until now is that Apple CEO Steve Jobs originally wanted to launch his own network with unused Wi-Fi spectrum and bypass the carriers completely."

    Last I knew he was dead...did he buy his way out of hell?
  • julianbautista87
    He also wanted to clone himself, that's why he didn't support economically his daughter, her mother had to go to welfare.
  • I'm growing tired of word "vision" used in every article about Steve Jobs.
  • glad he died before he decided to take over the world... :/
  • aracheb
    i really wouldnt want to know the fee a services like this would charge to customers...

    if the iphone cost around 500+ without contract. i imagine That this service would be around 200 usd for 400 monthly minute and and 2gb of data. plus you would be blocked from streaming video which you would have to pay a different fee. and maybe the would charge from those sms