Will Apple decide to create its own network in 5 yrs?

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple was shopping around for carriers eager to help with launching the iPhone. They seemed to e shopping a 5-year exclusive deal. That makes me wonder, if they find success, will Apple become a MVNO and eventually operate "Apple Telecom".

I know Apple likes control. It makes sense to align with carriers and launch the product with help. Let's say the iPhone and future versions go gangbusters. Apple is flush with cash...do they take the MVNO route and extend the iPhone branding to other areas like services?


An MVNO's roles and relationship to the MNO vary by market, country and the individual relationship of the MNO and MVNO. In general an MVNO is an entity or company that works independently of the operator and can set its own pricing structures, subject to the pricing structure agreed with the MNO. Usually, the MVNO does not own any GSM, CDMA or other core mobile network related infrastructure, such as Mobile Switching Center (MSC) or a radio access network.

MVNO can handle their own billing and other administrative tasks. It would seem that Apple could be poised to become a MVNO in 5 years. With smartphones poised to take off in the next half decade and Services being the "buzzword" of today it's not implausible to think that the there wil be an Apple Telecom selling plans and .mac services before we know it.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    mattrebsmattrebs Posts: 74member
    I honestly thought that they were going to do this from the begining, but I guess your right it's better to start off this way, with a partner to help you get off the ground.

    AT&T is now the new Apple "Your World, Different."

    JK LOL
  • Reply 2 of 5
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,720member
    For the sake of Apple I hope they get all their ducks in a row before Steve has a hissy-fit over at&t's inevitable dropping of the ball (as far as keeping up strict Apple standards)...
  • Reply 3 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,143member
    Apple has no choice but to put up with AT&T right now. You gotta think the marriage is one of mutual benefits right now. AT&T need to monetize the Cingular aquisition. They are decidedly behind their competition regarding 3G and they need some sizzle. Enter Apple and the iPhone. You know if Verizon balked on the deal that Apple is requiring some solid concessions.

    In 4 years Apple could easily be over $250 a share with a market cap of 220+ Billion. When you look at the trajectory of wireless technology (WiMax, 4G etc) you can easily envision a more bullish Apple moving into a MVNO status and securing a nice deal with whomever (MVO) has the best network.

    If I was Apple I'd look for traction and then I'd license the the hell out of the iPhone. Keeping Macintosh makes perfectly sane sense but being able to attack a burgeoning smartphone market with iPhone progeny is powerful. Here is an area where Apple doesn't want to "control the whole widget"

    In addition to the MVNO Apple could and perhaps should license the iPhone to a premiere company that can infiltrate every wireless carrier.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    For the sake of Apple I hope they get all their ducks in a row before Steve has a hissy-fit over at&t's inevitable dropping of the ball (as far as keeping up strict Apple standards)...

    Yeah, they don't seem to be...... all that tight a ship.

    Over at TUAW there's this account of trying to get info:


    I've recently made a few calls of my own. I called AT&T to ask about their new on-the-go data plans. I was transferred to a data plan "expert". (I believe that is something like an Apple "genius".) She asked me which phone I'd be using and I said the iPhone. She asked me what that was and who sold that.

    Maybe she was being sarcastic? Either way, not great.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    this could be a great idea

    the negative side first though... apple has never been big on major expansions, acquisitions or anything else like that. That would require an expansion as big as some of the ones google or at&t itself has pulled off.

    But in a world where cell phone carriers are viewed almost as negatively as record companies. They could penetrate that market very well. Just like they are doing with the iPhone. There have been tons of smart devices but they all have been crappy.
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