Steve Jobs revolutionized the cellphone industry with the release of the iPhone in 2007. But according to comments made by John Stanton, Jobs originally wanted to change the entire idea of the how world interacts with mobile carriers. At the Law Seminars International event in Seattle this week, operator chief turned venture capitalist John Stanton stated that Apple was exploring alternatives for creating a network by only using Wi-Fi-based spectrum as a way to bypass carriers with their mobile plans. That idea was discussed when Stanton worked with Steve Jobs from 2005 to 2007. At that time, Mr Stanton was heading VoiceStream Wireless, now known as T-Mobile.
Stanton stated, “He wanted to replace carriers. 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. Jobs hoped to create his own network with the unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi uses rather than work with the mobile operators.”
Jobs eventually moved on from the idea, and instead signed a deal with AT&T as the first mobile provider for the iPhone. Stanton noted that even after Apple signing the deal with AT&T, Jobs managed to leave his own mark across wireless industry with the iPhone. Apple acquired complete control of the user experience with the iPhone, along with software updates, apps and even hardware release dates. Stanton said, “If I were a carrier, I’d be concerned about the dramatic shift in power that occurred… Companies like Apple and Google, which develops Android, sell a variety of software and services that capture revenue streams that might have otherwise gone to the operators.”
Analyst Peter Jarich with Current Analysis, weighed in on the idea of Wi-Fi as a alternative network. “It’s not out of the question to develop a network that’s solely Wi-Fi, but it’s tough.” While favoring Jobs’ idea of change toward Wi-Fi networks and away from cell carriers, he warns that lack of available open Wi-Fi hotspots and reliability of service hinder the ability to rely on those networks.