Skip to main content

Apple says it won’t launch its own MVNO phone service to take on Google’s Project Fi

apple mvno phone service news version 1438604622 iphone 6 hairgate beardgate
Google already ventured into the world of phone service with a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service called Project Fi.  A recent report hinted that Apple aims to enter the competition to control every aspect of your phone with its own MVNO service. Shortly afterward, Apple denied that it has any plans to become a phone service provider.

“We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO,” an Apple spokeswoman said to Reuters and CNBC.

Related Videos

Apple’s statement seems to definitively squash the idea that it’s working on a phone service, despite a recent report from Business Insider.

According to sources close to Apple that spoke with the publication, Apple is already testing an MVNO service that would allow users in the U.S. and Europe to pay Apple for their calls, texts, and data. Apple would provide an SIM to its customers that would work with any carrier and simply choose the best available signal. Telecoms would simply auction off part of their capacity to provide Apple with access to their respective networks.

The report alleged that Apple is already in talks with telecoms in the U.S. and Europe. Business Insider’s source claims that Apple’s MVNO plans are the industry’s best-kept “open secret,” and that the company has been planning this move for years. Indeed, back in 2006, Apple filed a patent for a MVNO service, which it has since applied to expand. Of course, telecom sources told the publication that Apple’s MVNO plans may not go public for another five years.

Regardless, a few of Apple’s recent moves could hint at the firm’s interest in services that are traditionally provided by telecoms. Recently, sources mentioned that Apple will take on voicemail with its own system in the near future. The so-called iCloud Voicemail feature would enlist the help of Siri to transcribe your voicemail messages and more. Additionally, the Apple SIM, which came with the iPad Air 2 and works on any carrier’s network, reveals that the company has strong ties with carriers, and is ready to offer a SIM that works on all the networks.

Of course, not every MVNO service succeeds — both ESPN and Disney failed — and others offer shoddy service. If such plans do exist, Apple is expected to wait to reveal its MVNO service until it can deliver a high-quality service that truly is seamless.

Even though Project Fi is still limited to a select group of users who happen to own a Nexus 6 and who got an invite from Google, it still has huge potential to shake up the carrier space.

Updated on 8-04-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added statement from Apple declaring that it has no plans to become an MVNO.

Editors' Recommendations

You can now try the OnePlus 11 for free for 100 days — here’s how
Someone holding the OnePlus 11.

Buying a new smartphone is always a gamble in terms of customer satisfaction — mainly because they cost so much and can be so different from the device that the buyer is currently using.

To combat this, OnePlus is giving customers the chance to try the OnePlus 11 entirely risk-free. Starting today, the company is running the "100 Days No Regret" program, which allows OnePlus 11 buyers to use the new flagship for up to 100 days and still be eligible to return it for a full refund.

Read more
You aren’t ready for this Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14 Pro camera test
Deep purple iPhone 14 Pro and Cream Galaxy S23 crossed over

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 is here, and it's quickly become one of the best phones you can buy in 2023. For $800, you’re getting a small but mighty phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, long-lasting battery life, and a powerful triple lens camera system with a 50-megapixel main shooter.

But how does one of the best Android phones stack up against Apple’s smallest flagship, the iPhone 14 Pro? It has just as many cameras as the Galaxy S23, a powerful 48MP main camera, and costs $200 more than Samsung's handset.

Read more
What is Amazon Music: everything you need to know
Amazon Music

It's a jungle of music streaming platforms out there, so it stands to reason that Amazon would have one among its massive kingdom of services. And while Amazon Music might not be top of mind among the Spotifys and Apple Musics of the world, you might be surprised by its 100-million-song library, high-resolution and spatial audio offerings, podcast library, Alexa voice control, and a pretty amiable user interface that makes finding music pretty easy.

Amazon Music's subscriptions range from free to its premium Music Unlimited tier, which can be added for $9 per month on top of a subscription to Amazon Prime. But they all come with some quirks and features. We're going to break them all down for you to help you choose which, if any, Amazon Music plan is right for you.

Read more