Skip to main content

Before iPhone, Jobs wanted to create Apple’s own network using Wi-Fi

steve-jobs-holding-iphone-4-smileApparently, back in the iPhone’s early planning days before the 2007 launch, Steve Jobs thought it might be a good idea to bypass wireless carriers like AT&T and create Apple’s own network. According to industry legend John Stanton, Jobs wanted to create a network using the unlicensed spectrum used by Wi-Fi.

“He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said at the Monday Law Seminars International event in Seattle, according to IDG. “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.”

Related Videos

Stanton, presently chairman at venture capital firm Trilogy Partners, has had a long history with wireless carriers. He was formerly the head of what later on became T-mobile; he was an early investor in the company responsible for the Sidekick and also Android; he was an early investor in RIM, and he was the first employee to work at AT&T’s early form, McCaw Cellular.

The wireless industry veteran says he spent much time with Jobs from 2005-2007. Jobs’ idea to replace these carriers completely was nixed in 2007 when the Apple founder just gave up on the idea.

Apple ended up signing a deal with AT&T, and recently broadened its U.S. carrier range to Verizon and Sprint. However, Stanton said that Apple’s iPhone had a big impact on how business was done with the carriers. Apple paved the way for other companies, such as Google with Android, to gain revenue from software and services which could have been captured by AT&T. Thanks to Jobs, carriers don’t backseat develop anymore, and must be satisfied with simply selling the devices.

“If I were a carrier, I’d be concerned about the dramatic shift in power that occurred,” Stanton said.

Editors' Recommendations

The best iPhone 12 Pro cases: 15 greatest ones you can buy

The iPhone 12 Pro is the powerful flagship of 2020's iPhone 12 range. With a 6.1-inch display, a powerful A14 Bionic processor, and an upgraded camera, the iPhone 12 Pro is a reasonably sized iPhone for users who want an iPhone that's reasonably priced, but still relevant in 2023.

Apple's Ceramic Shield claims to protect iPhones better than ever before, but if we were you, we'd still slap a case on our iPhone. Cases come in a range of forms, and choosing the right one for you is a matter of deciding what you need it for. We've checked the biggest case makers, grabbed some of their best cases, and explained what's good (and not so good) about each of them. Here are the best iPhone 12 Pro cases you can buy in 2023.

Read more
The one thing the iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7 all get wrong
Apple iPhone SE (2020) being plugged in to charge.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, new smartphones broke cover as one would expect. I won't bore you with all the details; Digital Trends' Joe Maring and Jacob Roach wrote an excellent roundup of all the best MWC 2023 announcements already.

One key quality-of-life-improving feature we picked up on as a theme was charging speed. Apple, Samsung, and Google, the mainstream phone brands by coverage (even if not all by sales), stick to a fast-charging average speed of just over an hour — even with the latest iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7. By comparison, a phone from Xiaomi, Oppo, or OnePlus can get you moving in 30 minutes or even less. It's time to demand more from our phones.
Fast charging exists — just not for you

Read more
I created the perfect iPhone home screen — and you can too
iPhone 14 Pro with custom home screen icons and widgets

With iOS 14, Apple began to open the floodgates for software customization on the iPhone. For the first time, you could add widgets to the home screen and even change app icons to custom ones without the need for a jailbreak. And iOS 16 gave us some more customization options in the form of the lock screen, although the interface for that is su-par, to say the least.

While I see a lot of people still use a stock grid layout on their home screen, I took some time when iOS 14 first came out to customize my iOS experience. I enjoy that it’s not just a boring grid of stock icons — having custom icons and widgets really mix things up a bit and gives me a more informative home screen.

Read more