Steve Jobs Wanted Apple to Build Their Own Network Using Unlicensed Spectrum


Apple is a vertically integrated tech company. They create the hardware, software, applications, and provide digital content allowing them to control every aspect of the end-user experience–the whole widget.

There were exceptions, though. Like when Apple partnered with Motorola in 2004 to put iTunes content on mobile phones and Apple’s partnering with wireless carriers to host the iPhone– to name a few.

In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone and its partnership with Motorola ended. According to wireless industry legend John Stanton, Steve Jobs initially hoped to create his own network with unlicensed spectrum that would use Wi-Fi rather than work with carriers.

Steve Jobs with John Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partners.

Speaking Monday at the Law Seminars International event in Seattle, Stanton, who is now chairman of venture capital firm Trilogy Partners, said that he met with Jobs between 2005 and 2007 to discuss the creation of a new network built on unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum.

“He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said of Jobs. The move would have given Apple the ability to manufacture the iPhone as well as control the service that supported the device.

This obsession with replacing carriers lasted until 2007, when Jobs ultimately dropped the idea, however he still managed to have a huge impact on wireless operators that craved the iPhone. Most recently, Sprint made a $20 billion four-year deal with Apple to sell the iPhone.



  • Mapalad

    What lousy grammar.

  • ????Dennis

    Normally I wouldn’t say anything, but yeah it’s atrocious. Was it copied and pasted off of the ComputerWorld site or edited to make it the writers own? I hope not the latter…

  • Quixotique

    I have to agree with the bad grammar… The writer ought to buy and read White and Strunk’s Elements of Style and use shorter sentences too.

  • srsly

    Why is no one proofreading this?

  • Superzoom99

    No doubt.  He should be fired for such a horribly written article.

  • Kraken

    Grammar Nazis unite!

  • Anon

    LMAO!  Not everyone can speak perfect ‘Engrish’.

  • Anonymous

    Given the Company’s (and in particular, Jobs’) historical control of ‘All Things Apple’, I was always surprised that they never created their own wireless network to run the Touch, iPhone and iPad on, bypassing the 3rd Party providers entirely.

    Certainly in Canada, consumers might have well benefited from having a large cross-country competitor to the traditional Big 3 – that is, until Apple decided to gouge users with it’s ‘premium service’ (see Apple Tax).

    That done – and with Apple products only available on Apple’s network – Android, RIM and Microsoft might well have surged as consumers moved away from the private network and back to the traditional providers. And maybe that’s really why Jobs abandoned the project…

  • Anon

    Wow.  A comment that isn’t grammar related.

  • ????Dennis

    Yeah seriously… Get back on topic. We’re talking about grammar, lol.