The iPhone Without Carriers

by James R. Stoup Oct 27, 2008

When the rumors first began oh so many eons ago that Apple was going to release a cell phone, I scoffed. In fact, I scoffed quite heartily. I dare say that my disdain for the very notion was so contemptuous, my behaviour so arragont that I would have fit in with the blackest Charles Dickens villain. I just couldn't believe that Apple, a company that prides itself on perfection, would willingly shackle itself to such a company as AT&T. I mention AT&T because that is who they ultimately chose, so please don't assume that I am painting the other wireless carriers in a better light. They all suck, just with a different degree of force. And yet I was wrong.

However, it appears that Apple did force various concessions upon AT&T. And by all accounts it seems to be working out splendidly for Apple. They are making a killing selling the iPhone, and they get a cut of service revenues too. So overall they are making out quite nicely, and yet . . .

Well I just can't help but wonder how long they are going to play this game. After all, Apple is nothing if not a control freak. They want to be in direct control of every aspect of the "Apple Experience" and right now they aren't. As I said before, that doesn't mean that things aren't going well, they are, but I refuse to accept that Apple is really satisfied with the current state of things. Deep down inside Job's heart he wants to control the experience from end to end, and right now that is beyond Apple's means. Since the fundamental DNA of the company probably isn't going to change anytime soon, this begs the question "what are they going to do to regain control?"

The way I see it they will ultimately do one of two things, become a cell phone carrier themselves or enhance the iPhone so that cell phone carriers are obsolete. I'd wager on the latter.

Though I suppose for this to happen wireless connectivity must become both more powerful and more widespread. But I don't doubt that Apple will find a way. Because if you assume that they are committed to the iPhone platform (and it sure looks like they are) then removing themselves from the yoke of the wireless carriers is going to become a bigger and bigger priority as time goes on


  • If I remember correctly, in the announcement of the iPhone G3, I don’t remember a spokesman or woman speaking on behalf of AT&T;. If that’s true, that may indicate something about their relationship.

    Bakari had this to say on Oct 27, 2008 Posts: 37
  • Though I too speculated that the iPhone was to be a trojan for the iPod touch revolution without needing a cell carrier, I am beginning to lose that faith.

    The iPhone has too big of a momentum and now at a global scale. Overtaking RIM Blackberry sales revenue in mere 11 months is just awesomely fast. Where it will end up is everyone’s guesses but we know in a few years time, the iPhone will command a bigger slice of the smartphone and even feature phones then since even those cheap phones will become smarter.

    iPhone nano will become reality at $99 not the current model offered at that price. From there is just a matter of time until RIM, Windows Mobile, and Android are just relegated as niches. Too bad, the iPhone tought of multitouche gestures and open SDK first.

    So, no Apple will stay the course. Let the AT&T;‘s, the O2s, the Oranges, and Vodafones do the dirty work. Apple will get paid full $599 or whatever they charge the carriers. The subscription share is but a nice icing on the quarterly revenue cake.

    Robomac had this to say on Oct 28, 2008 Posts: 846
  • Thx for explanation this one. Czyszczenie akwarium

    Alpina had this to say on Nov 05, 2011 Posts: 154
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