Report: Steve Jobs Wanted to Build WiFi-Based Cell Network
A new report states former Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent two years looking for a way to build out an Apple-specific network for the iPhone. Jobs eventually gave up on the idea, but what can we learn from his vision, and what impact could that vision have on Apple’s future? Here’s my perspective …
A tip of the at goes to MacWorld for scooping the story. According to MacWorld:
Steve Jobs initially hoped to create his own network with the unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi uses rather than work with the mobile operators, said wireless industry legend John Stanton. “He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said of Jobs. … “He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum.”
Jobs eventually dropped the plan in 2007 after two years of struggling and instead negotiated deals with traditional carriers. But even with connectivity service out of his (controlling) hands, Steve Jobs still changed the game, since cell phone carriers have drastically reshaped their business models around smart phone usage.
So what does that mean for the future of Apple products and Apple’s vision of the future? It means Apple is aware of its power, wealth and technological prowess. So much so that it’s confident in thinking about changing the entire paradigm of the way the world communicates. It’s exactly what drove Jobs’ comments about cracking the TV “code” and destroying Android. In a post-Jobsian world, it’s unclear if now-CEO Tim Cook has a similar drive, but it’s been said Jobs has left a solid roadmap for Apple.
One thing is certain: Apple has enough power to continue to make bold moves that can change the world. It would be unwise to underestimate Apple in the upcoming years, and especially dangerous to think 2012 will just be the year of the iPhone 5. I have a good feeling Apple is just getting started.