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Apple to become a wireless carrier?

Peter Rojas
Apple MVNO wireless has a little speculative piece today about how it's possible that Apple might take the plunge and create its own Apple-branded cellphone service like the one Disney announced earlier this week, but according to one of our reliable sources, Apple is actually already working on this. It's not clear how close they are to doing this (from what we've heard, it's far from a done deal) or how their becoming a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or MVNO, might fit in with what are supposedly Cingular's plans to be the first carrier to offer an  iTunes-capable cellphone, but there are plenty of reasons why Apple might explore this route. First off, setting up their own wireless service would give them more of a direct relationship with the consumer and more control over the end-user experience (something we all know Stevie J. is partial to). Also, by going the MVNO route, Apple wouldn't have to deal any real reluctance on the part of wireless carriers when it comes to adding an iTunes phone to their line up (the carriers are worried that a musicphone that syncs with a PC will eat into any potential profits from the wireless music download services they're planning themselves). We know more than a few Apple freaks who would sign up for a Apple cellphone service in a second, but there are still a lot of unknowns here, like which carrier Apple would be leasing network capacity from, how much they'd charge for service, whether they'd be able to offer high-speed 3G data, etc.

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