Steve Jobs: 'there might be' advantages to two iPhone carriers in US

At Steve Jobs' conversation with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at D8 this evening, the Apple boss just threw out this weighty little gem when asked whether there'd be advantages to deploying the iPhone on two American carriers: "there might be." Naturally, you can interpret that any way you like, but it's interesting that he failed to say no to the concept of taking the phone beyond its usual AT&T playground.

Speaking of AT&T, Jobs says that his company meets with the carrier once per quarter to get briefed on network improvements, and while he notes that they've got the fastest 3G around, he says "I wish they were improving faster" -- while also qualifying that any network receiving the iPhone back in '07 probably would've suffered the same kinds of problems AT&T has. When pressed on whether we'd see the iPhone on another carrier in the near future, Jobs hit them up with the expected "no comment" before turning to other subjects, so make of it what you will. Follow the break for another interesting snippet from the Q&A session at D8 where Steve muses on AT&T's network improvements.

Q: Steve, we love our iPhones... but our concern is that we can't make a phone call on it. Is someone working on that?

A: Well, we're talking about it. You can bet we're doing everything we know how to do.

Q: Can we expect something soon?

A: I'll tell you what I'm told -- (LONG pause) -- to make things better, people reallocate spectrum, and they do things like increase the backhaul, so they put in gigabit Ethernet instead of T1... things get worse before they get better. If you believe that, things should be getting a lot better soon!

Huge laughs.

A: I'm told that a lot of places are getting better certainly by the end of this summer.

Kara: And if they don't get better?

Steve: Then they won't.