Blog Post

Apple’s Old MVNO Plan

This isn’t really relevant anymore, but patent filings show that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) was at least considering an MVNO in the lead-up to the launch of the iPhone. AppleInsider writes that Apple was considering a model “that would allow all primary wireless carriers within a specific region to serve iPhone users by bidding prices for their service in a dynamic, real-time model”, with the carrier selection also being able to be made based on the quality of the network and so on. The obvious attraction is that people would get the cheapest calls at a particular time and place. It was a bold plan, except that to be truly effective the handset would need to connet to both GSM and CDMA networks and — eventually — all the 3G upgrades. More significantly, it would have required Apple to convince all the operators to change their business models instead of just one, and without the drawcard of “exclusivity”.