During the development of the original iPhone, Steve Jobs wanted to circumvent traditional carriers and create his own Wi-Fi-based network for calling, according to Silicon Valley venture capitalist and architect of both AT&T and T-Mobile John Stanton.
“He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum,” said Stanton during a seminar in Seattle. “That was part of his vision.
However, it’s likely that Apple determined building its own telecomm network to be too costly of a venture, as opposed to partnering with an existing carrier in an enormously lucrative deal, which it ultimately did with AT&T in 2007. In particular, the company’s deal to bring the iPhone to Sprint netted Apple $15.5 billion earlier this year.