Here's why Apple won't run its own cellular service (unless it will)


Apple MVNO rumor denial

Remember those rumors about Apple doing an end-run around the carriers? You know: how it would offer its own "soup-to-nuts" wireless service? Well, about that. Here's Apple's flat denial:

"We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO."

And there are a bunch of really sound reasons why such a move would a truly terrible idea.

However, what if Apple's planning a more innovative approach? What if its wireless service wasn't cellular at all?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read between the lines.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Apple has the ears of Eric Auchard and Leila Abboud:

Apple...has denied working on a plan to market communications services directly to consumers [via] an Apple spokeswoman.

Last year, the company launched an own-branded Apple SIM card that allows consumers using its iPad tablet devices, but not its phones, to switch services between network operators. 

By contrast, Silicon Valley rival Google...earlier this year unveiled an MVNO service in the United States...known as "Project Fi."  MORE

Kevin Fitchard is fortunate:

The tech world was abuzz with rumors on Monday that Apple would become a mobile operator, competing against its wireless network partners [with] what’s known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

After the statement, operators like AT&T, Verizon, and Vodafone likely let out of collective sigh of relief. ... The main reason Apple would even consider becoming an MVNO would be to capture the entire mobile value selling voice and data plans that could be billed directly to customers’ iTunes accounts.

[But] if Apple wants to earn the resentment of its customers, then I can think of few better ways to do so than becoming their service provider.  MORE

So Mitchel Broussard analyzes Cupertino's response:

Rumors about such a service have been around for a while now, and today marks the first time that Apple has directly denied [it].

Apple rarely responds directly to rumors, but the company apparently feels the MVNO claims are important enough and far enough off base that they warrant an official response.  MORE

And John Gruber cuts to the chase:

[It's] a flat-out denial, instead of [Apple's] usual policy of ignoring rumors.

Apple is a partner with all the carriers around the world that support iPhone. They can’t compete against them while partnering with them. So...Apple wants to signal, clearly, that they aren’t conspiring against their carrier partners.  MORE

But Google's M.G. Siegler ain't so sure the denial is really denying everything:

It is interesting to think about the new iPod touches in context: they’re really just nearly top-of-the-line iPhones without the cellular chip.

What if Apple...did something crazy and offered an iPod touch with an older 3G “fallback” connection that was “free”...much like the Amazon Kindles with cellular connectivity?  MORE

Meanwhile, Amir Efrati never believed the rumors to begin with:

Euro telcos inherently chatty. Would have surprised me if Apple was discussing far-off MVNO w/them right now.

That being said, we should take delayed company statements w/grain of salt. No doubt Apple internally has discussed MVNO. ... It's at least worth exploring.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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