What Apple had on the way may have been bigger than we ever could have imagined.
Apple has increasingly been challenging the cell phone supremacy with its prolific iPhone. Most recently is the inclusion of the universal model that will eventually de-emphasize the carrier altogether. This was only part of what Steve Jobs had in mind. According to John Stanton from Trilogy Partnership, a prominent firm dealing in venture capital, Jobs intended to try and shut out the carriers altogether by creating a carrier service on the Wi-Fi spectrum.
This assumption, which was abandoned by Jobs in 2007, was an attempt to further steal competition from phone companies and define things on their own terms using an Internet based model, rather than just going to the more traditional mobile network. Stanton has had quite a background in the phone market, marking himself as McCaw Cellular’s first employee. This is the national cellular corporation that went on to be the magnet AT&T Wireless. When at Voicestream, which is better known as the operator that we now know as T-Mobile, his company put its money into Danger while they were inventing the teen popular Sidekick. They went on to create the Android from there.
Even from McCaw’s estimation, the concept of a Wi-Fi spectrum replacement is not a realistic expectation in the reasonable future. The idea of a complete Internet replacement of cellular service is not a completely far off, and things like Skype has made this seem like a practical expectation. Until the 4G internet connection has the ability to handle voice calls better than a regular cell service it will not be relevant, and since the same companies that build these wireless networks are the ones that profit on them they will have to see a clear way to have this increase, rather than decrease, corporate profits.