Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Wireless expert John Stanton confirmed that Steve Jobs was exploring the possibility of Apple becoming a Wi-Fi-based cell phone service provider as early as 2007, reports Slashgear.The idea is quite straightforward but would be difficult and expensive to pull off in practice — Apple would have to blanket as much of the country (and world) as possible in a robust wi-fi network. All voice calls, SMS, and other data functionality can be easily carried out over an internet connection. There would be no need for your iPhone to interact with a standard carrier ever again.
Jobs eventually reprioritized the wi-fi network idea, but this isn’t the only scheme Apple had to circumvent service providers. There have long been rumours of a new iPhone that would automatically switch between networks to allow for the most coverage and highest call quality. No AT&T coverage while you’re out and about? The phone switches to Verizon automatically.
A plan like that would obviously require cooperation from carriers, which Apple never got.