Report: Apple Considering Being Your Phone Carrier (Sort Of)

There could come a time in the future where you not only buy your phone or mobile device from Apple, but you could pay the company to talk, text and get access to data as well. A new report says Apple is talking about launching what’s known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in the U.S. as well as Europe.

Business Insider cites sources close to the company who say it’s testing an MVNO service in the U.S. currently, and is discussing taking it across the pond as well.

MVNOs differ from traditional carriers as they require technology companies, like Apple, in this case, to lease capacity from those established carriers and then sell that to the consumer directly. Google is another example of a tech company that might move into the wireless provider spaces as an MVNO.

So if you chose to go with Apple’s MVNO, you’d pay the company every month for data, calls and texts, instead of Verizon Wireless or AT&T, for example. The Apple SIM would then bounce between carriers depending on which service is best.

Again, this is just in the testing phase, so it’s unclear whether or not it will become a reality, but TechCrunch noted as far back as 2011 that Apple had applied for an MVNO patent.

This could make sense in light of Apple’s rumored new voicemail service — voicemails now are stored with your carrier, which would then be stored on iCloud Voicemail if Apple does debut an MVNO.

Apple is in talks to launch its own virtual network service in the US and Europe [Business Insider]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.