Apple Isn’t Going To Become A Mobile Carrier After All

Image courtesy of (Simon Yeo)

Last year, Apple denied reports that it was testing mobile phone service, planning to become a mobile virtual network operator, or re-seller of service from a major carrier’s network. By doing that, Apple could sell phones and service to customers directly all over the world, cutting out customers’ direct relationships with carriers.

Apple has at least been considering this idea since 2011, but what brought the idea closer to reality was the iPad Pro, which has an embedded SIM (e-SIM) that can switch between multiple carriers, instead of inserting a different SIM to switch your mobile carrier.

Whether they were testing the mobile network idea or not, you won’t be able to get Apple service when you rent your iPhone directly from Apple: CEO Tim Cook says that the company simply doesn’t have the expertise to do that, even leasing network capacity from the major carriers in each country.

9to5Mac reports that in an interview at StartupFest Europe, Cook definitively ruled out the MVNO idea, saying that Apple prefers to provide services globally. “We don’t have the network skill,” he told the crowd. “We’ll do some things… with e-SIMs along the way, but in general, I like the things carriers do.”

That means we can probably expect to see those embedded SIMs in future phones and tablets, but Apple won’t be selling service for them directly.

Tim Cook rules out Apple becoming a mobile carrier, saying it lacks the expertise [9to5Mac]
Tim Cook speaks at Startup Fest in interview with Neelie Kroes, discusses app economy, coding in education, more [9to5Mac]