Steve Jobs wanted Wi-Fi to replace networks

Talk about control freak: Steve Jobs wanted to replace networks with Wi-Fi spectrum for the iPhone launch, giving Apple total control.

In Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs comes across as a bit of a control freak. But this is on another level: he actually wanted to create his own Wi-Fi network to replace the mobile networks, so Apple had full control over every element of the phone. Mental.

John Stanton, chairman of venture capital firm Trilogy International Partners, said he and Jobs often talked about the prospect before the launch of the original iPhone in 2007, reports Computerworld. According to Stanton, "[Jobs] wanted to replace carriers. He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision."

Presumably Jobs wanted to create some kind of VoIP equivalent, using unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum, but he gave up on the idea after about two years of work, around 2007, the year the first generation iPhone launched.

Instead Apple chose the next best thing: signing exclusive deals with one network in each country. In the UK it was O2 initially, in the US AT&T. Though Cupertino has since spread the love further.

Stanton was speaking at the Law Seminars International event in Seattle. He said the networks should be worried about how much power the manufacturers now have. "If I were a carrier, I'd be concerned about the dramatic shift in power that occurred," he said.

Earlier this year, the former head of Apple France suggested the company just buy a network to avoid any issues with them not playing ball, reports CNET. Well why not? It reportedly has $40bn in the bank, with which Jobs wanted to wage thermonuclear war on Android.

Does Apple have too much power already? Or would you be happy signing up to an iPhone on an Apple-owned network/VoIP deal? Let us know on our Facebook page.

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