Part of Apple's reputation for innovation comes from its insistence in developing its own bespoke products and services rather than collaborating with others – a practice that summarises everything that's right or everything that's wrong with the company, depending on who you are.
But even the Apple faithful will surely raise an eyebrow to hear that Steve Jobs initially wanted the iPhone to launch on a hybrid Wi-Fi-linked network that would have sidestepped mobile operators altogether.
According to John Stanton, wireless industry guru and chairman of venture capital firm Trilogy Partners, the late Apple CEO spent a lot of time between 2005 and 2007 exploring ways to knit together a “synthetic” carrier built solely on Wi-Fi spectrum before finally giving up on the idea shortly before the first-generation iPhone was released.
“He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said at an industry event in Seattle earlier this week. “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.”
Stanton didn't reveal what made Jobs, who passed away on October 5, eventually give up on the notion, but in the end the iPhone was such a success that it fundamentally changed the relationship between mobile manufacturers and mobile networks anyway.
Via Computer World