Steve Jobs Considered Using WiFi To ‘Replace’ Phone Networks

Posted Nov 15, 2011

The late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs had spent two years trying to figure out how to utilize WiFi spectrum for the iPhone to make phone calls rather than working with telecommunication companies. Essentially Jobs “wanted to replace carriers” said Trilogy Partners chairman John Stanton. “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.”

Finally Jobs decided to give up on the WiFi project and ended up signing an exclusive deal with AT&T instead. After the exclusive deal ended, Apple ended up selling the iPhone through AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and C Spire Wireless. Jobs’ WiFi efforts largely did not go to waste though. Most telecommunications companies used to control the applications that could be installed on phones, but the Apple App Store changed that whole situation.