See Full Story
Will Apple become a wireless service provider? Absolutely, contends Whitey Bluestein, writer of GigaOm's Apple blog. But that prediction has been met with widespread disagreement as well as some support. In his blog, Bluestein outlined what he believes will be Apple's roadmap for getting into the wireless business. First, it will start selling data packages for the iPad. Then it will move to data and international roaming offerings for the iPhone. Finally, it will start buying bandwidth from carriers and reselling it to its customers.
How about this scenario?
Apple contracts with the carriers to purchase data bandwidth or bits for the purpose of expanding the data use of the iPad.
It makes sense for Apple to increase the use of the iPad and they are in a much better position to do this than the carriers seem to be.
Apple improves the market position of the iPpad while the carriers sell more data... win win.
After Apple has genned up the iPad market, they buy T-Mobile getting into the carrier business for a bargain price and without most of the regulatory headaches of starting from scratch.
Result.... Apple gets a cell phone company plus another carrier 'outlet' (T-Mobile doesn't currently offer the iPhone or iPad) for its products. Win for Apple ? for carriers
How much the other carriers squawk will depend upon how Apple positions their 'Apple Net' in the marketplace.
But no matter how dimly the others view Apple at this point there are both contractual and fiscal reasons it would be in the 'other guys' best interests continue selling Apple's products.
Why T-Mobile? because it gives them the second largest US GSM network which will allow their phones and pads seamless access across much of the world.
I think something like this has to be under consideration by Apple and as usual Apple will make a strategic decision on their own schedule.