Poll: should Apple join the wireless auction?

Apple and at&tWhile many expect Google to throw its hat in the ring, and enter a bid in the upcoming U.S. wireless spectrum auction, Apple’s name hasn’t really been mentioned — until now that is. Yesterday, Business Week reported that CEO Steve Jobs and Co. have studied the implications of joining the auction, which will be held Jan. 16, given that the chance to wrestle power away from incumbent telco’s — such as AT&T and Verizon — is too tempting to dismiss outright. Many feel that Apple’s iPhone will be deemed a success in spite of its partnering carriers, not because of them.

From Business Week:

Indeed, cutting out the carrier would probably be in sync with Steve Jobs’ view of the world. Before striking the iPhone deal with AT&T, he publicly dissed phone companies as little more than “orifices”—good only for providing dumb pipes to deliver more innovative companies’ more innovative services. “Apple is the most anti-carrier company there is,” says the former Apple executive. “They’re probably already frustrated with AT&T. If they put a few billion behind this, they could build a kick-ass network.”

However, there remain many downsides to Apple getting into the network business. It’s not the money — Apple has large enough cash reserves — but the distraction and change in business model that would be required. Steve Jobs has long defended the company’s decision not to enter into many desired product categories or services, on the basis that Apple (or Jobs himself) can’t afford to spread themselves too thin.

Instead, Apple might do well to partner with another bidder, say Google or possibly Cisco, so that the company can remain focussed on what it does best: software and supporting hardware.

What do you think?


last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

One Response to “Poll: should Apple join the wireless auction?”

  1. Apple would be better off going in their own direction. Don’t follow what everybody else is doing and look a new and fresh ways to compete in the market.

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