macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple this morning directly responded to a recent rumor that the company would begin planning to launch its own MVNO service in both the United States and Europe, stating that it has "not discussed and is not planning" to become its own cellular carrier in the future.


The MVNO service would allow Apple to become its own carrier, leasing space from existing network carriers and building SIM cards that switch from network-to-network as need be. Rumors about such a service have been around for a while now, and today marks the first time that Apple has directly denied the existence of any such feature being built by the company.
BREAKING: Apple says it has not discussed & is not planning MVNO cellular service following reports saying it was planning on doing that. - CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 4, 2015
Apple rarely responds directly to rumors, but the company apparently feels the MVNO claims are important enough and far enough off base that they warrant an official response to prevent unwarranted expectations regarding the company's future plans.

Update 8:31 AM: Reuters shares the exact statement from an Apple spokeswoman: "We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO."

Article Link: Apple Denies Rumors of Plans to Launch MVNO Carrier Services


macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
Fort Worth, TX
Apple denies that is an iPhone 6s under development, or a Skylake iMac, but we know they're pulling our chain too!
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macrumors 6502
Oct 11, 2010
Serious question: Is it possible to track down the original source of this story so we might publicly declare that person an imbecile?
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macrumors member
Jun 10, 2015
Honestly I cannot imagine why Apple would want to become its own cellular network. There is no tangible benefit to their trying to compete against established service provides like Verizon or AT&T, especially in a system where they leased tower access from those same companies.

Leasing the towers wouldn't afford them any more granular control of the iPhone ecosystem than they have now. It would not provide greater call or cellular data stability (likely the opposite). There is just no net benefit... only costs associated with leasing towers, processing customer billing, transitioning customers off existing company accounts over to Apple.

For what? Creating an even further walled-garden for the iPhone? I don't see it happening any time soon.

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68030
May 31, 2015
Breaking news: Apple denies rumors about what it plans to do in the future.

Really? Just because they denied it does not mean it's not happening.


macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2013
My biggest guess for why they'd respond is so they don't upset the carriers right now. It may cause deterioration of their relationships which may cause some immediate harm to their upcoming plans.

The article said that even if Apple did launch its own carrier that it'd take years so of course apple "could" deny things for now


macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2008
My guess is their response has more to do with protecting their relationships with existing carriers than what's actually in the pipeline.
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macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
I can tell from reading this post that most people don't understand what an MVNO is. They aren't leasing towers, they are leasing network capacity. So basically they use the network, but by buying it in bulk they can pass on savings to the customers. It would actually be a pretty smart thing to do but obviously the carriers still wouldn't love the idea. Someone as large as Apple doing an MVNO would be pretty disruptive to their service for their own customers considering the percentage of people on the network using iPhones. For example, in Canada (and possibly the US) 7-11 operates an MVNO called speak out. Up here they use the Rogers network, the network is awesome and up until a couple years ago their pricing was great. $10 a month for unlimited 3G data on a pay as you go plan. And this was at a time where LTE didn't really exist widespread so the plan was awesome. Unfortunately Rogers wasn't obligated to do that and they ended up having to change their plans when Rogers upped the MVNO fees, but from what I have heard in the states MVNOs have some sort of governement protection that they don't have in Canada to price gouging

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
Washington DC
Breaking news: Apple denies rumors about what it plans to do in the future.

Really? Just because they denied it does not mean it's not happening.

Yes it does.

When someone says "bigger pro iPad!" and Apple says "we have no plans" and then they change their mind later, that's fine.

But if Apple says they're not entering an entirely new line of business and then they do, that would be securities fraud and someone would definitely be going to jail.

Pretty big difference between the two.

My biggest guess for why they'd respond is so they don't upset the carriers right now.


My above answer is why they usually keep their mouth shut. In this case it was worth the risk to keep Verizon and AT&T from getting pissed about it.
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