- Apr 12, 2001
A newly published patent application reveals an abandoned possibility for the Apple iPhone. The patent details the methods for Apple to act as a "mobile virtual network operator" (MVNO).
Network selection can be done manually or simply based on the best price. All billing would have been consolidated under iTunes. This possibility was discussed here on MacRumors back in 2005.When iPhone first connects to wireless network, it sends iTunes MVNO server it's ID and location, and get's back the information with the available networks, services and rates in the area.
An earlier Wired article on the iPhone's origins had previously revealed that Apple was prepared to try to launch the iPhone themselves, if negotiations with Cingular (AT&T) fell through:
As readers know, negotiations were successful, and Apple launched the iPhone on AT&T exclusively. It's still interesting to see the other options Apple had explored in launching their own iPhone.Apple was also prepared to buy wireless minutes wholesale and become a de facto carrier itself.