Apple Thinking About Bidding For Wireless Spectrum Next Year


Our friendly neighborhood Seth has already opined that Steve Jobs hates having to deal with AT&T, but does Apple hate having to deal with the “orifices” even to spend billions out of its own pocket? Reports from the business world (a world very far from my apartment) suggest that Apple is considering bidding on the spectrum that the FCC will auction off in January. We’ve all read reports that Google is all but set to bid, but a possible Apple bid was, until now, not really discussed.

And what does his Steveness gain by spending what could climb to $9 billion on the spectrum?

For starters, Apple would no longer be beholden to AT&T. Just ready any Jobs interview and you can tell that the man has no love lost for dealing with cellphone companies (neither do most other folks). With the spectrum, Apple could, theoretically, start its own cellphone service. Unlikely, but possible.

Or, perhaps, Apple could set up a sort of mini network and just use it to deliver a wireless iTMS. Apple could give this away for free by dabbing into a little advertising.

For all the speculation, Apple is reportedly leaning ever so slightly toward a no-bid choice of action. The company’s track record with selling services as opposed to products—how many of you subscribe to .Mac?—could mean that it’s not exactly ready to jump into the world of managing wireless networks.

I’d be willing to send Apple a whole dollar just to keep the spectrum out of the teleco’s hands; you know they’ll just screw us at the drop of a hat. I have faith in Apple not to, iPhone price gouging notwithstanding.

Apple Eyes the Wireless Auction [Business Week]