Speaking at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam today, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the Cupertino company has no plans to become a carrier or mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Apple simply doesn’t have the expertise, he said.
Apple has reportedly been planning to launch its own MVNO — like Google’s Project Fi — for a number of years. Last fall, it was reported that the company was even testing its own MVNO service specifically for the iPhone and iPad.
Like all MVNOs, it was thought Apple’s would utilize existing infrastructure already in place from other U.S. carriers and combining it with its own tariffs and services.
However, Apple denied those plans last August, and now Tim Cook has put the final nail in the coffin. “Our expertise doesn’t extend to the network,” he told retired European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes at Startup Fest.
“We’ve worked with AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK, as well as T-Mobile and Orange, and we expanded as we learned more,” Cook added. “But generally, the things Apple likes to do, are things we can do globally.”
Cook added that Apple’s doesn’t have the “network skill,” and although it will continue to develop “e-SIMs” as it moves forward, Cook likes “the things carriers do” already.
Apple SIM, which is currently still an iPad exclusive, may well extend to the iPhone in the future, then — but you won’t be able to buy data and other services directly from Apple.