Top 5 Future Cell Phones

Carrier-free iPhone

Venture capitalist John Stanton revealed an interesting bit of information at a seminar in 2011: Steve Jobs originally wanted to launch the iPhone on its own network and eschew the traditional partnerships with established cell phone carriers [source: Gadget Lab]. This would let Apple create a device without making compromises to any other entity. An iPhone owner wouldn't have to worry about features being omitted or cut back because of a disagreement between Apple and another company.

According to Stanton, Jobs explored the possibility of creating a smartphone network using existing WiFi networks. Ultimately, Jobs concluded such a path wasn't viable. But what if Apple were to try again?

A carrier-free iPhone might include functions that some cell phone carriers prefer remain absent from phones, such as tethering the smartphone to other devices to act as a sort of WiFi modem. But such a business model would require careful work on Apple's part. The company would have to create billing procedures and prices. Without the support of carriers, customers might be faced with a smartphone that costs much more money. And the shift away from traditional carriers could have massive economic consequences further down the road.

Could we see a carrier-free phone in the future? Is Apple willing to risk burning bridges with traditional carriers launching such a product should it prove to be feasible? Or is that the sort of move we'd only expect from a giant like Google? We'll have to wait and see.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Bonnington, Christina. "Steve Jobs Wanted iPhone On Its Own Network, Carrier-Free." Gadget Lab, Wired. Nov. 15, 2011. (Dec. 1, 2011)
  • Buckely, Sean. "Nintendo's eShop plans: premium DLC, game demos, smartphone shopping, relevancy." Engadget. Oct. 28, 2011. (Dec. 2, 2011)
  • Cheng, Roger. "Android super smartphones: Too much of a good thing?" CNET. Oct. 19, 2011. (Dec. 2, 2011)
  • Choney, Suzanne. "The rise of the super-smartphone." MSNBC. March 18, 2010. (Dec. 2, 2011)
  • Earley, Dustin. "Game over: Smartphone game revenue leaves Nintendo and Sony in the dust." Android and Me. Nov. 9, 2011. (Dec. 2, 2011)
  • Gannes, Liz and Fried, Ina. "The Facebook Phone: It's Finally Real and It's Name is Buffy." All Things D. Nov.15, 2011. (Dec. 2, 2011)
  • Haselton, Todd. "An Amazon Smartphone? It Could Happen Next Year, Analysts Say." Fox News. Nov. 17, 2011. (Dec. 1, 2011)
  • Leckness, Chris. "Xbox Companion for Windows Phone and Xbox Dashboard Update." Gotta Be Mobile. Dec. 9, 2011. (Dec. 9, 2011)
  • Lowensohn, Josh. "Nintendo CEO re-affirms no smartphone games plan." CNET. Sept. 15, 2011. (Dec. 2, 2011)


6 Creative Uses for an Old Smartphone

6 Creative Uses for an Old Smartphone

HowStuffWorks looks at some new and creative uses for those old smartphones and cellphones you have lying around.

More to Explore