Nancy Gohring over at IDG/Macworld quotes John Stanton, Chairman of Trilogy Partnerships, as saying that, prior to launching the iPhone in 2007, he spent a couple of years with Steve Jobs trying to figure out how to do it without the likes of AT&T or Verizon.
He wanted to replace carriers. He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision.
Jobs gave up on the idea and ultimately signed with Cingular which became AT&T, but Apple did manage to disintermediate the carriers to a large degree with the iPhone, and take back considerable control of the customer relationship with everything from software updates to apps to device design and release.
Stanton thinks carriers should be concerned about the "dramatic shift in power" that occurred. They should. They should emulate it with other platforms because it leads an equally dramatic shift in customer experience and satisfaction levels.
Just imagine if they'd be