Is Steve Jobs Paving the Way for a Second iPhone Carrier in the US?

Witha AT&T’s monopoly on the iPhone coming to a close, Steve Jobs’ ambiguous statement at the D8 conference could signal that the iPhone may be headed to a second carrier. According to a report on Engadget, the Apple boss just threw out this weighty little gem when asked whether there’d be advantages to deploying the iPhone on two American carriers: “there might be.” Jobs’ terse response is quite different from the position that he and Apple held before in that in certain markets it may make sense to have a single carrier and that the company is evaluating their options in different markets. Of course, having benefits to a dual-carrier or multi-carrier strategy doesn’t imply that Apple will head down that route, but it does add a bit to the fires of the iPhone on Verizon saga that’s been floating around the Internet lately.

At D8, Jobs also spoke of network quality, and it seems that AT&T’s network should improve by the end of summer. Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Q: Steve, we love our iPhones… but our concern is that we can’t make a phone call on it. Is someone working on that?

A: Well, we’re talking about it. You can bet we’re doing everything we know how to do.

Q: Can we expect something soon?

A: I’ll tell you what I’m told — (LONG pause) — to make things better, people reallocate spectrum, and they do things like increase the backhaul, so they put in gigabit Ethernet instead of T1… things get worse before they get better. If you believe that, things should be getting a lot better soon!

Huge laughs.

A: I’m told that a lot of places are getting better certainly by the end of this summer.

Kara: And if they don’t get better?

Steve: Then they won’t.

(via: Engadget)

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Chuong Nguyen