The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry is the title of a story Fred Vogelstein story in Wired. Back in June, I wrote How Apple Will Use The iPhone To Take Over The Wireless Industry:

Steve Jobs isn’t stupid. He knows that AT&T Wireless sucks. So why lock the revolutionary iPhone into a crappy network?

Because Jobs knows that everyone will buy an iPhone anyway, even if they hate the network. And that, as Umair points out, shifts all the power to Apple.

Apple will significantly improve the already revolutionary iPhone in subsequent generations, and lower the price, as they did with the iPod. With each new release, more and more people will look at Verizon and Sprint, who don’t carry the iPhone, and say, WTF!?

Fred writes:

The hosannas greeting the iPhone were so overwhelming it was easy to ignore its imperfections. The initial price of $599 was too high (it has been lowered to $399). The phone runs on AT&T’s poky EDGE network. Users can’t perform email searches or record video. The browser won’t run programs written in Java or Flash.

But none of that mattered. The iPhone cracked open the carrier-centric structure of the wireless industry and unlocked a host of benefits for consumers, developers, manufacturers — and potentially the carriers themselves.


Manufacturers, meanwhile, enjoy new bargaining power over the carriers they’ve done business with for decades. Carriers, who have seen AT&T eat into their customer bases, are scrambling to find a competitive device, and they appear willing to give up some authority to get it.

At the time, I was just speculating. Fred’s got the reporting to back it up. Nice to see the story told.