Apple is not planning its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) cellular service, despite a report on Monday to the contrary. According to comments given to CNBC, Apple's not even discussing the issue.
"We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO," an Apple spokeswoman told CNBC.
BREAKING: Apple says it has not discussed & is not planning MVNO cellular service following reports saying it was planning on doing that.— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 4, 2015
BusinesInsider reported on Monday that Apple was in discussions with European carriers about an MVNO deal in that market, and that it was already privately testing an MVNO in the States. The publication cited unnamed sources in the telecom industry.
Apple seldom denies rumors directly, so the company's statement is likely to squash this particular story. That doesn't necessarily mean that BusinessInsider's story was built on a falsehood, however.
Apple is huge, and it's getting bigger all the time. Part of that growth includes Apple testing many, many things. Product ideas, materials, form factors, new technologies, search engine technology (#justsaying), and maybe even an MVNO service. Testing, however, doesn't necessarily mean any particular thing will ever be released or see the public light of day—most things that Apple experiments with go unreleased.
This is one rumor, however, that I wish had some meat to it. Apple could really shake things up in terms of service when it comes to the wireless industry, even more than T-Mobile has in the last two years.
This whole thing kind of reminds me of rumors about Apple making a phone. We heard them for years before Apple made the iPhone, and we now know that Apple was indeed working on one that whole time. We all very much wanted Apple to do it because cell phones sucked. We wanted that Apple touch.
Here we are many years later, and many Apple fans would like Apple to launch its own cellular service. Something like Project Fi from Google, but with less tracking. We've been hearing rumors of Apple doing just that for years. The company has yet to announce anything—and in this case outright denied it—but it could still happen. Some day. Maybe.
I hope so.