Apple Shoots Down Spurious Report That It’s Developing Wireless MVNO Service

Could you imagine if Apple launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service? Given the popularity of its iPhone lineup, it would make sense for Apple to try and take control of the service side of things as well, and there's been a persistent rumor of that happening. The rumor gained steam yesterday when Business Insider claimed to have heard from sources close to Apple that the company was actually trialing (in private) an MVNO service in the U.S., though Apple was quick to shoot it down.

"BREAKING: Apple says it has not discussed and is not planning MNVO cellular service following reports saying it was planning on doing that," CNBC reported via its official Twitter account. No other information was provided, though the fact that Apple even addressed the rumor in the first place is telling -- it's not something the company usually does.

iPhone 6

Apple apparently didn't want this rumor to spread any more than it already has. Why? It could have to do with the relationships it has with existing wireless carriers. The way an MVNO works is that is that a company like Apple would take payments for wireless service directly from customers -- in this case, you'd sell out X amount of dollars every month to Apple instead of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile (or whichever company you go through).

In turn, Apple would provide talk, texting, and and data service, just like you'd get from a traditional wireless carrier. This would be possible because Apple would have already purchased bulk access to network services from one or more wireless providers. For example, Straight Talk is an MVNO that uses Verizon's network, while Boost Mobile goes through Sprint.

It's too bad the rumor is false. With Google toying around with Project Fi, it would have been interesting to see these two tech giants duke it out as MVNOs.