Apple plans to take on carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless by becoming a direct mobile service provider, according to eteran wireless industry strategist Whitey Bluestein,
Bluestein — who has managed strategic deals for the likes of AT&T, Intel, T-Mobile, Verizon, Microsoft, Nokia and Best Buy — tells “BGR” (http://macte.ch/4S5Bv) that Apple will soon begin to offer wireless service directly to iPhone and iPad users. Apple has the distribution channels, digital content portfolio and customer base to make the move, and it also has more than 250 million credit cards on file for iTunes users who could be billed directly for wireless service, he adds.
“The battleground is set, but Apple will be the first mover,” Bluestein said while speaking at the Informa MVNO Industry Summit in Barcelona. “Google will have to scramble because it lacks retail distribution, experience with subscriber services and the iTunes ecosystem of content. iTunes and the iTunes Store provide Apple with one-click buying and customer care. Google can acquire most of these capabilities, as it has before, but it is not a core competency of the company.”