Do Apple and Google Need to be Carriers?

Some might argue Apple is so dominant in-part because they are control freaks. Supply chain, software, hardware, OS, CPU, you name it. Ditto for Google – with proprietary cloud-based systems which are hyper-efficient and scalable, their operating system is the one you want to emulate. In fact, you could argue much of the move to the cloud is an effort to emulate the way Google does business.

And this brings us to control of the wireless experience. As good as the iPhone is, it was AT&T that made the device the butt of jokes – remember that SNL bit?

Of course this doesn’t mean either company will buy a carrier, it just makes you wonder if two control freak companies will be satisfied not owning networks.

Keep in mind, Google’s move to purchase Motorola Mobility puts them in brand new spaces – they are now a major hardware maker. And the revelation that Steve Jobs wanted to put together his own WiFi network adds support to the idea that Apple too wanted to expand beyond just supplying devices.

A few years back I discussed the market rumors of Sprint getting acquired by Google… After the Motorola acquisition, this idea seems less far-fetched.

So with loads of cash, either of these companies could be a likely acquirer of Sprint or T-Mobile USA – depending on what happens with AT&T of course. It is certainly something to think about in a world where companies are increasingly unsatisfied playing in their own sandbox.

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