Apple to participate in FCC wireless auction?
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Apple to participate in FCC wireless auction?

At this point, says one of the sources, Apple is leaning against participating in the auction because "the company would be on the hook for the massive operational headaches that go with provisioning traffic, activating new subscribers, and fielding their angry calls when service glitches occur," notes BusinessWeek. As with Google, becoming a network operator would drag down Apple's margins -- and could pose a cultural drag on an innovative company.

If Apple did participate, the company might no longer need to rely on a phone company to deliver songs, TV shows, and other digital fare purchased at its iTunes Store, notes BusinessWeek. As it is, the major complaint of iPhone shoppers isn't with the phone, but with the pokey Net access from Apple's exclusive U.S. partner, AT&T (T).

"If it owned its own spectrum, Apple could provide the network service itself, possibly for far less than the $1,440 iPhone owners must now fork out over the course of the cheapest two-year contract," Business Week expounds. "For example, Apple could hold down costs by letting users choose a Net telephony program such as Skype rather than develop its own voice software, say analysts. Apple might even be able to give away network service for free, and make its money off services such as iTunes and possibly by selling subscribers advertising space."

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