Dan Moren, writing for Six Colors:
why address this at all? There are hundreds of Apple rumors floating around on any given day, and Apple generally doesn’t deign to address 99.9 percent of them. So why this one? A couple possibilities, perhaps the most likely of which is not wanting to spook its existing partners? Granted, if they are somehow negotiating with the carriers for the use of their existing infrastructure, this wouldn’t exactly be news to them.
Also, keep in mind the venue: CNBC. That’s aimed at the financial markets, primarily, and if you look at the news today, there are several stories floating around out there about the company’s stock decline, including at CNBC. Apple doesn’t always concern itself with the stock market, but perhaps it wanted to insert something into the news cycle to combat that.
It’s certainly a rare occurance for Apple to acknowledge rumors in any way and because of that, I’m still not sure what to make of this. But my gut tells me it’s likely stock market-related.