Why Apple may be interested in space satellites

“Apple’s making waves with its hire of two ‘top’ Google executives who were involved in the giant ads company’s attempt to find opportunity in outer space,” Jonny Evans writes for Apple Must. “The two men, John Fenwick, who led Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering, left for Apple a few weeks ago, according to a Bloomberg report.”

The report tells us: The new recruits report to ‘Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam, who joined Apple earlier this year.’ Boeing has spoken with Apple a propos plans to jointly invest in a plan to provide broadband access using around 1,000 satellites in low Earth orbit,” Evans write. “It also reveals a tangled web of involvements of all Duffy and his new recruits in various plans.”

Here are three reasons Apple may be looking at this:
• Maps
• Communications
• Connected things

Each bullet point deatiled in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: This ain’t rocket science… Um, strike that. Reverse it.

Apple is interested in space satellites for the same reason they design their own chips and build their own operating systems:

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

Interns: TTK!

Apple hires top Google executives for new hardware team – April 21, 2017
Apple in talks to buy Boeing communications satellites – March 18, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. This is actually a cover for Phase 2 of the spaceship campus: its launch into outer space, where it will make an interstellar journey to an alien civilization that will actually appreciate Apple’s original TV shows.

  2. Timmy has tens of billions of dollars that he doesn’t know what to do with. Might as well burn it in an attempt to increase the space junk already floating around the planet. Meanwhile the polluted planet can’t even enjoy a reliable electrical grid or sustainable renewable energy.

    1. Once there is enough space junk WasteManagement will build a giant green orbiting garbage truck which will clean it up and dump it on the moon. Preferably the dark side. 🌗

    2. You have a point. Instead of pursuing a “me-too” swarm of near earth comm satellites, Apple would do better to develop a solution for cleaning up the junk already in orbit. Think Different, Apple.

      1. Possibly Jony is already working on a flat icon user interface. The design for a Houston Space Center App will be similar to the iBooks icon. A flat Southwest orange color background with a white shape of Texas and a blue NASA dot for Houston on the coast line. Also suspect the satellite will be thin as a pencil with no upgradeable hard drives or ram and missing ports that would require spacewalk dongle connections. Sorry, just having a little fun … 😎🌛🎤🍸

  3. Socialist Apple will release self driving cars and redistribute them by inverse wealth giving billions of the worlds illiterate poor (muslims ideally) free rides which they will respond by crapping in the iCars and living in them full time turning them into mobile rapemobiles, Apple will have virtue signaled themselves to completion and the suicide money cult will join Steve Jobs “behind the comet”.

    1. LOL! 😆

      Pipeline Tim can’t deliver industry leading Mac Pros, fix iCloud or iTunes spaghetti mess and now wants to iTelstar?

      Get the house in order, first …

  4. MDN used to make fun of Eric Schmidt with a picture of him in a pink cowboy hat because rumor was Steve Jobs was going to wear a pink cowboy hat.

    The shoe …. Err …hat seems to be on the other head.

    Google invests in self driving cars. Umm Apple is interested in self driving cars.

    Google makes God awful “glasses”, Apple now is rumored to be making God awful glasses.

    Google is interested in satellites, now Apple is interested in satellites.

    Hey Apple, why not focus on making computers that Pros want, opening up the Mac Mini for expandability?

    How about a thicker iPhone with a longer lasting battery?

    Apple is all over the map and I fear is becoming more and more like Alphabit.

    1. It has been said over and over for MANY years… There were computers before Apple – and phones – and tablets. Being first isn’t the big deal, necessarily. Doing it right is. Apple is no more becoming like Google than like Microsoft.

      1. Indeed ask Boeing. Indeed more recently ask Airbus for that matter. Hell even Eddison did not invent the lightbulb or indeed was even the inventor of the first reliable one, he was just a Master of patenting. And he was supposed to be the Master of invention.

    2. Silicon Valley is a small place, and there are some ideas that are just natural extensions of what’s happening today.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that while Apple and google are cooking up similar things in their labs, one is blabbing about it (and giving us half-baked junk like the gGlasses, or whatever they were called) and the other is keeping quiet about their plans.

  5. I tried to get several VPs and SVPs at Apple interested in a satellite program 3+ years ago. They would barely respond and wouldn’t take it anywhere. It would have been more than an order of magnitude less investment than Google paid for Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella) or even Googles communications satellite systems attempts, and much more capable giving Apple the ability to leapfrog competitors in a core and expanding area.

    Now Apple want’s to be an also ran with old technology (both these ex-Google guys and Boeing are pitching nothing really new). Besides Boeing is NOT known for being cost effective when it comes to space if they run the whole end-to-end system design and build. They often overrun initial estimates and budget by a factor of two (and sometimes overrun by as much as 5x or more).

    There are a plethora of guys out there announcing huge low Earth orbit constellations for communications. What does an Apple/Boeing combination bring to the space (pun intended) that the many, many others do not. (And, don’t say money. Some of those myriad constellations announced are backed by governments with deep pockets or “commercial” entities that are backed by governments.)

    If Apple is planning on doing imaging and not communications, then the same question applies.

    If Apple is planning on doing both in the same constellation, they need to carefully research the tradeoffs that Iridium did for Iridium-Next. They seriously consider putting imaging sensors on their next generation and found that it would be a losing proposition — losing really big.

    Is Apple taking yet another step to be late to the market with an also ran product? We may know in a year or two.

      1. I was taking the project to them, not the other way around. The discussions did not get far enough along to require an NDA. Early discussions of concepts and theoretical implementations never have NDAs involved. It’s only once you get into the specifics of the system and/or financials that NDAs are needed.

        All too often people who don’t play at this level think the first thing that happens is an NDA is signed. Not so. Almost without exception the first one or two meetings and discussions are done without NDAs.

  6. Ok I’ve been on here 15 yrs. yes 15 yes.

    I never fail to get the acronyms. But now I’m out of my younger years and my snark has softened a bit.

    So can someone please explain “Interns! TTK!”


    1. On weekends, the brains behind MDN like to recline in their togas whilst slaves – uh, interns – bear goblets brimming with the nectar of the gods, the better to celebrate the genius of their enterprises.

        1. i don’t know if they needed a cover. or whatever, even if they did, tbh, they weren’t capable of cunning, i mean, only a human could grasp such a purposeful order of guile, but you are right, god love them, they were all robots, all but one, long gone but not forgotten, a being who went by the moniker hannah, a solitary, sentient island of coconut sense and palm poetry amid an ocean of beautifully blue, copy-paste waves. if there had been a cover, not saying there is, or was, it would’ve been her doing, i’m sure of it.

          1. Indeed, it is hard to discern automatic voices from real ones. One answer is poetry. To the right sensibility, it can penetrate to the centre of conscience. There may be other answers, and I for one diligently search for them. As a time traveller, you must already know whether I ever found them…

            1. of course. eventually, we all find answers, but before long, so i’ve been told, once more, we’ll wish ourselves lost. we’ll choose amnesia because we love the erratic odyssey of discovery to enlightenment.

              it’s funny how discovery changes everything. all your little well-worn paths reconfigure and it’s impossible to look at or relate to some people in the same way. or yourself. ever again.

              a new voice starts talking in your head. what was right side up is now upside down. annoying phantoms come and go. a familiar theme from ten thousand books, the eyes and ears and heart know too much, the intellect domesticates the heart and calculates every position. a little bit of knowing gets you there.

              and then, one day your heart longs to be swept away into the chaos of longing and desire and away from order. you want to remember what it’s like to be torn apart by ecstasy and denial. you want to go crazy for awhile so you can remember just how raw this vulnerability can get you because you don’t know another way to feel you’re alive. and then you meet someone. and one more time, everything changes. we’ll choose amnesia, constance, because we love the erratic odyssey of discovery.

              from the centre of my conscience, to your dramatis personae.

  7. It is amusing this modern art of accessing Apple and very complicated to decipher. Half the fans (or disguised trolls) slam Apple for not investing in new ideas and avenues while the other half (or amongst the trolls or simply deluded elements the same half) slam them for not concentration on their core activities. The only cross over seems to be that Apple should create new products within their specific area of present expertise though without anyone actually coming up with what form those products should take. As I say very amusing seeing that the critics are even more confused than the Apple management team which must be some sort of uniquerecord.

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