“Bloomberg reports that Apple has recently hired two executives from Google. They are John Fenwick, who was head of Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha.
“Apple has an interest and a need for satellite based imagery, but I consider it doubtful that Apple would want to become involved in satellite engineering simply to support its mapping needs. Satellites are expensive, and Apple Maps is not in itself a profit center,” Hibben writes. “Apple becoming interested in its own satellite based communications networks conjures images of the ultimate walled garden, where Apple controls everything in the iPhone user experience: the phone, apps, communications network, and media content.”
“With the advent of 5G telecommunications systems only a few years away, one would have to question why Apple, or anyone else, would want to invest in the enormously expensive undertaking of launching a LEO satcomm system,” Hibben writes. “In general, they’ve never proven to be as economical as terrestrial systems, and have only found niche markets where there was inadequate cellular coverage. Such markets include shipboard communications and communications in remote areas such as Mount Everest or the South Pole.”
“It is Apple’s seriousness about autonomous vehicles that may be driving its interest in a dedicated satellite network. Such a network could provide very high bandwidth and low latency communications with Apple’s servers,” Hibben writes. “The LEO satellite system could also provide real time mapping in any locale in which the system operates, and this could also be used to enhance the safety and reliability of Apple’s autonomous vehicles.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: For only about the second or third time since Steve Jobs departed this earthly plane, we’re getting the sense that something wicked this way comes!
It may be years out, but, when all is said and done, many Apple naysayers are going to be saying, “They’re baaack!”
We have just one wish: That Apple would keep their eyes on all their current products and update them regularly. The company is large enough and rich enough to keep everything on the shelves fresh and… we lied, second wish: to never have 6+ week shipping delays on any new or existing products (see AirPods and the 8-Core Mac Pro for two current examples).
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple hires top Google executives for new hardware team – April 21, 2017
Apple in talks to buy Boeing communications satellites – March 18, 2015