Apple has a group working on space satellites, antennae, and wireless technology as the company looks for new ways to beam data directly to Apple devices.
[Apple] has about a dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on the project with the goal of deploying their results within five years, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal company efforts… Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has shown interest in the project, indicating it’s a company priority.
Apple’s work on communications satellites and next-generation wireless technology means the aim is likely to beam data to a user’s device, potentially mitigating the dependence on wireless carriers, or for linking devices together without a traditional network. Apple could also be exploring satellites for more precise location tracking for its devices, enabling improved maps and new features.
The team is led by Michael Trela and John Fenwick, former aerospace engineers who helped lead satellite imaging company Skybox Imaging before it sold to Google in 2014. The pair led Google’s satellite and spacecraft operations until leaving together in 2017 to begin a new initiative at Apple…
MacDailyNews Take: eWorld 2.0! If this is a way to provide internet connectivity to iPhones sans carriers or even just a way to deliver Messages, Maps/GPS data, and/or Apple TV+ – or even just filling coverage gaps around the globe – without the ISP middleman, it would certainly be a defining, distinctive, nearly impossible-to-replicate feature that would set Apple products even further above the knockoff brigade’s raft of inferior facsimiles.
And, of course, real competition in broadband providers is desperately needed in many parts of the U.S. and the world.
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