Bloomberg: Apple has taken on the development of satellite technology to provide a separate communications channel for its devices
22.12.2019 0 Comments
Apple has formed a “secret team” to develop some kind of satellite technology that the iPhone manufacturer will be able to use to transfer data directly to their devices, bypassing the usual communication channels. This was reported by Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the company's plans.
It is assumed that the technology will be ready within five years, although so far many reservations are being made and the specific goals are unclear.
It is reported that the development "is still at a very early stage and may be discontinued at any time." It is unclear what the ultimate goal is. It is also unknown whether the company wants to develop its own satellites or simply use the services of third-party companies.
Anyway, this is quite a promising opportunity. With its own constellation of satellites, Apple can provide communications in places where there is no cellular coverage, more accurately determine the location of devices and improve the accuracy of maps.
According to Bloomberg, about a dozen specialists are currently working on the project, but the team will expand. The group is led by Michael Trela and John Fenwick, former aerospace engineers who moved to Apple in 2017 from Google, where they dealt with satellites and spacecraft Skybox Imaging.
Of course, this data, like any similar plans at an early stage, should be treated with cool restraint. But Apple is not the only technology company showing interest in satellites. Now this industry is experiencing a period of revival, as new technologies have reduced costs. SpaceX, which has already gone quite far with its project Starlink, and OneWeb, and Samsung, and Amazon and Boeing, also wants to provide satellite access to the Internet from anywhere in the world. However, the satellite industry has a complex past and is rife with high-profile failures even among market leaders like Iridium, GlobalStar and Teledisc. Companies invested heavily and launched a satellite flotilla in the 1990s, but ultimately failed to achieve success due to financial and technological problems.
Whether Apple will have its own satellites remains to be seen. But Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown interest in the project, which is potentially a good sign, especially when the company increases research and development costs (by 14% in 2019 to $ 16 billion).