Apple’s next huge project may be satellites

Eric Abent - Dec 20, 2019, 9:19am CST
Apple’s next huge project may be satellites

For a while now, we’ve seen Apple attempt to expand beyond mobile devices and hardware to find extra sources of revenue. This year, those efforts materialized into a bunch of different subscription services, but over the new few years, we may see the company go in a completely different direction. According to a new report, Apple may take a page out of the SpaceX handbook and launch some satellites of its own.

It’ll likely be some time before we see Apple actually launch this initiative, but Bloomberg reports today that the company has assembled a team of “about a dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries,” and hopes to see this project come to a head in the next five years.

Bloomberg spoke to unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s plans, who note that a “clear direction and use for the satellites hasn’t been finalized.” What’s more, this may wind up being the only thing we hear about Apple’s satellite ambitions; since the project is still in its early days, there’s a chance that Apple will plug the plug long before we ever see it actually launch a satellite.

Should this project make it to the finish line, though, we’re not sure what Apple would use the satellites for. Bloomberg suggests that they could be used as a way for Apple to bypass carriers and beam data directly to devices. Another possibility is that Apple could use these satellites to bolster its GPS offerings, specifically in Apple Maps.

Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but even if Apple does make good progress on this satellite project, it’ll probably be a long time before we hear anything official about it. We’ll keep an eye out for more, and we’ll let you know if new information comes down the pipeline.


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