Rumor: Apple could be exploring space-based broadband Internet options via ex-Google hires, discussions with Boeing

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Date: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017, 05:19
Category: Rumor

Apple may be getting involved in orbital communications satellites.

A recent report has stated that Apple poached two Google satellite executives to form a new hardware team within the company. The new hires, John Fenwick and Michael Trela, headed up Google’s spacecraft operations and satellite engineering, respectively.

The report noted that both Fenwick and Trela will report to Greg Duffy, the founder of Dropcam who was hired by Apple earlier this year. The trio is though to be working on a project to develop Apple’s own satellite program to beam broadband Internet access to assorted locations.

Apple has also recently entered a partnership with Boeing to launch more than 1,000 low-orbit satellites. The company has reportedly been involved in discussions with the aerospace firm about being either an investor or a partner in the project.

This could represent a new segment of business for Apple, as it’s estimated that competitor SpaceX could generate $30 billion in revenue from satellite Internet by 2025, according to Tim Farrar, a satellite consultant at TMF Associates.

While space-based Internet is an interesting new market, it’s also thought that the hiring of Greg Duffy could relate to consumer products and image-capturing, which could key into creating drones for improving Maps, and thus replacing the camera-equipped minivans.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld and Bloomberg

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