Is Apple Secretly Working on Satellites to Beam Data to Devices

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  • The work on satellite technology is one of several “special projects
  • Apple has about a dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on the project
  • Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has shown interest in the project, indicating it’s a company priority

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple has a secret team working on satellite technology that the iPhone maker could use to beam internet services directly to devices, bypassing wireless networks, according to people familiar with the work.

“The lessons of prior failures like Iridium, Globalstar and Teledesic are that it’s really hard to find a viable business plan for multibillion-dollar satellite communications projects,” said Tim Farrar, a satellite expert, and principal at TMF associates.

About a dozen engineers

The report mentioned that the iPhone maker 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.

Work on the project is still early and could be abandoned, the people said, and a clear direction and use for satellites haven’t been finalized. Still, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has shown interest in the project, indicating it’s a company priority, reported the news daily.

It also highlighted that the work on satellite technology is one of several “special projects” — an Apple term for skunkworks initiatives or development of major new product categories — underway at the company.

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