According to a report by Bloomberg, the world's most valuable company, Apple, is investing in the research and development of satellites and wireless technologies. And as per the report, the Cupertino firm has a top-secret team working on the venture, but what exactly Apple aims to extract from the investment is nebulous at this point.
The most likely use-case, according to people familiar with the matter, is that Apple is investigating new ways to improve connectivity between devices through direct satellite connections. Specifically, the Cupertino firm might be looking into beaming data to devices thereby potentially doing away with the need for mobile carriers. Or the efforts might be for creating a novel network of devices, or perhaps for improving the location tracking and accuracy.
The California giant has hired a dozen, venerable professionals hailing from satellite, aerospace, and antenna design industries within five years. While the project is still in its infancy and might even be abandoned ultimately, it is one of the many 'special projects' underway at Apple and the company's CEO, Tim Cook, has expressed his interest in it.
The clandestine team working on the initiative is headed by Michael Trela and John Fenwick, two former aerospace engineers who joined Apple in 2017. Trela and Fenwick have mostly dealt with research in satellite technologies and their work has picked up pace in recent months. Alongside the two, the recruits include, Matt Ettus, the founder of Ettus Research and a renowned name the realm of wireless technologies and Ashley Moore Williams, an executive from Aerospace Corp. who also deals in communication satellites. They're joined by Daniel Ellis, a former Netflix executive who has experience in building networks that can beam data on a global scale. He also helped oversee Netflix's content distribution network.
As stated before, the direction and motivation of this project are unclear at this point. Furthermore, there's also the question of whether Apple will leverage the existing network of satellites or build its own constellation orbiting the earth. Only time will tell what Apple aims to extract from this venture. For that, as always, we shall be on the lookout for.