Apple’s next big project may be out of this world. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple has hired two former Google executives with experience in satellite technology for a new hardware team.
Broadband access through satellites
John Fenwick and Michael Trela recently left Google to join Apple. At Google, Fenwick was in charge of the company’s spacecraft operations while Trela led satellite engineering:
With the recruits, Apple is bringing into its ranks two experts in the demanding, expensive field of satellite design and operation. At the moment, these endeavors typically fall into two fields: satellites for collecting images and those for communications.
Apple hiring Fenwick and Trela could be part of a possible move into broadband satellites. The report speculates that Apple is apparently talking with aeronautics and aviation giant:
In a regulatory filing last year, Boeing Co. detailed a plan to provide broadband access through more than 1,000 satellites in low-earth orbit. The aerospace company has talked with Apple about the technology company being an investor-partner in the project, a person familiar with the situation said. It’s unclear if those talks will result in a deal.
At the annual Satellite 2017 conference in Washington D.C. last month, industry insiders said Boeing’s project was being funded by Apple, Tim Farrar, a satellite and telecom consultant at TMF Associates Inc., wrote in a recent blog. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment.
Alternately, Apple might be using Fenwick and Trela’s expertise to help improve its map information gathering and collection process.