What would you say if you heard that a secret team deep in the core of Apple undefined was working on a way to launch a satellite network that would circumvent carriers and beam data and content directly to your device?
According to Bloomberg News, that’s exactly what Apple is doing.
Citing people familiar with the work, Bloomberg reported on Friday that Apple 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.
According to Bloomberg, Apple’s work on communications satellites and next-generation wireless technology means the aim is likely to beam data to a user’s device, potentially mitigating the dependence on wireless carriers, or for linking devices together without a traditional network.
While not directly confirmed by Apple, the project makes sense, given Apple’s intricate relationships with both fixed and wireless carriers globally, as well as its company- and product-wide efforts to move data and software off of devices and into the “cloud.”
Apple isn’t the only company looking to create its own future satellite network. Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report also has plans to deploy more than 3,000 satellites as part of a future constellation. However, the industry is littered with failures. Iridium LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999, and Teledesic abandoned its “internet from the sky” plan more than a decade ago.
Newer efforts from Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report, SpaceX and Amazon are a long way from generating revenue, and Apple rarely enters new categories without a clear way to make money.