What on earth is Apple doing in near-earth orbit? (video)

Mark Gurman and David Kirkpatrick let their imaginations run wild on Bloomberg TV.

Good reporting. Fun speculation.

For background, see Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen’s scoop in Apple Hires Top Google Satellite Executives for New Hardware Team.

10 Comments

  1. Richard Wanderman said:
    I’ve thought satellite internet was a category someone ought to be in for many years. I don’t know much about bandwidth limitations for moving lots of data around vs. cellular vs. wifi. But, if the bandwidth piece is solvable, it’s an incredible opportunity for Apple.

    And, they could do it in stages: first with higher end phones so not everyone is on it as it shakes down and they add more capacity, then eventually fold in everyone.

    The piece that gives me pause is the idea of a lot of people backing up their iPhones to iCloud via this system. It somehow seems like it would buckle under the weight of it but who knows?

    Facebook went after developing countries by making versions of software that can get access to scaled back FB accounts on very low end phones, very much like the phone version of a chromebook. I’m not sure how well this worked. I don’t see Apple going after developing countries with satellite internet connected iPhones, at least not initially. I see this as something for the current iPhone using world to use to extend reach. As a person who spends a considerable amount of time in the backcountry where cell service is spotty, this would be a great thing for me.

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    April 23, 2017
  2. Fred Stein said:
    So many possibilities:
    1) Just by improving Maps, Apple can enhance, AR, location services, navigation, and make Apple Maps APIs more valuable to 3rd parties.
    2) In many parts of the world, there is no running water, banks, reliable power, medical facilities, or high-speed internet, An iPhone with data can help with banking, commerce, and medical diagnoses even with intermittent power.
    3) I live in Silicon Valley but I’d switch from a carrier to Apple if it gave me a lower price, seamless voice and data in all countries, airplanes, and on local hikes, trips to the coast, etc. Global telecom revenue exceeds $2.2T.
    4) Cars, drones, etc. as mentioned.
    5) Imaging tech, broadly is key to Apple. Better cameras drive upgrade sales, Real time Real time satellite images can show us the road or path ahead; or augment industrial and agriculture uses, or with AR glasses, help firefighters, or soldiers.

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    April 23, 2017

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