According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple Inc. has poached two top Google satellite executives to constitute a new hardware team.
The hired engineers are John Fenwick and Michael Trela, who led Google’s spacecraft operations and satellite engineering, respectively. This pair of executives left Google in the recent week. These former Google executives will report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam. Duffy was hired by Apple in 2015, who himself left Alphabet after Nest acquired Dropcam.
At the moment, the details of the project Duffy is working on are unclear. But, recent developments suggest that Apple is looking for satellite-based internet.
Apple had held discussions with Boeing about being an investor-partner in Boeing’s plans to beam broadband using more than 1,000 satellites in low orbit. The exact details of the Apple-Boeing deal are unknown.
Apple’s fellow technology giants like Alphabet and Facebook are already making bet in delivering the internet from the air, Apple is looking to do some catch-up.
Tim Farrar, a satellite and telecom consultant, recently wrote, “It’s not hard to discern why Apple might want to consider a satellite constellation.” He also outlined a forecast made by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which has predicted $30 billion revenue from satellite internet in the next 8-9 years.