Augmented reality devices? Electric / autonomous cars? No one knows what Apple's next adventure will be in an untapped territory for the company, but this novelty beyond the unexpected, let us admit may point to a direction aimed at by Apple that we were not taking into account: o ass.
According to the Bloomberg, Apple recently hired two Google executives who specialize in the satellite area. John Fenwick, head of the Mountain View giant's space operations, and Michael Trela, head of the company's satellite engineering department, packed up and moved to Cupertino. Both had arrived in Alphabet's subsidiary in 2014, when Skybox Imaging, startup founded by them, was purchased for $ 500 million.
Apparently, Fenwick and Trela ??will work on a new hardware team led by Greg Duffy, ex-Dropcam and Nest (a subsidiary, guess what, from the same Alphabet) that Apple arrived at the beginning of the year.
It remains to be seen, however, what Ma's plans are with this new team: the area of ??satellite and space technology is totally unexplored by Tim Cook and his gang, and if they have any intention of building something in this segment, they will certainly have to attract some very heavy names to help them this seems like a good start.
Another obvious question that hangs in the air, among the many raised by the news, is Apple's goal of placing satellites in space. The most obvious answer would be a way to improve Apple Maps, with its own equipment to monitor the planet and collect data without having to resort to third-party solutions. However, nothing prevents Cupertino from having even more ambitious plans, such as, who knows, building his own internet network via satellite.
At this point, everything is possible. Guesses?
Update · 04/24/2017 s 15:18
This story is getting better. In the same report that informed the hiring of the two specialists, the Bloomberg ended up revealing a fact so far unknown to basically everyone outside Apple. According to the publication, Ma bought almost two years ago, in 2015 a startup call Aether Industries, specialized, guess what, in space technology.
Obviously we are not talking here about a secret purchase that is neither legal under the laws of the United States or basically any country, but the fact that until now, apparently, no one had been willing to look at Apple's publicly available financial records to detect the transaction. That is, without fanfare, the Bloomberg gave the scoop two years later. And almost no one noticed it immediately.
As for the company purchased (whose website, curiously, remains on the air), one of its areas of expertise has to do with the use of high-altitude balloons to capture aerial images. Its solution even has the ability to capture images at a resolution ten times larger than any commercial satellite in orbit today. That is, the mystery is tapering off: it is quite possible that Apple entered the enterprise precisely to start capturing images of the planet Earth on its own, becoming independent of the space infrastructure of third parties.
Still, we cannot beat the hammer on any conclusion and, for now, we will be waiting for the scenes from the next chapters.