April 22, 2017

"After revolutionizing phones, Apple Inc. is testing self-driving cars and exploring augmented reality."

bloomberg: Recent hires suggest the company is now also looking to the skies. by Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen

'The iPhone maker has recruited a pair of top Google satellite executives for a new hardware team, according to people familiar with the matter. John Fenwick, who led Google's spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering, left Alphabet Inc.'s Google for Apple in recent weeks, the people said. They report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam, who joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about Apple's private plans. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, as did Google. Fenwick, Trela and Duffy didn't respond to requests for comment.

'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.

'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.'

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