Apple's next big secret project could involve a fleet of satellites that may one day beam the internet straight to your iPhone

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTim Cook, CEO of Apple.
  • Apple is reportedly working on a secret project involving satellites and wireless technology, according to Bloomberg.
  • Apple is said to be aiming to deploy its satellites within five years.
  • It’s unclear exactly what Apple’s intentions for the project are, but it could enable the tech giant to send data straight to iPhone users without relying as heavily on carriers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple has about a dozen engineers working on a project involving satellites and wireless technology, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

The effort could one day make it possible for the tech giant to provide iPhone users with the internet and other wireless services without relying as heavily on carriers, although the report does not specify precisely how Apple intends to use such technology.

Apple is reportedly aiming to deploy the satellites within five years, and CEO Tim Cook is said to have taken a personal interest in the project. The report also says the project is still in its early stages, and may not come to fruition.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Michael Trela and John Fenwick, two executives who were previously working on satellite technology for Google before joining Apple, are said to be leading the project. The initiative was formerly led by Greg Duffy, the founder and CEO of camera company Dropcam, which Google acquired in 2014, the report says. The iPhone maker has also recently hired prominent executives in the wireless technology industry, including Ettus Research founder Matt Ettus and Aerosapce Corp.’s Ashley Moore Williams, Bloomberg reported.

If Apple does intend to build its own satellite network for beaming data to iPhones, it would fit with Apple’s strategy of owning the end-to-end experience of using its products. Its newly-launched Apple Card, which debuted in August, also contributes to this notion, giving the company a bigger role in how people purchase and pay for its devices in addition to how they use them.

It also further suggests that Apple is expanding into new business segments that stretch far beyond the traditional products its generally known for, like the iPhone, Mac computers, and AirPods. Previous reports from Bloomberg and other outlets have suggested that the company is working on a variety of new types of technologies, from augmented reality smart glasses to self-driving car technology.

Taken together, Apple’s reported big bets on new technologies like these also suggest it’s taking a similar approach to firms like Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, both of which have explored the idea of beaming the internet down from the sky through drones and balloons.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.