Telcos are an unavoidable part of using phones. But it looks like Apple may have plans in place to change that. Bloomberg reports that the iPhone maker is working on satellite tech to be used to send data directly to devices.
For now, Apple has not yet decided for sure what the project is for, specifically. But as mentioned earlier, it will likely be used to send data directly to a user’s device. It could also be used to allow for, say, an iPhone, to connect to another without the need for a traditional network by a third party telco. Another use case option is to use the satellite tech to improve location tracking for its devices. This could be useful for improving map features, or even implementing new ones.
The project is still in its early phases, and could be scrapped at any time. It’s also unclear if Apple intends to develop its own satellites, or simply make use of existing ones using on-the-ground equipment. That said, the company has a dozen or so engineers from aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on it. The company is also hoping to produce results within five years, which seems like quite a small window for such an undertaking.
It’s an interesting project for Apple to be working on, to be sure. On one hand, allowing two iPhones to communicate with each other without telcos sounds like an impressive undertaking. But on the other, the project isn’t yet well defined. And the fact that it can be called off at any time makes it difficult to be truly excited about it.