Apple is always hard at work on something, and while it already has several teams in place, with a litany of talented folks behind-the-scenes, that doesn’t means there isn’t always room for more.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has hired a pair of former executives from Google Satellite, both of which are now working as part of a new hardware team. The two new additions, according to sources, are John Fenwick who led Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, who was the head of satellite engineering:
“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.”
The report states that while the focus of the new team is unknown at this point, what the pair of executives have worked on the past is an expensive field, with the majority of the focus being on communications or collecting data. Interestingly enough, the report does mention that Boeing has plans to launch a satellite broadband network, and that the company had reached out to Apple to be an investor-partner. However, it’s unknown if those talks turned into anything more:
“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.”
So, while it’s not known what the pair are doing at Apple right now, it seems at least somewhat likely that it has something to do with Apple Maps, in some capacity. Or it could be the building blocks needed to launch something new in the future.