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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is reportedly developing satellite technology, likely so it can beam data to users’ iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices.

The company could launch a project using the tech within five years, according to Bloomberg, which described the effort as “still early and could be abandoned". There were no details about whether Apple will build its own satellites, and the goal isn't immediately clear either. If we had to speculate, at the very least, Apple could use satellite tech to improve its maps and location tracking.

Perhaps Apple has more ambitious goals, like providing global internet coverage for its devices and freeing itself from carriers. But, again, it's early-days territory still, with only a dozen engineers currently working on the project. The team, which is continuing to bulk up, is led by two aerospace engineers who used to work at Skybox Imaging, a satellite imaging that Google bought years ago.

Keep in mind Amazon and SpaceX are also each working on providing internet coverage by launching thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit. The internet satellite industry itself has also been around for three decades, but a company has yet to find commercial success. 

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That said, it's easy to see the obvious benefit of satellite technology. It certainly would be in everyone's interest if more and more companies took on the feat.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 20 December 2019.