Why tech giants like Google, Apple, and Amazon are already considering and even investing in small satellite technology today? Let’s try to figure this out by the modeled business case on why Apple is to heavily invest in this technology, in having its own satellites.
We all know Apple for iPods, iPads, iPhones, Macintoshes, etc. Apple used to make high margins on premium hardware technology. However, in recent decades we have seen Apple shift to service businesses like Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, and iCloud.
The services business line is more predictable. It has healthier margins, and the distribution channels and sales are that simpler and easier as you don’t have to deal with physical products.
Today Apple is pushing its content and services to 1.4 billion iOS-powered devices globally. In the next five years, there will be 3 billion iOS devices in more than 150 countries around the world. There’s a really complex supply chain to deliver data to billions of iOS devices — different telecom companies, underwater sea cables, etc.
It’s quite possible, that the corporation is looking at the horizon of 5-7 years and thinks about streamlining the delivery system of content and services. It wants to get away from that complex chain of intermediaries by pushing the data directly from our own satellites to all these billions of iOS devices around the world.
Satellite technology and competition
However, Google has actually invested in SpaceX to fund Starlink. What we are seeing now is SpaceX launching 60 satellites every couple of weeks. The reality is that the main customer for that is Google, which has a huge ecosystem of Android devices that are competitive to the iOS ecosystem.
Amazon Web Services unit is also a huge portion of Amazon business, apart from their retail line. And this unicorn has already built a satellite factory. They are building the project Kuiper, which is a competitor to Starlink.
So, Apple is the last American tech giant after Amazon, Facebook, and SpaceX, which has to do this next move. And for them spending 5, 7, 10 or even 15 billion dollars over the next 7 years is a no-brainer. They already have this cash. Moreover, their current financial reports say that they have over 200 billion dollars of cash in the bank that are doing nothing.
Satellite pioneers and early adopters
Now, there are early space business pioneers like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk who have a bold vision of having huge constellations of satellites. Also, there are early adopters such as telecoms, car manufacturers, and tech giants who already think of making the very first steps towards having their own satellites in 5-7 years.
Every large enterprise company or even big SMEs that are on the higher end of the size will need to think and leverage satellite technology in the fashion of having their own satellites, which means not having to share data with their competitors, as a way of boosting their existing business.
If your business might benefit from building your own satellite or you are thinking about entering the space domain, get in touch with us. We in Precious Payload will do a free consultation and we can brainstorm ideas. As a company, we can give away a standard template for your space mission. And that could be the start of your innovation with incorporation.
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