Somewhat akin to Apple’s work on a self-driving car, the company’s satellite communications project has been an open secret for some time — former Dropcam, Google, and Apple executive  referenced the topic on his public LinkedIn profile months ago. But even after  reported the discovery today, the key question about Apple’s interest in satellites remains unanswered: “Why?”

Like its seemingly out-of-nowhere interest in making either cars or telematic systems for cars, Apple appears to be watching the pursuits of , and planning its role in a world where those innovations become mainstream. , but wound up building its own from scratch. Now it’s hiring multiple satellite experts who worked at Google, aerospace companies, and network-building firms, seemingly to emulate , though the actual end goal of

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