The Largest iPhone Manufacturer, Foxconn, Plans Extraterrestrial Journey Aboard a SpaceX Rocket

Technology

Foxconn Ventures into New Frontiers: Launches Two Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Prototypes via SpaceX Rocket to Showcase Satellite Technology Amid Growing Demand for Space-Based Communications

The world’s largest iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn, is venturing into uncharted territory—outer space.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, recently marked a significant milestone as two prototype low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, produced by the company, embarked on a journey aboard a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in southern California last Saturday, according to a Bloomberg report. This development represents a pivotal shift for the Taiwanese electronics giant as it diversifies into new sectors, prompted by challenges faced by some of its well-established businesses, including smartphones and laptops. Foxconn’s foray into satellite technology aims to showcase its capabilities and address the growing demand for space-based communications.

Strategically positioning itself to specialize in satellites tailored for corporate and government clientele, Foxconn collaborated with Taiwan’s National Central University to develop these backpack-sized satellites, each weighing approximately 9 kg. The satellites are equipped with cameras, communication devices, and essential equipment, designed to orbit Earth every 96 minutes at an altitude of 520 km.

In an industry where Apple’s demands for millions of iPhones per quarter lead to frequent model updates, the LEO satellite business operates on a less predictable cycle, with longer durations between orders. Notably, Foxconn manufactures about two-thirds of the world’s iPhones. As such, for manufacturers like Foxconn, securing consistent opportunities becomes challenging without substantial projects emerging at the right time. However, corporate and government orders provide stability, mitigating unpredictability as Foxconn expands its satellite business.

Taiwan is actively pursuing a plan to launch its inaugural LEO communication satellite, aligning with its strategy to explore space-based alternatives to the undersea cables dominating the island’s internet connections. Foxconn’s new venture could play a significant role in this endeavor.

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