Electronics giant Foxxcon, known as the main sponsor of the iPhone, is looking for new markets in the space, Bloomberg reported.
On Saturday, the first two satellites from the company, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, were launched by a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California.
The launch of the satellites represents a turnaround for the Taiwanese electronics company, which is working to diversify into new sectors, as a result of declining demand for smartphones and laptops.
Now the company must prove it has the satellite technology to meet the growing demand for communications from space.
The LEO satellites are the same type of satellites that make up Elon Musk’s Starlink constellation, which already number 5,000 in space.
Foxxconn’s target audience will be satellite communications mainly for businesses and the public sector, and the satellites were developed in cooperation with the National Central University in Taiwan.
These devices are the size of a backpack, weigh 9 kilograms, and carry a camera and communication units that will be able to orbit the Earth every 96 minutes at an altitude of 520 kilometers.
In recent years, the electronics giant has ventured into various industries, including electric cars, digital health and robotics.
Foxxconn CEO Yong Liu says in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that the company is banking on new industries that make the company “capable of growth in the next 10 to 15 years.”
Revenues from Foxconn, the world’s third-largest private employer after Walmart and Amazon, are expected to decline by about 6 percent to $192 billion, according to Bloomberg estimates.
Satellites are one area the company hopes will become a factor of growth, but Tim Farrar, president of communications firm Media and Finance Associates Inc., tells Bloomberg that although Apple needs millions of iPhones every quarter and is updating models regularly, but there can be a long time between customer orders via satellite.
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