iPhone Supplier Foxconn Takes A Cosmic Leap, Diversifies Into Space With Prototype Satellites

Taiwanese electronics powerhouse Foxconn, known officially as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. HNHPF, has reportedly launched two prototype low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites into space. Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple Inc. AAPL, is primarily known for being the world’s largest producer of iPhones.

What Happened: Foxconn launched the satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in southern California using a SpaceX rocket, Bloomberg reported. The move comes as part of an initiative to diversify its operations and cater to the growing demand for space-based communication services, especially as its core businesses such as smartphones and laptops face multiple challenges.

The two satellites, dubbed PEARL-1H and PEARL-1C, were co-developed with Taiwan's National Central University. These compact, backpack-sized satellites carry cameras, communication devices, and other equipment, and are set to orbit Earth every 96 minutes at an altitude of 520 kilometers, the report said.

Unlike Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which has launched over 5,000 satellites to low-Earth orbit for its Starlink constellation, Foxconn aims to manufacture satellites mainly for corporate and government clients, as per the report.

Why It Matters: Foxconn’s venture into space technology signifies a strategic shift for the company, as it looks to diversify its portfolio and reduce reliance on traditional businesses facing numerous challenges.

For the second quarter, Foxconn’s net profit dipped to T$33 billion ($1.02 billion) from a revised T$33.29 billion in the corresponding period last year. The company then predicted revenue from its consumer electronics products to fall slightly in the third quarter as compared to the year-ago owing to falling sales.

Photo by Tada Images on Shutterstock

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