Guess it’s time to bring back the phones from the 90s….
Apple knows how to keep its customers hooked by introducing new features to their iPhones and this time it’s rumored that the new iPhone 13 would have a satellite communication mode with low-Earth orbiting satellites. This means you can easily make calls or text your contacts even when you’re not in a 4G/5G tower coverage area.
It is also reported that the iPhone 13 would use a Qualcomm X60 baseband modem chip which is used for satellite communication. This seems like a great initiative especially for people who live in rural areas or travel to remote places where 4G connection is not available and its difficult to stay in touch with the rest of the world. It won’t be wrong to give some credit to Elon Musk’s space firm, SpaceX for launching these low-Earth-based satellites which are part of a bigger idea to launch a novel broadband service that is available everywhere on the planet.
SpaceX may have taken the lead in building these internet satellites in the orbit but according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Globalstar is another LEO satellite communications service provider that will “most likely partner with Apple in terms of technology and service coverage.” Globarstar is a more experienced company when it comes to satellite communications as it has been providing voice services at LEO for a few yeas now.
According to some other rumors, it seems like iPhone 13’s satellite connectivity would just be for emergency situations. The new feature which is dubbed as Emergency Message via Satellite would patch into the satellite network and enable users to send an emergency text to their contacts or helpline in case there are no network signals. “The phone will ask what kind of emergency is happening, such as whether it involves a car, boat, plane, or fire,” according to the report.
While it’s still in the early stages, the option to make emergency texts using satellite connectivity would surely attract more customers towards Apple especially those in the rural areas.