This would make Satphones redundant and obsolete. Android manufacturers copying in 3…2…1…
Everyone has been anticipating the next iPhone, especially now that Apple may be finally retiring the elongated notch that most phones don’t have anymore. Jon Prasser, a tipster, said the phones would be unveiled on 14th September at Apple Park. According to the rumour mill, the most notable upgrades from the previous iteration include the powerful A15 processor, a 120Hz OLED (Retina) screen and significant autofocus and camera enhancements. Now, an Apple analyst named Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple may even include satellite support for the iPhone.
Before we get into that, what exactly is a Satellite phone? A Satphone uses satellite services and is intended for emergency use, or to contact anyone from outside cellular range. These may include places like mountains and dense forests. In addition, cellular towers tend to die off during a large environmental disaster such as typhoons and earthquakes. But because Satphones connect via satellite, users can call other users with Satphones without having to worry about losing connectivity or signals. One drawback of Satphones is that they are quite expensive to purchase and they have, ironically, a limited area support, depending on the telecoms service you have in your country.
In that case, if Apple did implement a Low-Earth-Orbit satellite system for the next iPhone, then that’s definitely a huge step forward and a milestone for smartphones in general. Yes, Android Satphones exist, but they are outdated and are usually from the Satphone provider as well. With Apple making the first move, it’s about time we get to see contemporary smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi make their next flagship have satellite services as well. Apple has a huge influence over the standards of the smartphone industry.
In addition, Kuo states that, starting from the iPhone 13, Apple would also implement LEO satellite services in other products such as IoT products, the Apple Car as well as an upcoming AR headset. For the iPhone 13 to communicate with satellites, it needs to have an appropriate connectivity chip. In this case, a modified Qualcomm X60 baseband modem chip.
We are hoping to see this tech when the iPhone 13 launches, as this would be a huge step forward for the company, maybe even gasp INNOVATION! This is one of the features that we are excited to see for iPhones, and soon, contemporary Android phones as well. However, as we mentioned, satphones tend to be expensive and has limited coverage, depending on the network provider, so we don’t know how Apple’s gonna price the iPhone 13 with this tech enabled, the iPhones are already expensive enough. It is unknown whether users can only contact through Apple messaging apps like iMessage and FaceTime, or that users can choose a third party app so as long there’s signal.
You can also read our guide about Satellite phones in general.