As the presentation of the next generation iPhone, which is expected in September, approaches, more information about the upcoming devices appears on the network. So, analyst Min-Chi Kuo in a fresh note for investors told on the support of satellite communications technology that will be used outside the coverage area of conventional cellular communications.
This is far from the first mention of such a solution – back in 2019, Bloomberg in one of its publications talked about a promising satellite technology developed by Apple in order to provide a separate communication channel for its devices.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s report says the iPhone 13 (on the eve of the appeared photo of packaging stickers confirming this name) will receive a modified version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem with support for the C-band, used for terrestrial and satellite radio communications. This will allow the iPhone 13 to directly connect to satellites in low Earth orbit for calls and sending messages outside of cellular coverage.
The most famous satellite Internet project of this kind is Elon Musk’s Starlink, but Apple allegedly chose to partner with satellite operator Globalstar, whose shares soared earlier this year when Qualcomm announced that its upcoming X65 cellular modem would support Globalstar Band n53 technology. Previously 3GPP as part of 5G expansion approved the Band n53 range.
It is not yet known whether the iPhone 13 will be able to use the satellite communication channel for ordinary calls and messages, or whether the functionality will be strictly limited to proprietary iMessage or FaceTime services. In the future, Apple may expand satellite communications to include AR headsets, Apple Car and Internet of Things devices.