iPhone 13: low earth orbit satellite communication arrives

iPhone 13 arriva a settembre, con Watch Series 7 e iPad mini 6 thumbnail

New and striking revelations from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who anticipated that the new iPhone 13 will feature a mode of low earth orbit satellite communication. This will allow users to make calls and send messages even when they are not in an area with 4G / 5G coverage. A feature that apparently can also be used by the AR viewer, the Apple Car and other accessories. Apparently, as early as 2019 Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on satellite technology to transmit data to iPhones. But only now the Cupertino company seems interested in inserting it in the new range of its smartphones. Let’s see how.

iPhone 13: satellite communication arrives

The iPhone 13 will support satellite communications. This was revealed by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that Apple’s new smartphone will be specially equipped with a “customized” version of the chip modem Qualcomm X60. For the moment, however, it is not clear whether sending calls or messages via satellite will work only with Apple services like iMessage and FaceTime. Or if the mode can also be extended to other applications. But it is not difficult to assume that this support will only be available for some Apps. Especially considering that the mobile satellite service is slower than conventional cellular data, which makes it difficult to use for applications that require a large amount of traffic.

Furthermore, it is not yet clear whether the satellite features will be free – such as GPS – or if they will have a cost of use in their own right. In any case, it must be considered that it will not be so easy for Apple to be able to equip its iPhone 13 with satellite communication. Also due to the difficulty of choosing a suitable service provider. At the same time, however, it is not surprising that the Cupertino company has decided to equip its new smartphone with LEO mode at a time when its competitors in the technology sector continue to look to the sky. Just think about the project SpaceX Starlink, which aims to guarantee broad Internet coverage thanks to the launch of over 10 thousand satellites in the sky. Even Amazon, for its part, seems willing to enter the satellite communication sector with Project Kuiper.

None of these projects have an actual impact on Apple. Despite this, it is likely that the company has chosen to equip the iPhone 13 with satellite communication due to the current consumption trends. Beyond this, there is no doubt that the new method introduced by the company may represent a significant novelty, which is added to those already anticipated so far. The high refresh rate, the always-on display and the notch reduction are just some of the details revealed by industry experts. In short, the new iPhone really seems to be unique in the sector. But if that’s the case, we’ll find out in the future.

Apple’s satellite communication project

In December 2019 Bloomberg released a report that Apple would equip iPhones with satellite communication within 5 years. Indeed, the company’s interest in technology would have even been antecedent. In 2017, in fact, the company would have entered into a collaboration with Boeing for a satellite project that would have expanded access to the Internet for developing nations. A few years ago, when Bloomberg released the report, the company was still unclear how it was going to succeed. Today, however, this does not seem to be the case. On the other hand, Tim Cook considered satellite communication a top priority. And with good reason. Indeed, it was far-sighted to say the least compared to its competitors in the sector.