Last week, Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable Apple analyst, said that Apple would support LEO satellite communication with iPhone 13. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman then provided more information about the feature and its implementation.
In his Power On newsletter, the journalist says that satellite features will only be available in certain markets.
“The emergency functions will not work in areas with no cellular coverage or in selected markets. Apple plans to eventually deploy its own satellite network to beam data to devices. However, that plan is unlikely to take off .”.
He claims that Apple will not allow iPhone users to make calls without cellular coverage.
“Some people have asked me if the new features of the iPhone allow them to use it as a satellite phone, allowing them to make calls from anywhere in the world with no cellular coverage. It is not happening now, next year, or anytime in the near future. This is not going to happen in the next year em>
Gurman explained that this feature would need hardware that isn’t yet ready. It would also be expensive and could lead to a revolt among the mobile phone companies that Apple depends on.
According to the Bloomberg report from last week, Apple is working on at least two approaches: transmitting short emergency texts and sending SOS distress signals for crises, like plane crashes or sinking ships, in remote areas.
Apple is expected to integrate emergency satellite messaging in the Messages app. This will allow users to call emergency services and friends from anywhere without a cell phone signal. Bloomberg claims that emergency messages will appear as gray bubbles and join the SMS green and iMessage blue. A future version of phone calls could be supported.
According to the report, connecting to a satellite requires that the user be outdoors. It can take as long as one minute to receive a signal.
Apple will unveil the iPhone 13 at an event in September. We are not yet certain if Apple will offer customers a sneak peek of the satellite features.