Another trusted source of insider Apple information claims that future iPhones will have the ability to communicate with satellites and exchange texts, possibly even phone calls. However, new details have leaked that this feature may be limited.
Apple would consider it a significant step forward. According to reports, Apple is considering launching its own satellites.
News that the iPhone 13 will exchange texts and phone calls with low Earth orbit satellites first came from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo over the weekend. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also supported the report on Monday. He also stated that it would be used only for serious emergencies.
Both sides agree that the 2021 iPhone is likely to have the hardware required to exchange two-way signals from satellites, but Apple may not be able to enable it through software.
Only for emergencies, use iPhone satellite communication
Satellite communication would enable iPhone users to remain in touch even if they are not within the range of 4G/5G mobile networks.
Apple’s service is not intended for casual chat. It will be limited to sending messages to emergency contacts listed on the device. “The texting-via-satellite tool, codenamed Stewie inside Apple, will restrict messages to a shorter length,” says Gurman. “The text messages will be automatically sent to an emergency contact’s cell phone even if they do not disturb setting is off.
If it is stored on the iPhone, it could call emergency services or provide location information and medical history.
Apple is also looking at including a satellite-based system for reporting disasters such as plane crashes.
According to the Bloomberg report, the software for Emergency Message via Satellite is not likely to be available before 2022. Apple may pull out of the project without ever publicly announcing it. The company could go all-in. Gurman notes that Apple may eventually deploy its own satellites as part of its greater efforts. However, this feature will likely rely on existing networks.