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Analyst: iPhone 13 could be a satellite phone

Analyst: iPhone 13 could be a satellite phone

If the latest speculation of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is true, it means that he can make mountain calls or video chats while at sea, although it can only be an emergency system.

When it comes to the future of Apple, it may be significant that this weekend’s reports state that CEO Tim Cook is now looking for a successor. But for the immediate future of your business, it may be even more important to know that the iPhone 13 can support satellite communications.

An unexpected photo of Apple on the moon?

I’ve heard rumors that Apple may be looking for stars. We know that the company is working with others to develop 6G and that part of that standard includes the ability to transmit data at high speeds over very long distances. But the latest report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s stunningly accurate pen is that the next generation of the Apple iPhone 13 is expected to feature a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication mode, thanks to a tape modem chip . Qualcomm X60 base.

In theory, this would allow iPhone 13 users to send messages and make calls using satellite networks. Kuo also speculates that LEO can be used in Apple’s AR headphones, Apple Car and other connected accessories. But we do not know how these functions will be implemented or even if they will be.

We can speculate that this could mean free messages for other iPhone users globally; it could become an additional iCloud + service that provides improved communication for international users while avoiding the insecurity of local networks; and may simply require a subscription to a satellite communications provider.

If the latter, reported speculation, suggests that Globalstar is the most likely satellite operator to cooperate with Apple in the plan. Globalstar offers a variety of devices and coverage plans, but as a guide, currently charges $ 200 / month for the Orbit Unlimited plan, which promises unlimited voice calls. There are other operators using LEO, including Starling, Hughesnet, OneWeb and, more recently, Immarsat, but we do not know if any of them are accepted. We know that Globalstar shares have increased by 50% due to these receivables.

(Update: Since this speculation, new reports have confirmed the plan, but warned that it may not be implemented until 2022. And there may be a limited implementation that allows users to send messages to emergency services when they are not. there is cellular coverage.Available.They also have an emergency signaling system).

So who could it be for?

A look at the state of the global broadband and mobile network coverage shows many regions at national and international level that are not yet powered by access. This has led to all sorts of solutions, including the use of satellite «hubs» to provide access to some remote areas.

In more general terms, there are several industries working in remote areas of the US that require strong connectivity but do not have access to the mobile phone. Satellite can fill this gap, especially at sea, where maritime connectivity is big business. The use of satellites is also potentially valuable for companies looking for solutions for ultra-private communications outside the public network.

While these services support data, it seems unlikely that you will use these connections to download the latest episode of Ted Lasso, although some may enjoy a bit of following the friendly football coach while on a ship. cargo in the Atlantic Ocean.

We don’t know if Apple intends anything. But if the company were to introduce satellite communications on iPhones, there would be many existing markets that might want to explore the technology; However, the cost of this procedure will inevitably limit adoption. Not many consumers are willing to spend $ 2,400 a year just to be able to send unlimited messages to their colleagues when they are in poor mobile reception areas.

At least not yet.

If Kuo is right, then it seems that Apple’s top is quite confident in these plans. He claims that the teams have been researching this for «some time» and are «optimistic». I’ve heard enough moderate rumors to confirm interest in recent years.

This will certainly be of interest to companies wishing to implement satellite communications in their international equipment. But Kuo’s other claim is that one of the reasons for the change is to help Apple develop «innovative user experiences that can be integrated with new products.»

After all, if iPhones are connected internationally globally, they will become bridges to support IoT deployments on a global scale. Augmented reality machines and glasses may be the icing on the cake, but Apple has the potential to benefit from this connectivity to support the development (or even acquisition) of a global satellite data and communications network.

Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 13 in mid-September, possibly on September 17 for launch a week later.