iPhone 13 will get satellite communications in just a few markets

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 5
Apple could include satellite communications support in the "iPhone 13" after all, with a report claiming units sold in some select markets will gain the functionality.




A note to investors by famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on August 29 claimed that Apple was introducing support for satellite communications in the "iPhone 13," using a customized baseband chip. While other analysts were quick to doubt the claims, one Sunday report seems to support the rumor.

According to Bloomberg's "Power On" newsletter, Mark Gurman claims satellite communications will be included, but only for handsets "in select markets." The feature is one that will only work as an emergency measure, both in specific markets and only if there isn't any cellular coverage.

Gurman insists that the feature won't enable satellite calls to be made anywhere without using cellular access, as that would "cause a revolt from the phone carriers that Apple relies on."

While not an immediately available service, Apple is apparently keen on enabling more satellite communications in the future, envisioning "deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices." However, that plan "is likely years away from taking off."

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,865member
    Pretty badass if true. F the carriers. 
    caladanianrepressthislibertyforallMisterKit
  • Reply 2 of 34
    I wonder how this will work, since all the satellite services I know of require a dish — which is certainly not portable equipment.  

    Also I wonder how much this service would cost, and whether it’s a first step to introducing an Apple cell carrier, which I would think would be an almost guaranteed success if service isn’t awful.

    Certainly Apple’s level of customer loyalty is far, far higher than Verizon’s will ever be.
    caladanianrepressthisMisterKit
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Not exactly true. Read the fine print.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    cornchip said:
    Pretty badass if true. F the carriers. 
    There will not be phone call and text service and the availability is extremely limited. And no, Apple will not "F" the carriers. If they did that, they would be screwed before you could power on your new phone. Plus, do you have any idea what that would do to the cost of service? Obviously not.

    It would not be surprising if Apple's strategy and longer term plan includes building out their on network, but selling satellite service as an everyday affair is not on the table for quite some time.
    sconosciuto
  • Reply 5 of 34
    mobirdmobird Posts: 661member
    Has no one seen a movie where some character is in some extreme remote location and brings out the "Sat" phone? A "Sat" phone is approximately the size of a brick (literally) and has about a 10" external antenna. The iPhone may have the required transmit / receive power but the antenna system maybe a problem...
    repressthissconosciuto
  • Reply 6 of 34
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 645member
    I wonder how this will work, since all the satellite services I know of require a dish — which is certainly not portable equipment.  

    Also I wonder how much this service would cost, and whether it’s a first step to introducing an Apple cell carrier, which I would think would be an almost guaranteed success if service isn’t awful.

    Certainly Apple’s level of customer loyalty is far, far higher than Verizon’s will ever be.
    Handheld satellite communicators and emergency beacons already exist. The Garmin 66i and Iireach series for one, ACR electronics PLBs that send a signal to the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system for another. 
    lolliverpscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 34
    I think satellite services might one day be an option but provided by existing satellite service providers  as Elon musk has been under fire for littering the skies with those mini satellites . Its a logistical nightmare in orbit around the earth as it is. I’m sure Apple with its eco friendly products would  not to one day have people taking pictures or  the night sky on their phones in awe at such s feature is finally available ti the average joe with s smartphone and then the disappointment  to find that the constellations are all man made 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Amazing how people just pontificate about topics on which they have literally zero industry knowledge.
    lolliverviclauyycmichelb76rundhvidsconosciutopscooter63fastasleeproundaboutnow
  • Reply 9 of 34
    cornchip said:
    Pretty badass if true. F the carriers. 
    What’s the difference? It would just be new carriers charging you money for the connection. No one is going to spend billions on launching satellites and not charge for it. 
  • Reply 10 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    There are now some suggestions this won't have anything to do with satellite communications, but might perhaps involve GlobalStar's terrestial network for emergency text messages
    edited September 5
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Amazing how people just pontificate about topics on which they have literally zero industry knowledge.
    Buddy—you’ve got it backwards: the less knowledge I have on a given subject, the easier it is for me to provide clear-cut, unambiguous truths 👀😜

    Absence of knowledge also protects all my prejudices from fatal confrontations with reality 🙈
    sconosciutogatorguylkrupprcomeauGG1fastasleep
  • Reply 12 of 34

    The problem is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while stupid ones are full of confidence. - Chas Bukowski

    sconosciutolkrupp
  • Reply 13 of 34
    If/when Apple adds emergency satellite texting… I am so in.  I was getting ready to buy Garmin’s $350 version.  That would be one less thing to keep track of on hikes.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,513member
    I wonder how this will work, since all the satellite services I know of require a dish — which is certainly not portable equipment.  

    Also I wonder how much this service would cost, and whether it’s a first step to introducing an Apple cell carrier, which I would think would be an almost guaranteed success if service isn’t awful.

    Certainly Apple’s level of customer loyalty is far, far higher than Verizon’s will ever be.
    All of the satellite services that require dishes use satellites in Geosynchronous orbit, which is approximately 40,000 km out from Earth's center.  Low earth orbit is 2,000 km or less, meaning 1/20th of the distance... translating to 1/400th of the power requirements (each way).  Still, it would be quite a feat to make the uplink work.
    edited September 6 fastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 34
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,513member
    mobird said:
    Has no one seen a movie where some character is in some extreme remote location and brings out the "Sat" phone? A "Sat" phone is approximately the size of a brick (literally) and has about a 10" external antenna. The iPhone may have the required transmit / receive power but the antenna system maybe a problem...
    Satellite phones that use LEO satellites do not require antennas anywhere near that large... although they are still larger than what Apple would want on an iPhone.  I've read some stories that say this is down link only (which wouldn't require a large antenna) and others say this is for terrestrial use.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,635member
    Sobriquet said:

    The problem is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while stupid ones are full of confidence. - Chas Bukowski

    This quote completely, accurately describes what takes place on tech blogs every single day. You win the internet today!
    cpsroSobriquet
  • Reply 17 of 34
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,932member
    As long as this feature is in my market, I'm okay with limited availability. <3
  • Reply 18 of 34
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 645member
    thompr said:
    I wonder how this will work, since all the satellite services I know of require a dish — which is certainly not portable equipment.  

    Also I wonder how much this service would cost, and whether it’s a first step to introducing an Apple cell carrier, which I would think would be an almost guaranteed success if service isn’t awful.

    Certainly Apple’s level of customer loyalty is far, far higher than Verizon’s will ever be.
    All of the satellite services that require dishes use satellites in Geosynchronous orbit, which is approximately 40,000 km out from Earth's center.  Low earth orbit is 2,000 km or less, meaning 1/20th of the distance... translating to 1/400th of the power requirements (each way).  Still, it would be quite a feat to make the uplink work.
    Check out the size of a Garmin InReach mini. The thing is tiny. 

    edited September 6
  • Reply 19 of 34
    A partnership w/SpaceX -- Starlink?  

    https://www.starlink.com
    edited September 6
  • Reply 20 of 34
    thompr said:
    mobird said:
    Has no one seen a movie where some character is in some extreme remote location and brings out the "Sat" phone? A "Sat" phone is approximately the size of a brick (literally) and has about a 10" external antenna. The iPhone may have the required transmit / receive power but the antenna system maybe a problem...
    Satellite phones that use LEO satellites do not require antennas anywhere near that large... although they are still larger than what Apple would want on an iPhone.  I've read some stories that say this is down link only (which wouldn't require a large antenna) and others say this is for terrestrial use.
    Which just made me think, would Apple be implementing ATSC 3.0 in iPhone 13, 14, 15...?  

    https://www.lightreading.com/cablevideo/atsc-30-reaches-smartphone/d/d-id/765098

    https://www.nexttv.com/news/atsc-30-everything-you-need-to-know-broadcast-nextgen-tv

    https://www.rbr.com/5g-atsc-3-0-technology/
    edited September 6
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