Elon Musk says he talked with Apple about satellite communication

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2022
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature found in the new iPhone 14 models don't use Starlink, but Elon Musk said that he's spoken to Apple about it.

Emergency SOS via Satellite on iPhone 14
Emergency SOS via Satellite on iPhone 14


As Apple often points out, its custom integration with hardware and software can deliver experiences that few other companies can match.

The iPhone 14 satellite communication feature makes use of custom hardware and software features to help customers in emergency situations. It lets iPhone antennas directly connect to Globalstar communication satellites.

And, Elon Musk has talked to Apple about it.

We've had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. iPhone team is obv super smart.

For sure, closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower.

-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
"We've had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. iPhone team is obv super smart," Musk tweeted on Thursday. "For sure, closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower."

On August 26, SpaceX and T-Mobile announced a collaboration on satellite communication within smartphones. The two claimed that this type of phone connection would be availalbe to users everywhere, or at least "practically everywhere."

The plan with T-Mobile and SpaceX isn't as seamless as Apple's satellite feature. T-Mobile will provide satellite communications for relatively modern smartphones with compatible modems. It will be limited to text messages like Apple's system -- but it has to get off the ground first.

SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Elon Musk claims to have done a lot of things. I’ve learned to take anything he says with a huge block of salt.
    dk49StrangeDaysronnwilliamlondonfreeassociate2FileMakerFellerdoozydozenlolliverpjorlandowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    edited September 2022 entropyswilliamlondondesignrlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,832administrator
    ps10405 said:
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    There is no argument to be made that Musk has hit his promised targets for the roll-out when the reality is that he is behind by years on his targets. That is the literal definition of "overall roll-out has been slow."
    edited September 2022 StrangeDaysronnwilliamlondontmayFileMakerFellerdoozydozensireofsethlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Apple probably wanted its service to fully cover Alaska. Most of Starlink's satellites do not cover Alaska because cause they are not in polar orbits. Only recently has Starlink started adding some polar orbits.

    https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/spacex-starlink-complete-coverage-polar-orbit-launch <--


    edited September 2022 ronnFileMakerFellerbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    dk49dk49 Posts: 265member
    Connecting to Starlink requires a big dish. How will the iPhone overcome that? 
    edited September 2022 byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,186member
    Or at least he thought he was talking with Apple. His memory is a little hazy on that.
    ronnwilliamlondonFileMakerFellerlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,135member
    Starlink is providing impressive internet service in the Outback where the existing sat services sucked. Just saying. You do need a big antenna but smaller than previous options.

    the starlink/t-mobile announcement though was a spoiler because they knew this announcement by Apple was coming. It will be just as limited as the Apple service. It doesn’t  appear to be as hardware dependent, possibly due to the LEO nature of starlink.

    Both announcements though are an indicator of Things To Come.
    dk49 said:
    Connecting to Starlink requires a big dish. How will the iPhone overcome that? 
    You mean for full internet and call service? It can’t. More likely a solution would be a portable base station that could handle say, five cell phones. We have them for our iridium service, but those old things can’t do much beyond voice and text.
    edited September 2022 FileMakerFellerbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    ps10405 said:
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    There is no argument to be made that Musk has hit his promised targets for the roll-out when the reality is that he is behind by years on his targets. That is the literal definition of "overall roll-out has been slow."
    I have no idea what his announced targets have been, but by describing the current subscriber base as simply consisting of stations in Ukraine and ignoring the reality of a half-million subscribers is just really odd. Honestly I think the author is completely unaware of Starlink's subscriber and satellite count and is working with 2021 numbers. 
    williamlondonlolliverbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,283member
    I hope iPhone 14 buyers fully understand the very limited scope of the phone's satellite capability. Apple was very clear about it during the announcement, but you know how these things can sometimes turn out. 
    ronnFileMakerFellerbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,832administrator
    ps10405 said:
    ps10405 said:
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    There is no argument to be made that Musk has hit his promised targets for the roll-out when the reality is that he is behind by years on his targets. That is the literal definition of "overall roll-out has been slow."
    I have no idea what his announced targets have been, but by describing the current subscriber base as simply consisting of stations in Ukraine and ignoring the reality of a half-million subscribers is just really odd. Honestly I think the author is completely unaware of Starlink's subscriber and satellite count and is working with 2021 numbers. 
    While I didn't write the piece, the author is not using 2021 numbers -- otherwise he wouldn't have said anything about Ukraine.

    He also didn't describe it as "simply consisting of stations in Ukraine." That's additive, not in total.
    edited September 2022 williamlondonmknelsonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    dewme said:
    I hope iPhone 14 buyers fully understand the very limited scope of the phone's satellite capability. Apple was very clear about it during the announcement, but you know how these things can sometimes turn out. 
    you mean how many dumb people exist? LOL

    99% of people at this moment think the iPhone 14 is also a satellite phone. 
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    DAalseth said:
    Elon Musk claims to have done a lot of things. I’ve learned to take anything he says with a huge block of salt.
    Like a huge block of $, the richest man in the world. He must be a good block of salt.
    byronl
  • Reply 13 of 31
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,412member
    What Elon Musk just did is exactly why Apple doesn't want relationships with Tesla. I am sure Apple likes what Musk offers but doesn't like his inability to just be silent unless it's beneficial for both ends. 


    tmaylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Not sure why he'd boast about having meetings when the clear outcome of any such meeting is that Starlink didn't have anything Apple was interested in.  Just wants to be the news, I guess.
    FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamdewmelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    crowley said:
    Not sure why he'd boast about having meetings when the clear outcome of any such meeting is that Starlink didn't have anything Apple was interested in.  Just wants to be the news, I guess.
    Doesn’t he always?
    tmaylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,254member
    ps10405 said:
    ps10405 said:
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    There is no argument to be made that Musk has hit his promised targets for the roll-out when the reality is that he is behind by years on his targets. That is the literal definition of "overall roll-out has been slow."
    I have no idea what his announced targets have been, but by describing the current subscriber base as simply consisting of stations in Ukraine and ignoring the reality of a half-million subscribers is just really odd. Honestly I think the author is completely unaware of Starlink's subscriber and satellite count and is working with 2021 numbers. 
    Oh ffs. The rollout has been slow.

    Apple has a billion iPhone user base and growing, so half a million subscribers to Starlink to date looks like a rounding error to Apple. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,254member
    designr said:
    tmay said:
    ps10405 said:
    ps10405 said:
    "SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years -- and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine -- but the overall roll-out has been slow."

    What is this paragraph trying to say? That there is a subset of Starlink satellites providing some sort of different service? Because there are over 500,000 Starlink subscribers across the planet--hardly "hype"
    There is no argument to be made that Musk has hit his promised targets for the roll-out when the reality is that he is behind by years on his targets. That is the literal definition of "overall roll-out has been slow."
    I have no idea what his announced targets have been, but by describing the current subscriber base as simply consisting of stations in Ukraine and ignoring the reality of a half-million subscribers is just really odd. Honestly I think the author is completely unaware of Starlink's subscriber and satellite count and is working with 2021 numbers. 
    Oh ffs. The rollout has been slow.

    Apple has a billion iPhone user base and growing, so half a million subscribers to Starlink to date looks like a rounding error to Apple. 
    Seems like an apples and oranges comparison. No pun intended.
    Seems like you failed to mention that there are today, and will be tomorrow, competitors to Starlink, including Amazon, and hence, why Apple isn't moved by a mere half a million subscribers in a nascent market.

    https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/starlink-here-are-6-of-spacexs-biggest-rivals-for-satellite-internet-dominance
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    designr said:
    Folks, remember, what Apple launched yesterday with regard to satellite functionality is just step one. There's more to come. Starlink may be part of that. We'll see. This is just the very beginning. By the end of the decade, we'll all be walking around with satellite phones and not thinking it is anything special.

    It’ll certainly be one of the legs: satellite, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth… NFC if you want to toss that in.

    Although I’d point out that we’ve all had “satellite” phones for over a decade. GPS. 
    FileMakerFellerdewmebyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    designr said:
    Folks, remember, what Apple launched yesterday with regard to satellite functionality is just step one. There's more to come. Starlink may be part of that. We'll see. This is just the very beginning. By the end of the decade, we'll all be walking around with satellite phones and not thinking it is anything special.

    From the tweet, Starlink emulates a cell tower connection - but that's probably from the ground equipment, which then connects to the satellite using a different protocol and physical signal characteristics. Also from the tweet, if Apple is willing to design the hardware and software to meet the needs of communication with a receiver outside the atmosphere then that will provide an optimal result (which is really just stating the obvious).

    We know Apple is fierce in its efforts to design for the best possible experience, and really their announced capabilities for the 14 series prove that they're willing to adapt their product to the status quo while pushing for the satellite systems to provide functionality that Apple views as best.

    We saw a similar situation with the release of the iPhone: Apple partnered with a carrier that wasn't necessarily the best in the US market but was willing to make the changes Apple wanted. Once Apple demonstrated its strength in that area, the other carriers fell over themselves to do what Apple demanded and Apple was able to partner with them on much more favourable terms.

    I don't see any reason to think that this situation is different.
    edited September 2022 sireofsethdanoxbyronl
  • Reply 20 of 31
    dk49 said:
    Connecting to Starlink requires a big dish. How will the iPhone overcome that? 
    The dish is only needed for sustained, reliable connectivity. It would work in the same way it works right now with the iPhone 14.
    byronlwatto_cobra
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