Apple is gearing up to launch newer generation iPhones this month. The upcoming iPhone series is tipped to consist of four models including — the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The upcoming iPhones are expected to offer some unique features and one of them is satellite connectivity support. Last week, a report revealed that the upcoming iPhone 13 series will come with a satellite communication feature.
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, a report seems to support the rumor.
Apple started its LEO Satellite X iPhone testing in 2019. However, this is the first time it is featured in any Apple line-up. The new satellite feature in the Apple iPhone 13 will reportedly allow users to transmit short emergency texts and send SOS distress signals for crises, like plane crashes or sinking ships, in remote areas.
Although a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman hinted that there might be a delay in the production of the Apple Watch Series 7, it will still be unveiled alongside iPhone 13 series. He further revealed that the iPhone 13 expected to come with the satellite communication feature is likely to be available in select markets only. The report doesn’t state whether India is a part of the list of eligible markets or not.
In line with past leaks, the new report suggests that the satellite communication feature will not be available until the first half of next year. It is said that the upcoming iPhone models will come with hardware support for satellite feature, but users will be able to use it only next year. The specific timeline for the rollout of satellite communication feature hasn’t been revealed yet.
“The emergency features will only work in areas without any cellular coverage and only in select markets,” noted Gurman. “Apple envisions eventually deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from taking off.
“Some have asked me if these new features mean that the iPhone can be used as a satellite phone and have the ability to make calls anywhere in the world without cellular coverage. The answer is a big no. That’s not happening now, next year, or anytime in the near future.” Gurman stated.