There has been a rumor over the past few months that Apple is working on satellite connectivity. For its users stuck in remote areas with no network during emergencies. And According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is indeed working on satelight connectivity for the iPhone 14. And is planning to launch it alongside iPhone 14 next month. The hardware tests for the feature have been completed ahead of mass production.
But there is a little hurdle standing in the way of this feature. And that is their business model with the carrier’s operators. Kuo says that Apple has the hardware to support satellite connectivity. But whether the iPhone 14 will truly be able to offer satellite communications depends on Apple’s ability. Which according to him is “whether Apple and operators can settle the business model or not.”
The iPhone 13 also had satellite connectivity hardware. But it did not implement connectivity because of the business model negotiation. This hurdle had already delayed the feature once as the hardware was already in working condition during the iPhone 13 launch. And the delay was due to the fact that Apple couldn’t figure out the business end with carriers. Let’s see if this feature can make it into iPhone 14 or do we have to wait for more?
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According to Kuo’s latest prediction, the iPhone will “eventually” have satellite communications, but it’s “hard to predict precisely when.” Kuo also says that he expects satellite communication features to launch with the upcoming iPhone 14 next week and that it will become an increasingly common feature in smartphones over the coming years.
Implementing this feature would allow iPhone users to send text messages and voice services via satellite in remote areas. And that is without cellular coverage in emergencies. In some reports, you might even be able to alert your contacts using satellite connectivity.
Kuo believes that Due to the increasing frequency of natural disasters & geopolitical conflicts in recent years. Apple is likely to settle a deal with the carrier operators this time.
And Carriers may also play hardball with Apple, given their interest in offering their satellite connectivity features and plans. T-Mobile and SpaceX announced a plan last week to provide smartphone connectivity anywhere in the United States. Using the “satellite-to-cellular” service, the timing of the announcement may have been planned to preempt Apple’s satellite-related announcement.
SpaceX and T-Mobile plan to launch a beta of the service in 2023. And it likely will not require an iPhone 14. Meanwhile, AT&T is working with a company called AST SpaceMobile. It aims to provide broadband by beaming it to phones via satellite. Verizon has also partnered with Amazon’s Kuiper satellite project. However, it focuses on providing service to remote cell towers. Where it wouldn’t be practical to run fiber or cable.
Kuo goes on to say that Apple is most likely to partner with Globalstar. For the satellite functionality inside the iPhone. Ultimately, the timing of when (or if) Apple debuts satellite features inside the iPhone depends on one thing. Which is “whether Apple and operators can settle the business model,” according to Kuo.
Apple is announcing the iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Pro during its “Far out” special event on September 7. In fact, the artwork for the event might very well hint at the new satellite features. What do you think? Let us know down in the comments.