iPhone 13 is just around the corner. According to the well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 13 series will feature support for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite calls and messages. Kuo claims the satellite connectivity would allow users to make calls/send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage.
iPhone 13 is said to feature “better 5G support” with the mmWave 5G coming to more countries. Apple is said to be sticking with Qualcomm as a modem provider, but the iPhone 13 will use a modified version of Qualcomm’s X60 baseband chipset, claims the report. This modified modem will allow iPhone 13 to connect to LEO satellites.
LEO satellites are probably best known as the backbone of Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service. But, the service that is “most likely to cooperate with Apple in terms of technology and service coverage” is said to be Globalstar. Qualcomm has reportedly been working with Globalstar to bring LEO satellite communication support to its future X65 5G modems. Kuo, in the report, explained that the “simplest scenario” for providing LEO satellite connectivity to users is if individual network operators, like Verizon and AT&T, work with Globalstar.
Kuo says that Apple is “optimistic” about the trend of satellite communication on phones. According to the previous reports, Apple set up an iPhone satellite communications team but seeing a device, but the team reportedly hoped to ship a product within five years.
Kuo theorizes that Apple could use LEO connectivity on its AR headset, Apple Car, and other IoT products in the future. The company is adding satellite communication to the iPhone 13 series as a stepping stone to build innovative user experiences.
What are your thoughts on iPhone 13 featuring satellite communication? Do you think this feature will be useful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!