Could iPhone be getting a satellite connectivity feature?

In 2021, various rumors about the iPhone 13 getting satellite connectivity began to spread. Although the present models did not receive the feature update, it is anticipated that the upcoming iPhone 14 could get this update.

Satellite Connectivity on iPhone Models

According to a new report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the next Apple Watch could also feature satellite connectivity. The new satellite connectivity feature can be used for emergencies or to send short texts to emergency contacts when out of cellular service range.

In Gurman’s newsletter ‘Power on newsletter’, the journalist wrote: “The Apple Watch is also destined to get that functionality.” However, Gurman believes Apple’s timeframe could be this year or 2023. Whether it’s on the iPhone or Apple Watch, the technology would provide an alternative to the Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar features.

Continuous Satellite Services

There have been signs lately that Apple and its apparent satellite partner Globalstar Inc. might be getting closer to launching such a feature. In February 2022, Globalstar said it reached an agreement to buy 17 new satellites to help power ‘continuous satellite services’ for a ‘potential’– and unnamed – a customer that had paid it hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since rumors point out that Apple could be aiming for three new Apple Watches in 2022 – the regular model, a new SE, and a brand-new Watch destined for extreme sports – it would make sense if at least the regular model and the rugged Apple Watch both get this feature.

In 2021, Gurman was already doubtful about satellite communication launching with the iPhone 13 by saying the hardware wasn’t ready yet for the new phones. Now, even if this feature launches in 2022, it will likely be restricted to key markets.

According to Gurman’s newsletter: “The emergency features will only work in areas without any cellular coverage and only in select markets. Apple envisions eventually deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from taking off.

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