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iPhone 14 won’t be the only iPhone to support satellite communications

Published Aug 30th, 2022 6:50AM EDT
Apple iPhone 13 Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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One of the rumored iPhone 14 features is satellite communications support. Specifically, this feature will let users text and call over satellite networks in remote areas where cellular and Wi-Fi connectivities are absent. The feature sounds familiar because rumors claimed the iPhone 13 series would support satellite connectivity last year.

If Apple is ready to bring satellite communications to the iPhone, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 series will support the connectivity. That’s according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest report.

Kuo addressed the iPhone 14 satellite communications rumors on Medium, explaining that Apple has been working on the feature for a few years.

“The increasing frequency of natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts in recent years will likely make emergency texting/voice services via satellite communication a must-have smartphone feature,” Kuo said.

The insider explained that Apple had completed the satellite communications test for the iPhone 14 models before production. He also reiterated claims from other reports that the feature enabled text and voice services for emergency services.

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders
iPhone 14 Pro 3D renders: Color concepts. Image source: Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital

But it’s not up to Apple to simply turn on the feature on the iPhone 14. If Apple and operators “can settle the business model,” then Apple can offer customers this new communication feature.

Kuo also mentioned the iPhone 13 in this context. According to him, “Apple had already completed the hardware development of satellite communication in the iPhone 13.” The feature isn’t turned on on the 2021 iPhones because Apple has not finalized the business model.

With that in mind, Kuo says it’s hard to predict when the iPhone will offer satellite communication. Therefore, the iPhone 14 might not support the new connectivity mode at launch. With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see whether Apple announces the feature during next week’s event.

Kuo also noted that Apple is likely to partner with Globalstar for satellite communication support. It’s unclear whether carriers will have any say in enabling satellite communications on the iPhone. But some of them are already interested in the feature, with T-Mobile having already announced such a project.

Finally, the analyst says that competitors will also offer satellite communications support on their devices. Huawei’s upcoming Mate 50 might be one such device, with the Chinese company set to unveil it on September 6th.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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