iPhone 13 satellite communication to work during emergencies and in ‘select markets’ only, report says
Reports that the iPhone 13 will ship with the capacity to make satellite communications are still out there. However, it may not be the ultimate SAT phone alternative as once thought. The feature is purportedly going to work in emergencies and select markets only.
Just when it appeared that everything about the iPhone 13 has been leaked, new information recently came to light. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the device will launch with low earth orbit (LEO) satellite features. Despite other analysts doubting it to become a reality this year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman seems to back Kuo’s claims.
In Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter, the reliable Apple source said iPhone 13 would be able to make satellite communications but only during emergencies. And in this case, emergency means when the user is in a place where there is no cell service.
Gurman added that what’s not happening this year is the iPhone 13 functioning just like SAT phones. That means owners of the upcoming phone will not have the ability to make calls without using cellular networks anywhere. He emphasized that such a feature is unlikely to launch “now, next year, or anytime in the near future.” And that makes sense because Apple would not want to be on the bad side of major network carriers by providing iPhone users an option to bypass their services.
iPhone 13’s satellite features could work in several ways but, initially, it might not include the ability to make phone calls. In an earlier Bloomberg report, the functionality is expected to launch in the form of Messaging-integrated satellite emergency texts.
The availability of the iPhone 13’s satellite features is also expected to be limited. Gurman did not specify which countries are getting the features and only said it will launch in “select markets.” However, Apple might eventually offer it in more territories down the line as it did with Apple Watch’s ECG features.
Apple fans are welcome to take the information from analysts and insiders with a grain of salt. Luckily, the anticipated iPhone 13 launch is happening any week now. The device is expected to be announced at a launch event this month, along with other Apple products.