When did satellite-capable phones and watches get so hot? The first T-Mobile and Starlink enter into a technology partnership to bring satellite connectivity to virtually any T-Mobile 5G phone. Then rumors arise that Apple is looking bring some satellite resources (opens in new tab) to the iPhone 14, which most expect to launch next week on September 7. These new communication platform abilities possibly extend to the Apple Watch 8 (opens in new tab).
Maybe it’s the tenor of the world. There are, to be fair, a lot of bad and scary things happening in our little blue orb right now. We have war in Ukraine, forest fires, floods and spasms of violence. What most of these things have in common is that in these situations you usually want to ask for help as soon as possible. If disaster strikes your infrastructure, power to your home, landlines and cell towers, those that support 4G, LTE and 5G, your usual avenues of communication could be cut off.
What won’t be offline though is satellite technology and if you can use it to get in touch with first responders, or maybe you’re one of them, then you’re in luck and maybe your life or someone else’s. be saved.
Typically, you need a special satellite phone to connect to these systems in orbit. That’s why Starlink and T-Mobile’s plan is so exciting.
But here comes Apple.
Apple already ahead?
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this is exactly why Apple is building these satellite services into its upcoming iPhone 14. a new blog posthe calls it “a must-have smartphone feature”.
While T-Mobile and Satlink’s plan is likely a year (or more) away from consumer availability, Apple’s iPhone 14 could be in our hands this month. Kuo claims that Apple’s “hardware testing” has now been completed on the feature.
If the extraordinary speed of these satellite iPhone 14 developments is surprising, Kuo seems baffled, pointing out that Apple has been working on the idea since the iPhone 13.
The fact is that while Apple appears ahead in the satellite smartphone game, it faces the same challenges as T-Mobile and Starlink — and possibly more.
While the latter two companies have struck a deal that combines standard smartphone hardware with an existing and growing satellite network, Apple may still have to strike a deal with any company that can connect to whatever satellite-ready hardware is built into the iPhone. 14. It’s likely these features could only fit into what we hope will be the larger iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Max, and even then, it might just be the first to get these “plug-anywhere, no matter” features which”.
On the other hand, Starlink’s current satellites are not yet ready to connect to any 5G smartphones. They also need new hardware, hence the delay until 2023 or later.
Apple is, Kuo and others like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believe, hot on satellite technology, and as soon as it can find a willing partner (Kuo points to global star), we can have iPhone 14 smartphones with satellite communication capability already in our hands.
Catch up on all of our iPhone 14 coverage ahead of the big event.