October 5, 2022

iPhone 14 satellite communication capabilities tested before mass production [Kuo]

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 14 could come with satellite communications capabilities, says new report from TF International Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo.

Sources tell the analyst that satellite communication was a test item for the iPhone 14 before it started mass production. It is believed that this feature could be used to contact emergency services when reception is poor or unavailable.

Satellite communication is one of the test items of iPhone 14 before mass production, and Apple has done hardware testing for this feature. The satellite communication of iPhone 14 mainly provides emergency SMS/voice services.

Whether or not the satellite communication service is offered on the iPhone 14 depends on Apple’s ability to settle the business model, Kuo explains. iPhone 13 allegedly featured hardware with satellite support; however, Apple had yet to negotiate a business model for the feature.

Whether the iPhone 14 will offer satellite communications service depends on Apple and carriers’ ability to sort out the business model. I learned that Apple has already completed the hardware development of satellite communication in the iPhone 13. The lack of support is because the business model has not been negotiated.

Globalstar is considered Apple’s most likely partner. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would acquire 17 new satellites to provide continuous satellite services to a potential customer. This client is rumored to be Apple.

Last year, Bloomberg also corroborated reports that Apple was working on emergency messaging capabilities via satellite. Apparently the feature will be integrated into Messages alongside SMS and iMessage with bubbles that appear gray instead of green or blue. Codenamed Stewie, the feature would be limited to shorter texts and will bypass Emergency Contact’s Do Not Disturb settings. In the future, emergency calls could also be handled.

Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone 14 models at a big “Far Out” event on September 7. Notably, the event name and galaxy-style invitation also allude to the satellite service.

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