Apple’s iPhone 13 will feature satellite communications that will allow users to make phone calls and send text messages in regions without cellular coverage, according to a statement from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The yet-to-be-released handset will include hardware that allows satellites to be tapped into low-Earth orbit, allowing them to stay connected in locations without 4G or 5G coverage, Kuo told investors. The iPhone 13 will use the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip, which is said to support satellite communications.
This latest innovation would make the iPhone more attractive to consumers who live in or near locations that are not well served by cellphones, including travelers who travel to places that do not get coverage but still want easily available communications that are normally reserved for satellite phones.
Kuo named LEO satellite communications service provider Globalstar as the company “most likely to cooperate with Apple in terms of technology and service coverage.” Globalstar has been operating several satellites for voice services at this altitude for some time.
The new iPhone is expected to drop in September, with purported features such as an improved design with a smaller notch, a thicker camera bump and a collection of nifty new color options such as bubblegum pink, matte black and a bronzy sunset gold.
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