From AppleInsider’s “iPhone 13 will support satellite communications, says Ming-Chi Kuo” posted Sunday:
In a note to investors, seen by AppleInsider Ming-Chi Kuo says that the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip that Apple is predicted to be using in the “iPhone 13” will support low-earth orbit satellite communications. He bases this on Qualcomm’s work with Globalstar, making the latter the most likely partner for the effort.
“There are many potential scenarios for Apple’s business model cooperation with Globalstar,” writes Kuo. “The simplest scenario is that if the user’s operator has already teamed with Globalstar, the user can directly use Globalstar’s satellite communication service on the iPhone 13 through the operator’s service.”
If the report is accurate, it won’t be the first smartphone to support satellite communications, but it will be the first mainstream model to do so. Kuo says that other vendors that want satellite communications functions will have to wait a year until some point in 2022, and will have to use the forthcoming X65 baseband chip.
Kuo also believes that this is just Apple’s first foray into the technology. The inclusion in the “iPhone 13” is said to “innovative user experiences that can be integrated with new products.” Specifically, Kuo notes that an Apple head-mounted display or Apple Car would be enhanced by the integration of satellite technology in conjunction with millimeter-wave 5G wireless networking.
My take: We’ve come a long way from Gordon Gekko. If true.