Apple takes off like a rocket on satphone speculation

apple rocket satphone rumorLook what a Ming-Chi Kuo rumor can do.

From CNBC's "Shares of Globalstar soar 50% on rumor iPhone 13 will use satellites directly" posted Monday:

Shares of Globalstar, a satellite services provider, soared more than 50% Monday following a report that the next iPhone will have the ability to utilize satellite communications.

TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a note to investors Sunday that Apple is “optimistic about the trend of satellite communications” and “will likely” include the ability to connect to extraterrestrial networks in its upcoming iPhone.

The new iPhone is expected to launch this fall. Apple has not announced any details on the device yet. The phone doesn’t have an official name, but many are referring to as the iPhone 13 for now.

Kuo said that Globalstar is most likely to partner with Apple. The company has an existing satellite phone network of 24 satellites in low Earth orbit.

“If Apple enables the relevant software functions, iPhone 13 users can call and send messages via satellite when not within 4G/5G coverage,” Kuo wrote.

My take: Good scoop, if true.

See also: What Ming-Chi Kuo said about the iPhone 13 and near earth orbit

apple rocket satphone rumor

UPDATE: Uh oh. Sascha Segan, who covers this beat, calls BS on the "talk to satellites" bit.

For more skeptical reactions, see Rumor-blaster: The iPhone 13 is NOT a satellite phone


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    Now there’s a lot of investment money that’s going to go poof – bye bye.

    August 30, 2021
  2. Most arguments for future growth engines in communication are weaker than satellite integration. Glider and drone transmitters are not the answer. Globalstar did not launch 24 birds to watch them glimmer in the sun. Musk has an array of satellites in low earth orbit. Satellite tech offers the ability to bring the Internet/media content to those billions out of reach of cell signals or where towers are overloaded or where towers are knocked out due to cyclones.
    Few people understand the power consumption of cell sites and switching centers. Solar is very efficient above the clouds. Cell site power consumption is massive. The hardware vulnerable to hurricanes, fires, floods, tornados, and vandals stealing the handles. Putting some or all of that hardware in space reduces the concerns to collisions with space junk, space war and solar flares.
    This development removes the telecom monopolies from their lofty perch. Finally, it offers the potential of removing government censorship without constantly requiring proxy servers. Given Apple’s propensity for augmenting user privacy, it fits right in with Apple, Inc.
    Even if today’s rumor is not true, I can see Samsung or Xiaomi or other handset makers drooling over the $3.50 AAPL share price spike this morning. Engineers there are already exploring satellite signal use. A.C. Clarke was definitely on to something.

    August 30, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Considering the problems I have in my house with cell signals, I’m not sure satellites are the answer. But iOS is pretty good about switching phonecalls between WiFi and cellular.

      August 30, 2021
    • Fred Stein said:
      Thanks Thomas – insight and detail

      August 30, 2021
  3. Paul Brindze said:
    My view … the other factor here is technical.

    Holding AAPL under 150 probably involved a fair amount of short selling from those who believed the negative thesis.

    If true, though the rumor maybe the spark, we might very well be seeing a little short squeeze accelerating this.

    Also, rumors of Apple event mid month date probably means event invitations soon, and players trying to get ahead of that.

    August 30, 2021
  4. $4.50/share gains on decent trading volume is not simply about classical music or satphones alone. Dan Ives rightly downplayed the impact of various nation’s attempts to regulate App Store. A Monday morning reminder to traders that Apple is about to release a new phone, perhaps early. WS brokers had to evacuate homes on Long Island/Fire Island earlier than usual? How about simply a rock-solid consumer product & services firm outperforming despite all manner of crisis: chips, logistics, regulatory, pandemic & labor?

    August 30, 2021
  5. Daniel Epstein said:
    Somehow I doubt that this move is only related to the Sat Phone conjecture. Other explanations are plausible and given the maginitude of today’s move it is likely multiple factors behind the pop. Maybe that Tim Cook wants to stick around for another large product introduction before retiring. Years of growth ahead if the investment Apple has promised in the US pays off. Hard to have Nasdaq and Dow highs without Apple participating more than it has been lately.

    August 30, 2021

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