A recent report claimed that the upcoming iPhone 13 models would feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity, allowing users to make calls and send messages in areas without cellular coverage.
However, in the “Power On” newsletter, Mark Gurman claimed that satellite communications will be included, but only for handsets “in select markets.”
Specifically, Gurman says we should expect the new communication method to be used during emergencies and disasters – like plane crashes, reports iMore.
Some mobile analysts and communication experts recently denied the speculation related to satellite communication connectivity for iPhone 13 series.
The upcoming custom chip for iPhone 13, which is expected to be able to connect with satellites, was not able to do so.
According to PCMag analyst Sascha Segan, the new Qualcomm chip, made in partnership with satellite company Globalstar, does not mean that the next iPhone will be able to communicate with satellites. The chip will be able to take advantage of satellite bands that were previously assigned to satellite service.
Additionally, cybersecurity expert Robert Graham noted that iPhone 13 models will use the downlink satellite communication channel, which occupies the 2.4835 GHz to 2.4950 GHz band and wouldn’t support the phone-to-satellite communication, which is approved for terrestrial use.
Earlier, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the upcoming lineup would feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. This could allow iPhone 13 users to make calls and send messages without the need for a 4G or 5G cellular connection.