Apple is allegedly considering the use of satellite technology so that iPhone owners can make an emergency call away from cellular networks. The manufacturer is working on at least two satellite-based functions for emergency situations, such as the financial news agency Bloomberg reported with reference to an informed person. This should enable users to send short emergency messages via satellite via the “Messages” app pre-installed in the iOS operating system – instead of as iMessage or SMS, which requires a cellular connection.
Emergency call in the dead zone
In addition, a function is planned to directly inform rescue services about major accidents – such as a plane crash or a shipwreck – via the satellite connection and to transmit the location and other information.
Apple even considered sending its own satellites into space writes Bloomberg – but will probably use existing satellite providers. Globalstar is currently trading as a partner. Apple’s interest in satellite technology has been known for a long time, the group has not yet presented a specific application scenario for it.
The satellite emergency functions will probably not be ready until 2022 at the earliest, according to the financial news agency. It remains unclear whether Apple plans to charge an additional fee for such functionality or, for example, to integrate it into paid subscription services such as iCloud +. Mobile hardware with satellite connection is sold by manufacturers such as Garmin, for which a subscription is usually required.
Satellite internet or terrestrial 5G?
A previous report by the well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously sparked speculation about a possible collaboration between Apple and Globalstar for the upcoming iPhone 13. Qualcomm’s baseband modem X65, which could also be used in a future iPhone, is to support Globalstar’s 5G band n53, as Globalstar announced in the spring – this involves the expansion of terrestrial transmission technology.