Apple has tested satellite connectivity on its upcoming iPhone 14 ahead of mass production, says Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo tweeted a link to his blog post, where he says that Apple has the hardware support for satellite connectivity, but whether the iPhone 14 will support satellite communications depends on “whether Apple and operators can settle the business model.”
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) August 29, 2022
Kuo says it is “hard to predict” when the iPhone will offer satellite communication services, but it is expected to happen “eventually.”
This will allow iPhones to connect directly to the satellites. MMS and SMS text messages will be available at first, followed by voice and small amounts of data, anywhere in the world.
Apple has been rumored to be working with Goldstar, and Kup confirms that Goldstar is the operator Apple is most likely to partner with.
Last week, it was announced that SpaceX and T-Mobile plan to launch a beta of the service in 2023, and it likely will not require an iPhone 14.
To provide this service, the companies will create a new network, broadcast from Starlink satellites using T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum nationwide. This true satellite-to-cellular service will provide nearly complete coverage almost anywhere a customer can see the sky.
T-Mobile is planning to give customers text coverage practically everywhere in the continental US, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico, and territorial waters, even outside the signal of T-Mobile’s network starting with a beta in select areas by the end of next year after SpaceX’s planned satellite launches.