About a year ago, heading into the
launch of iPhone 13, there was talk that the new smartphone models would be able to send text messages and make calls via satellite services when other connections aren’t available.
The idea, which came from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with the Taiwan-based securities firm TF international, included the possibility that Apple (ticker: AAPL) could partner with
(GSAT) on the service. As it happened, Apple didn’t announce any satellite connectivity deal, with Globalstar or anyone else, for iPhone 13.
But with iPhone 14 almost certain to make its debut at a product launch event Apple has scheduled for next week, Kuo is once again floating the idea. In a post on Medium, Kuo wrote that Apple has been testing a satellite communications feature that would allow emergency text and voice services. He again suggested that Globalstar will be Apple’s partner on the service if it materializes.
“The increasing frequency of natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts in recent years will likely make emergency texting/voice services via satellite communication a must-have smartphone feature,” Kuo wrote. “Whether iPhone 14 will offer satellite communication service depends on whether Apple and operators can settle the business model.”
He said that while it is hard to predict precisely when Apple will add satellite connectivity to its phones, “it will happen eventually.”
Neither Apple nor Globalstar immediately responded to a request for comment.
It’s worth noting that the invitation to the Apple event taking place on Sept. 7 included the headline “Far Out,” with an Apple logo on a field of stars.
Apple is expected to announce four phone models, in both 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen sizes. The new phones are expected to get a significant camera upgrade, a new processor in higher-end models, and a new design that replaces the old “notch” at the top of the screen with a new “pill and hole” design for the front. facing cameras and sensors.
On Monday, Apple was off 0.9%, to $162.12, while Globalstar was 3.3% lower at $1.93.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]