It was previously reported that the device will be able to connect directly to low-Earth orbit satellites when there is no cellular connection thanks to a custom baseband chip.

The satellite connectivity function that the next Apple smartphone would have to make calls and send text messages when there is no cellular coverage, would be limited only to emergency situations, reports the AppleInsider portal citing an article by Bloomberg.

Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had leaked information that the new iPhone 13 would have support for satellite communications. According to Kuo, the new device from the Cupertino (California, USA) company will be able to connect directly to low-Earth orbit (or LEO) satellites thanks to a custom Qualcomm X60 baseband chip.

Sources familiar with the development of such a feature told Bloomberg that there are at least two related emergency features that will use satellite networks. These functions will allow users to send text messages to emergency services and report accidents in areas where there is no cellular coverage.

Other features

However, it is “unlikely that the functions will be ready before ” 2022. In addition, Apple’s approach to satellite support is limited and will be intended for emergency situations and not for satellite communication in general . There is also the possibility that the functions can be changed or removed.

One of the features, called ‘ Satellite Emergency Message ‘, would allow users to send text messages to emergency services or their contacts via a satellite network in case there is no  cellular coverage . This function would be integrated into the Messages application, where the message would appear as a gray bubble instead of the traditional blue (iMessage) and green (SMS).

The second feature would be a mechanism that would be in charge of notifying in cases of large-scale emergencies , such as air accidents or ship sinks.