Before the launch of the iPhone 13 series in 2021, it was reported that Apple was exploring new satellite communication for iPhone which would allow users to send messages and make calls even without cellular connectivity. Later it was said that the satellite feature will debut in future iPhone models.
Although the satellite communication for iPhone capability did not launch, the tech giant has not abandoned the satellite feature. 9to5Mac claims that its sources have confirmed that the tech company is still working on satellite communication for iPhone.
In the future, Apple could introduce satellite communication for iPhone as an emergency feature
According to the report, the alleged ‘satellite communication for iPhone’ feature is in the prototype phase and its internal codename is “Stewie”.
It’s unclear whether the technology will be ready for this year’s iPhone, but the company has been testing prototypes that are capable of sending text messages over satellite. That system is internally known by the codename “Stewie.”
Previously, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple is using Qualcomm X60 baseband chip to support low-earth-orbit satellite communication for iPhone. And Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman added that the alleged satellite communication mode will be offered as an emergency feature in areas without any cellular coverage. Therefore, the satellite feature will be available in select regions, not worldwide because of high cost and backlash from cellular carriers.
“The emergency features will only work in areas without any cellular coverage and only in select markets. Apple envisions eventually deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from taking off.”
“Some have asked me if these new features mean that the iPhone can be used as a satellite phone and have the ability to make calls anywhere in the world without cellular coverage. The answer is a big no. That’s not happening now, next year, or anytime in the near future.”
Like Gurman, the new report is unclear about the possible launch time of the new satellite communication for iPhone technology.