In a recent teardown, it was found that Apple’s latest iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 5G modem. This baseband chip and other components are the reason why basic satellite features exist for the newest models.
Apple Also Has Some Its Own RF Designs Used in the Latest iPhone 14 Range That Enable These Satellite Features
As most of our readers know, all iPhone 14 models will get Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite in November, and that is made possible thanks to Qualcomm’s 5G modem. Reuters reports that custom Apple-designed radio frequency components coupled with software also allow these iPhones to have access to nearby satellites in case users are stuck in an unforgiving predicament. Unfortunately, this Emergency SOS feature is currently limited to U.S. and Canada when it officially launches later this year, but it is possible that it rolls out in other regions too.
The Snapdragon X65 enables 5G cellular connectivity, but on top of making phone calls and allowing data service, the ‘band n53’ allows iPhone 14 models to communicate with satellites. As for how Apple got its latest iPhones to play with these orbital machines, it is not thanks to the technology giant’s own satellites, though the company has been rumored to launch them in the distant future.
This feature is made possible thanks to Globalstar’s involvement, which will allocate 85 percent of its current and future network capacity to support iPhone 14 models and likely future iPhones that support satellite connectivity. However, keeping Globalstar’s satellites above the ground and in orbit requires resources, so Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite is free for two years, after which customers will be charged an undisclosed amount, which could be annual or monthly fees.
Maybe when Apple finally launches its own 5G modem, it may bring additional satellite features to the table. Unfortunately, developing an in-house baseband silicon is easier said than done, with the Cupertino tech behemoth reportedly facing a multitude of problems that have forced it to make Qualcomm its exclusive 5G modem supplier for the iPhone 15 lineup.
We should see Apple expanding on emergency features next year, so let us stay tuned and see what they are.
You might like to check out another teardown.
- First iPhone 14 Pro Max Teardown Shows How Apple Achieved Its Dynamic Island by Arranging Components That Take up Less Space
News Source: Reuters