RF components designed by Apple and Qualcomm enable satellite connectivity on the iPhone 14


With the new Emergency SOS function on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max from Apple, users may call for assistance even when they are beyond of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage areas. Starting in November, this feature debuts first in the United States and Canada.

A Reuters article stated that the Qualcomm X65 modem found inside the phones is what makes the satellite services possible. According to a statement from Apple to Reuters, the satellite feature is also made feasible by specially created radio frequency components and software from Apple.

The Qualcomm X65 modem supports “band n53,” which allows the iPhone to communicate with satellites in the sky, in addition to 5G cellular connectivity for phone calls and data. Particularly, Apple has worked with Globalstar’s satellite infrastructure.

When a user places an Emergency SOS call but is unable to reach a cell tower, Emergency SOS via Satellite will be made available. The phone will then give you the choice to connect to satellite and send a quick text message in place of that. For the feature to function, users will require a clear view of the sky; iOS will instruct users to point their devices to align with the overhead satellites.

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When text-based channels are available for local emergency services, the iPhone will send these messages immediately through the satellite link. If you don’t call the emergency services, Apple relay centres will call them on your behalf.

From November on, this service will be provided without charge for two years. After the trial time expires, Apple has not provided information about the cost of the satellite service. Initially, just the United States and Canada are available as countries.

It is widely known that Apple is developing an internal 5G modem to replace all Qualcomm components in the iPhone. The company is primarily focused on improving power efficiency (longer battery life) and lowering royalty payments to increase unit cost margins for each iPhone sold.

But creating a modem is exceedingly difficult, and many analysts doubt that Apple will be successful. Apple wants to build on its investments in proprietary silicon for the A-series and M-series SoCs. The first Apple modem is anticipated to be ready for prime time in 2024, according to the current consensus in the rumour mill.

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