Apple unveiled its all-new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro at yesterday’s event with big upgrades to show off tech, cameras, and more. One of the biggest changes, however, is the addition of satellite connectivity.
As it stands, Apple is working with Globalstar on this feature, but Elon Musk said he’s also had “promising conversations” with Apple about a potential Starlink deal.
iPhone 14 satellite technology
For those who don’t know, Starlink is the satellite project operated by SpaceX. Just days before the iPhone 14 announcement, SpaceX and T-Mobile teamed up to announce a new partnership. Through this partnership, T-Mobile hopes to integrate its mid-band PCS spectrum into Starlink V2 satellites launching next year. This feature would allow T-Mobile customers to connect directly to Starlink satellites when no mobile or Wi-Fi is available.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro add support for satellite connectivity through a new version of Emergency SOS. The feature will launch in November in the US and Canada and will be free for the first two years.
Along with that announcement yesterday, Apple said it would spend $450 million from its advanced manufacturing fund to expand satellite infrastructure. Globalstar will receive the majority of this funding, but not all of it.
Now Elon Musk has entered the chat. In a post on twitter today, Musk said SpaceX had “promising conversations” with Apple about Starlink connectivity. He didn’t elaborate on the details of those discussions, only that he thinks the iPhone team is “super smart.”
We’ve had promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. The iPhone team is obv super smart.
Of course, closing the link from space to phone will work better if the software and hardware of the phone adapt to space signals versus Starlink purely emulating the mobile tower.
Whether anything materializes between SpaceX and Apple remains to be seen. Elon is known for… twisting the truth on Twitter.
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