Amid the reports of Apple working on a satellite communication system for the iPhone 13 series, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has confirmed that the Apple iPhone 13 will indeed support LEO (low-earth-orbit) satellite communication.
This feature will allow users to communicate via messages when cell coverage is not available. But, this does not mean that it can be used as a satellite phone with ease of calling from the remotest corners of the world, the new satellite communication features on iPhone 13 will have its own set of limitations.
Bloomberg's Apple tech expert Mark Gurman, elaborating on its details and limited availability in select countries, said the feature will be limited to emergency situations and might not be available till next year. In his Power On newsletter, Gurman has written about this new feature and its implementation.
The emergency feature is only expected to work when there is no cellular coverage and only in a select few countries. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Apple is working on two approaches regarding the satellite communication feature.
The first approach is transmitting short emergency texts, while the second one is to send SOS distress signal in times of crisis like a plane crash or an emergency situation in remote areas with no cell coverage. It will be sent via iMessage to an emergency contact, close family or friends or directly to the concerned authority who can dispatch resources for help.
The emergency messages will appear as grey bubbles, and Apple is working on eventually supporting emergency phone calls as well using this feature. In times of emergency, the user will be required to be outdoors, in the open, which will enable the satellite connection and it may take a full minute to secure the connection.
Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 13 in classic Apple fashion using a grand media event in September but it has not been confirmed if users will get a sneak peek of these satellite connection features in the launch event.