At its presentation yesterday, Apple announced the brand-new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, which include significant improvements to display technology, cameras, and other features. But adding a satellite connection is one of the major adjustments. Currently, Apple is working on this functionality with Globalstar, although Elon Musk claimed to have had “promising meetings” with Apple over a prospective Starlink partnership.
For those who don’t know, Starlink is a SpaceX satellite initiative. SpaceX and T-Mobile teamed up to announce a new partnership just a few days before the iPhone 14 was revealed. By working together, T-Mobile and Starlink V2 satellites that might launch as early as next year, T-Mobile wants to include its mid-band PCS bandwidth.
In the absence of Wi-Fi or cellular service, this functionality would enable T-Mobile users to connect directly to the Starlink satellites. With the release of a new version of Emergency SOS in November in the US and Canada, which will be free for the first two years, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will gain functionality for satellite communication.
Apple said yesterday that it will extend the satellite infrastructure with $450 million from its fund for innovative manufacturing. The bulk of this investment, although not all of it, will go to Globalstar.
Elon Musk has now joined the conversation. Today, Musk said that SpaceX and Apple had “promising discussions” about Starlink communication in a post on Twitter. He just said that he thinks the iPhone team is “very brilliant,” without going into more detail about the contents of these conversations.
With Apple, we’ve had some positive discussions concerning the Starlink connection. Obviously, the iPhone crew is quite intelligent.
In contrast to Starlink’s strict cell tower simulation, the closing link from space to the phone will unquestionably function best if phone software and hardware adapt to space-based signals. It will be interesting to watch whether the talks between SpaceX and Apple really go somewhere. On Twitter, Elon has a reputation for stretching the facts.