The iPhone 13 could receive a major new feature, supporting calls and texts even when the phone has no cell service.
The iPhone 13 is expected to be released in September, and could include one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade of any iPhone yet released. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, via MacRumors, the iPhone 13 may use low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide additional connectivity.
Kuo has a long-standing reputation for reliable predictions about Apple, making this rumor all the more exciting. LEO satellites are currently gaining attention as a result of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service. The LEO satellites provide speeds and latency on parwith traditional broadband, and orders of magnitude better than legacy satellite providers.
According to Kuo, the most likely scenario involves Apple working with Globalstar to use their satellites. The iPhone 13 will feature a custom Qualcomm X60 chip with satellite communication support built-in, and Kuo believes Globalstar is “most likely to cooperate with Apple in terms of technology and service coverage.”
If Kuo is correct, the iPhone 13 could be a game-changer for many users in areas where their wireless provider of choice has dead spots in their coverage. With the iPhone 13, those users would still be able to make and receive calls and texts.