KEY POINTS

  • Apple is rumored to launch its new iPhone series sometime in September
  • There have been speculations that it will be called iPhone 13
  • It may allow users to make calls, get internet service in areas without cellular coverage

The next flagship iPhone series would reportedly have Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity, a groundbreaking and potentially lifesaving feature that consumers won't find in any other smartphones available in the market today.

New and upcoming smartphones feature 5G connectivity support, which consumers prefer in this day and age of almost instant connectivity. But what about those in areas where there's a poor signal or have no cell towers at all?

It appears Apple has already solved this problem, based on the latest set of information from Taiwan-based and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Macrumors, which cited Kuo's most recent investor's notes, the next iPhones, presumably called the iPhone 13 series, would introduce LEO satellite communication connectivity.

apple-sale-iphone-12 The new iPhone 12 line. Photo: BestBuy

This will be possible with the use of the custom Qualcomm X60 baseband chip. Through this technology, iPhone 13 series users would be able to send text messages, make calls and get internet service in areas without cellular coverage.

The analyst also said network operators would need to work with satellite communications providers like Globalstar to direct iPhone 13 to their LEO satellite network without any strings attached. This feature is indeed groundbreaking and could potentially save lives.

Apple is believed to have a whole in-house team working to create opportunities with satellite connectivity technology on its other future devices. Interestingly, following the release of details from Kuo, Bloomberg released a new report about iPhone 13 series' LEO feature.

Apple's plan to let users connect their iPhone to satellites may have a limited function, the article claimed. One feature called Emergency Message via Satellite will reportedly be integrated into the iMessage app as a third protocol and instead of showing green or blue bubbles, it will have gray ones.

The other feature is a "tool to report for major emergencies, such as plane crashes and sinking ships, also using satellite networks," the report revealed. Moreover, it mentioned that while the iPhone 13 series will have the necessary hardware to make satellite calls, these supposed features may not be ready before 2022 as per a source.

Though there have been speculations that the new iPhone series will launch sometime in September, Apple has not yet commented on its rumored features.