Apple About Starlink Connectivity With the launch of the iPhone 14 models yesterday, Apple introduced a new Emergency SOS via satellite feature that’s designed to allow iPhone users to get emergency help in off-the-grid areas even when a cellular or WiFi connection is not available.
Apple is using Globalstar satellites for the endeavor at the current time, but SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed today that his company has had “some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity.”
Musk says that the iPhone team is “super smart,” and that space to iPhone communications will work best if “if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating a cell tower.”
We’ve had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. iPhone team is obv super smart.
For sure, closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 8, 2022
Apple has made zero mention of any discussions with SpaceX about Starlink, and there is no word if Apple has plans to enter into some kind of partnership to use Starlink Connectivity technology.
In fact, SpaceX and Tesla in August announced a partnership for a new “satellite-to-cellular” service that will allow second-generation Starlink Connectivity satellites in low Earth orbit to pair with T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G spectrum for the purpose of providing “near complete coverage” across most areas in the United States.
Unlike Apple’s satellite feature that requires an iPhone 14, T-Mobile and SpaceX’s solution should work with existing smartphones. The service will not launch until late 2023, so there are still some details that SpaceX and T-Mobile need to work out.
Apple’s satellite communication feature is designed for emergency situations, and it is used to send short text messages to emergency personnel to allow iPhone users to get help wherever they are. It requires a clear line of sight to the sky for a satellite to connect, and Apple’s service is free for the time being.