Apple’s iPhone 13 will reportedly feature LEO satellite connectivity for emergencies

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 13 series soon, and plenty of details about the new-gen phone have surfaced online in the form of rumours and leaks. The latest report from MacRumors suggests the upcoming iPhones will come with LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite connectivity for users to be able to make calls or send messages in emergency situations where they find themselves with no network coverage.

iPhone 13 could let users make calls without a network

Popular analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note to investors, has suggested Apple will include the technology in the 2021 iPhones. The new-gen phone is said to come with hardware and software for easy connectivity with LEO satellites. With this, users will be able to send a message or call someone even when no 4G or 5G network is available.

iPhone 12 Mini shown for representation. Image: Apple

The iPhone 13 is expected to come with a customized Qualcomm X60 baseband chip for support with satellite communications. Apple is most likely to bring on board Globalstar for this as its LEO satellite communication service provider. That said, SpaceX's Starlink is a popular provider of the same service, too.

It is suggested that for Apple to provide this functionality to users, each network operator may collaborate with Globalstar. This would allow users to directly get in touch with Globalstar's satellite communication service via their network operator without having to pay any extra charges.

As for the new iPhone 13 line up, the company is expected to launch four models: the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. All devices are expected to come with improved cameras, bigger batteries, a smaller notch, improved Face ID, an A15 Bionic chip, iOS 15 and more. The Pro models are also expected to get a ProMotion 120Hz display and a few new camera features, among other things.

The iPhone 13 series is expected to launch next month.

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