Check out this fun iPhone 13 rumor! If Apple holds to its regular schedule we’re some weeks away from a new iPhone, and until now the rumors have been slightly boring. Yet noted Apple prognosticator and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now claiming the iPhone 13 could have the capacity to make satellite calls constructed right in, according to MacRumors.
Kuo claims that the iPhone 13 will be able to connect directly to low earth orbit (or LEO) satellites thanks to a customized Qualcomm X60 baseband chip. LEO satellites are best known as the backbone of Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service which works with satellites in a lower orbit to beam internet down to consumers and bypass some of the common pitfalls of satellite internet, comes with high latency, and common blackouts.
But Starlink isn’t the only company using LEO satellites for connectivity. Hughesnet and OneWeb have joined forces to release a competitor to Starlink and Immarsat stated a new constellation designed to mix with terrestrial 5G networks for a more global solution. More crucial for this iPhone rumor is Globalstar, which observed its stock skyrocket this year when Qualcomm revealed its upcoming X65 chip would support Globalstar’s Band n53 tech.
If this news is true the X60 would likely be carrying another element of 5G, which is currently composed of a mix of technologies, including the ultrafast but limited range millimeter-wave and the more widespread, but slower C-Band. LEO 5G would give support in places that don’t yet have towers transmitting down the other kinds of 5G speed—particularly helpful in many rural areas that often strive to get 3G or 4G connectivity.
What that means for battery life is not known yet. Hopefully, the X60 chip in the iPhone 13 won’t be as sensitive to arboreal interference as Starlink’s Dishy McFlatface.