A well-known analyst indicated that the iPhone 13 can support LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite communications, even when cellular network coverage is not accessible, users can communicate via messages and phone calls.
According to the report, the emergency satellite function is only available in areas where there is no cellular network, and it is thereby reduced to a few countries. Although Apple plans to deploy additional satellites to democratize satellite communications, it will nonetheless take several years.
It has also been analyzed that it is now impossible to utilize it as a satellite phone to make calls anywhere in the globe without cellular network coverage. Carrying this feature is a dreary task and needs hardware that is not available yet, so the expenditure is high. Moreover, this will undoubtedly arouse commotion between mobile operators and Apple.
How it Works
Apple is obviously acting on two ways to incorporate this feature, one is to broadcast a brief emergency text, and the other is to transmit an SOS distress signal, originally by contacting emergency services or nearby friends via iMessage without any cellular signals, for instance, during a crisis, such as in a plane crash or a shipwreck. Over time, this will also spread to phone calls.
Regardless, this will be a bit slow, it may take a minute or two to receive the signal, and requires iPhone 13 users to be outdoors to use the LEO satellite communication function. The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to be officially released in September, and we have not yet determined whether Apple will launch this feature.