When Apple announced 14 new iPhones at this year’s keynote, it also introduced several new features along with them. One of the most exciting is undoubtedly the phone’s ability to communicate with satellites. Right off the bat, however, it’s important to note that this is by no means some sort of data bonus.
iPhone 14 & Satellite SOS
This is only a solution that should only work in an emergency, i.e. in places where the mobile network signal is unavailable. What does this mean? In principle, it’s about providing an urgent connection in a situation where the iPhone owner is in unprecedented danger, unable to summon help over Wi-Fi, 4G or 5G.
In an open environment, the process reportedly takes about 15 seconds, but if the person is in an impenetrable location, the transfer can take up to several minutes. The SOS signal will be relayed from the satellite to a ground relay station, which will relay the message to emergency services. It is good to remember that this is a one-way communication, so the response will not arrive at the snap of a finger.
Satellite connectivity from Qualcomm
In this context, it would almost be tempting to say that it is probably only a matter of time before we also see the novelty on competing Android, unless we count the successful attempt by Huawei. And in the end, this is indeed the case, as GSMArena reports.
Qualcomm confirmed yesterday at CES 2023, the annual tech trade show held in Las Vegas, USA, that it has joined forces with Iridium, which has 66 satellites in low Earth orbit. Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging, even in non-emergency situations, the company’s official statement said.
First up for the flagship processor
However, this should only apply when in very remote or sparsely populated areas. And now the main thing. The new service should be available on all devices with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.
As it turns out, even the popular Garmin welcomes the move. Brad Trenkle, Vice President of the Outdoor Segment, summed it up as follows: “Garmin welcomes any new opportunity to extend emergency satellite services to millions more smartphone users around the world. We look forward to working with them.”
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