Last year, rumors about the iPhone 13 getting a satellite connectivity started to spread. Although this iPhone didn’t get the feature, it’s rumored that the upcoming iPhone 14 could have it for emergencies or to send short texts to emergency contacts when out of cellular service range.
Now, according to a new report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the next Apple Watch could also feature this extra technology.
In his Power On newsletter, the journalist says ”the Apple Watch is also destined to get that functionality,” although Gurman believes Apple’s timeframe could be this year or 2023.
Whether it’s on the iPhone or Apple Watch, the technology would provide an alternative to the Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar features.
There have been signs lately that Apple and its apparent satellite partner Globalstar Inc. might be getting closer to launching such a feature. In February, Globalstar said it reached an agreement to buy 17 new satellites to help power ’continuous satellite services’ for a ’potential’and unnamed cusstomer that had paid it hundreds of millions of dollars.
Since rumors point out that Apple could be aiming for three new Apple Watches this year – the regular model, a new SE, and a brand new Watch destined for extreme sports –, it would make sense if at least the regular model and the rugged Apple Watch get this feature.
Last year, Gurman was already doubtful about satellites communication launching with the iPhone 13 by saying the hardware wasn’t ready yet for the new phones. Now, even if this feature launches this year, it will likely be restricted to key markets. Here’s what he wrote in August 2021:
“The emergency features will only work in areas without any cellular coverage and only in select markets. Apple envisions eventually deploying its own array of satellites to beam data to devices, but that plan is likely years away from taking off.”