Apple iPhone 13 could be a ‘satellite smartphone’

Apple’s iPhone 13 is rumoured to be capable of connecting directly to satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) thanks to a tweaked Qualcomm X60 baseband chip.

NEW DELHI There’s a new Apple iPhone 13 rumour that’s actually entertaining! A new iPhone is only a few weeks away if Apple sticks to its usual timetable, and until recently the rumours have been thin and, dare I say it, dull.

According to MacRumors, famous Apple prognosticator and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now claims that the iPhone 13 might come with the capacity to make satellite calls built-in.

Apple iPhone 13 to come with Qualcomm X60 processor

It has been said that the iPhone 13 would be able to link directly to satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) owing to a Qualcomm X60 baseband processor that has been modified for the iPhone 13.

These chipsets are perhaps best known as the backbone of Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service, which relies on low-earth orbit satellites for internet transmission, avoiding some of the usual problems of satellite internet, such as excessive latency and frequent outages.

Despite this, Starlink is not the only firm that relies on LEO satellites to provide internet access to customers. Immarsat unveiled a new constellation that will integrate with terrestrial 5G networks for a more global solution. It’s Globalstar’s Band n53 technology that’s more important to this iPhone rumour, which saw its stock soar earlier this year after Qualcomm revealed its forthcoming X65 processor will support it.

Band n53 had been accepted as a 5G band by the 3GPP.

5G mobile internet connectivity will get a boost

Going by the rumours, the X60 would enable another part of 5G, which presently consists of a variety of technologies, including the ultrafast but restricted range millimeter-wave and the more ubiquitous but slower C-Band.

These towers would beam down the other 5G speeds, which would be especially beneficial in rural regions where 3G and 4G coverage is frequently difficult to come by. However, it is yet unclear how this may affect battery life.

In addition, there’s the tree factor. Arboreal interference should not interfere with the X60 chip in the iPhone 13.

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