Ming-Chi Kuo: iPhone 13 will support satellite communications

Apple uber-analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the “iPhone 13” will have a customized baseband chip giving it the ability to use satellite communications.

iPhone 13 and 13 Pro dummy units (Photo: Sonny Dickson)
iPhone 13 and 13 Pro dummy units (Photo: Sonny Dickson)

Mike Wuerthele for AppleInsider:

Ming-Chi Kuo says that the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip that Apple is predicted to be using in the “iPhone 13” will support low-earth orbit satellite communications. He bases this on Qualcomm’s work with Globalstar, making the latter the most likely partner for the effort.

“There are many potential scenarios for Apple’s business model cooperation with Globalstar,” writes Kuo. “The simplest scenario is that if the user’s operator has already teamed with Globalstar, the user can directly use Globalstar’s satellite communication service on the iPhone 13 through the operator’s service.”

Kuo says that other vendors that want satellite communications functions will have to wait a year until some point in 2022, and will have to use the forthcoming X65 baseband chip.

MacDailyNews Take: The ability to use satellite communications would be another big selling point for certain users* for iPhone 13! Also, if true, it’s another feature that Apple will have to incorporate and support in its own homegrown modem effort.

*Government & Public Safety, Transportation, Energy, Construction, Maritime, Agriculture, Forestry, etc.


  1. That will be a game changer. Instead of carrying those clunky satellite phones all you need is this. It will be great, ex Newsman on the other side of the world and if it work’s with FaceTime even better.

  2. This is what I’ve wanted for some time. The ability to switch to satellite when you get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell service would be great.

  3. Its highly unlikely that an iphone without extensive antenna mods could function as a Sat Phone, and for Ming to suggest it, makes him look like a moron…

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