Apple’s ‘transformational’ iPhone satellite deal will keep Globalstar in orbit

Apple’s new emergency satellite service for iPhone 14 gives Globalstar capital support in a “transformational” deal.

Boeing 702X satellite (image: Boeing)
Boeing 702X satellite (image: Boeing)

Apple’s new iPhone 14 series introduces Emergency SOS via Globalstar’s satellite network, which combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation, and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite.

Since every second counts, iPhone will show the user where to point their phone to connect to — and stay connected with — a satellite while they message with emergency services.
iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite

The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf. This breakthrough technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, providing a sense of security when hiking or camping off the grid. Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years.

Dan Gallagher for The Wall Street Journal:

Globalstar confirmed in a filing Wednesday that it will be operating the service through a partnership with Apple. Under that agreement, Apple will cover 95% of the capital expenditures made by Globalstar to build up its network, including new satellites, to provide the service. It will require Globalstar to allocate 85% of its “current and future network capacity” to support the service, which analyst Mike Crawford of B. Riley describes as “in one fell swoop converting an underutilized asset to a productive asset.”

The deal will include service fees and potential bonus payments, allowing Globalstar to project total revenue in a range of $185 million to $230 million for next year and $250 million to $310 million for 2026, which is expected to be the first full year that all of the company’s new satellites are operational. Even the low end of the near-term target would be a record high for the satellite-service provider, representing a gain of 44% above the annual revenue Globalstar has averaged for the past three years. Globalstar notably broke from the traditionally dry language of SEC filings to describe the deal as transformational.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in August 2021:

This is not going to turn your iPhone into a “satellite phone,” but it will still be a useful feature for certain users, including those in Government & Public Safety, Transportation, Energy, Construction, Maritime, Agriculture, Forestry, etc.

More info about Globalstar here.

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

Shop The Apple Store at Amazon.


  1. Clearly Apple knows something from its market research. This will result in the iPhone being selected over Android by certain sets of lucrative customers. My suspicion is its Marine focused companies, gas and oil verticals, and governments.

      1. Didum, Bob, you’re a bit sim, eh? Where’s your $3 trillion valuation, did you flush it along with yourself down the sewer of history?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.