Last year, rumors began to spread that the iPhone 13 was getting satellite connectivity. Although this iPhone did not get the feature, it is rumored that the upcoming iPhone 14 could have it for emergencies or to send short texts to emergency contacts when they are out of range of the mobile service.
Now according to a new report from BloombergMark Gurman, the next Apple Watch could also include this additional technology.
In his Switch on newsletter, the journalist says “Apple Watch is also destined to get that functionality,” though Gurman believes Apple’s time frame may be this year or 2023.
Whether on the iPhone or Apple Watch, the technology will be an alternative to Garmin inReach Explorer and SPOT, handheld satellite communicators with similar features.
There have been recent signs that Apple and its apparent satellite partner Globalstar Inc. may be closer to launching such a feature. In February, Globalstar said it had agreed to buy 17 new satellites to help operate ‘continuous satellite services’ to a ‘potential’ – and unnamed – customer who had paid it hundreds of millions of dollars.
Since rumors suggest that Apple could aim for three new Apple Watches this year – the regular model, a new SE and a brand new watch designed for extreme sports – it would make sense if at least the regular model and the rugged Apple Se both get this feature.
Last year, Gurman was already in doubt about satellite communications with the iPhone 13, saying that the hardware was not yet ready for the new phones. Now, even though this feature launches this year, it will likely be limited to key markets. Here is what he wrote in August 2021:
The emergency functions only work in areas without mobile coverage and only in selected markets. Apple eventually envisions implementing its own series of satellites to send data to devices, but that plan is probably years away from taking off.
Do you think this could be the next big feature on the Apple Watch? You can read our full list of what to expect about the Apple Watch Series 8 here. Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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