Apple’s iPhone 13 will enable users to send texts and make calls in regions lacking any reasonable levels of cellular coverage, according to a recent note from Ming-Chi Kuo in a MacRumors report.
The new hardware will come in a handset that employs a Qualcomm X60 baseband chip which allows the iPhone 13 to communicate with low-Earth orbiting satellites and means your calls and texting behavior can carry on in regions that lack 4G and 5G coverage.
This would give iPhones a special level of appeal for consumers living in places with underwhelming cellular service, digital nomads, and travelers who often venture into remote areas.
Low-Earth orbit-based (LEO-based) satellites were launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, a company that aims for the activation of a novel broadband service capable of functioning anywhere on the planet.
Another more experienced company Globalstar, an LEO satellite communications service provider, is likely to cooperate with Apple for this type of service coverage.
But, a report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple’s iPhone 13 satellite communication capability is only intended for emergency scenarios with a feature dubbed Emergency Message via Satellite, enabling users to make a text to emergency services and contacts when and where there’s no cellular network by patching into a satellite network.
These emergency messages will have a length limit but will push through ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode turned on, which might increase a user’s chances of getting a message through when time is crucial. The feature will also ask for clarification about the nature of the emergency, according to Bloomberg. “The phone will ask what kind of emergency is happening, such as whether it involves a car, boat, plane, or fire,” read the report.
Users will also have the option to send location and Medical ID information using the iPhone’s Health App.
While Apple’s iPhone 13 may not be a full-service satellite device, the ability to make emergency texts from isolated or remote areas will surely attract remote workers who hope SpaceX or others can supply with reliable internet coverage.
What else do you need to know about iPhone 13?
It is expected that iPhone 13 will come in the same sizes as iPhone 12, with a 5.4-inch display but sporting a new and faster A15 processor, an always-on UI display, a 120Hz ProMotion display, and a smaller notch.
Apple may implement various design changes to improve durability and water resistance to the iPhone 13. The iPhone 12 lineup has an IP68 rating which allows submersion for up to 6 meters for 30 minutes, however, Apple doesn’t intend that device to be used underwater and will not cover water damage under warranty.
If Apple is able to reasonably increase water resistance, the iPhone13 may be the first model with Apple’s blessing for underwater photography. Capacitive buttons, e-sim, and no lightning port would enable a fully closed-off device.
Max Weinbach reports the upcoming iPhone Pro models will be available in updated matte black and gold finishes. Pro models will also have a fingerprint-resistant finish. According to rumors from online retailer Peng, the less expensive iPhone 13 duo will be available in pink.
The iPhone 13 will undoubtedly be Apple’s most durable phone. Apple has filed a patent application for an upgraded “Spiral Grain Coatings For Class Structures In Electronic Devices” a few years ago. It appears Apple may use different versions of the coating for different products, which would be less likely to be damaged if dropped and make products more scratch-resistant.
The iPhone 13 Pro models will have three cameras and a LiDAR sensor. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman states all the phones will get at least three software updates, including an updated filter to improve photo composition and color, and the addition of ProRes video, a way to record 8K video, and Portrait Mode video.
Barclay’s analysts Blayne Curtis and Thome O’Malley shared an investors’ note with MacRumors, stating that all four iPhone 13 models will have an upgraded ultra-wide lens with a wider f/1.8 aperture for better low light performance. Sensor-shift stabilization, formerly only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, will reportedly make its way to all iPhone 13 models.
According to 9to5Mac, some of the iPhone 13 models will get a major storage upgrade. The site reports that some of the iPhone 13 models will be available with up to 1TB of storage.
But it is believed the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will have 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options. The Pro models will start with 128GB of storage, with options for 256GB and 512GB of storage as well.
As for price, the iPhone 13 mini will likely start at $699 and the iPhone 13 will cost $799. The iPhone 13 Pro base model will cost $999 to $1,049, and the iPhone Pro Max may have a starting cost of $1,099 to S1,149.
According to Chinese e-commerce site IT-Home and other leakers, the iPhone will be announced on Sept. 14 and pre-orders will go live on Sept. 17. Expect to see the iPhone 13 portfolio available in Apple Stores on Sept. 24.
Analysts predict that 43% of iPhone owners will upgrade to the iPhone 13. According to the South China Morning Post, Apple will have 90 million or 100 million units available at launch, and the company plans to ship 130 million to 150 million devices this year.