iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite

After years of bickering mainly over patent royalties, Apple and Qualcomm finally decided to make peace with each other in 2019. A few months after that, Apple then bought over Intel’s modem business but despite that, it seemed that the company is still using Qualcomm’s chip even with the newly launched iPhone 14 series.

As per previous iPhone models, you can certainly expect to see certain parties out there to get their tools out and tear down the new iPhone 14 models. The Hong Kong-based outfit WekiHome as well as the world-famous iFixit are among those that are already on it.

iphone 14 pro max // qualcomm snapdragon x65
Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem inside iPhone 14 Pro Max. [Image: WekiHome / YouTube.]

Among their discovery is the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. First announced in February 2021, it was being touted as the world’s first 10 Gigabit 5G modem but what made the chip interesting in regards to the new iPhone 14 Series is its support for the Band n53 which has been championed by Globalstar.

In case you are not familiar with the name, Globalstar is the satellite company that is currently working with Apple to enable one of the iPhone 14 series’ new signature features: the ability to send Emergency SOS via satellite. It does not work as per normal messaging text-by-text style though since satellites are technically moving objects that are located so far away above the earth.

Not only that, satellites also have limited bandwidth even for text messaging. This is why Apple has come out with several preset responses and compression algorithms as well as on-ground emergency relay centres to address these challenges.

This particular feature which will be free to users for the first two years after activation has been scheduled to be deployed to users this coming November although it will be limited to US and Canada consumers at launch.

iPhone 14 and Plus
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. [Image: Apple.]
iPhone 14 Pro Series. [Image: Apple.]

Meanwhile, Apple did not outright say that the feature is being driven by the Snapdragon X65 modem though which doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. In a statement to Reuters, the company simply noted that the Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14 devices was enabled by custom components together with software that was fully made in-house.

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