Science

iPhone 14 and satellites: Elon Musk had a ‘promising’ discussion with Apple

After 5G come satellites. Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 series during a keynote on September 7th. And among the most important innovations in the ecosystem is satellite communications.

This new feature, currently available in North America, allows the iPhone 14 to communicate directly with satellites. This is not intended to replace telephone carrier networks, but is used to request assistance in the event of an emergency, such as when the user is out of coverage.

On its help page, Apple also advises its users to first try calling emergency services before using satellite if they can’t make a call. This communication is via text messages, and we know that Apple is working with Globalstar, the US satellite communications company that operates the constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, to provide functionality.

But the new feature on the iPhone 14 is also of interest to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. And while Musk’s relationship with Apple is rocky (Apple is preparing to compete with Tesla on electric cars), the two sides may have common interests.

So we learn that Musk and Apple are currently in talks about satellite communications. The SpaceX CEO responded to a Twitter user who expressed a desire for the company to work with Apple to improve the satellite communications feature on the iPhone 14.

“We had promising conversations with Apple about the Starlink connection,” Musk said in his response. “The iPhone team is obviously very smart. »

He also explained that communication between satellites and smartphones would be better if the software and hardware of smartphones adapted to signals coming from space, compared to “pure Starlink emulation of a cell tower.” »

iPhone 14 128 GB at the best price Base price: 1019 euros.

With or without Apple’s help, Starlink has already advanced its pawns

Recall that before the presentation of the iPhone 14 series, Starlink announced a partnership with the American operator T-Mobile to put an end to white zones in the United States. In essence, where T-Mobile’s network is not available, SpaceX satellites will replace it. And, according to the operator, it will be compatible with the “vast majority” of smartphones already in use.

Initially, this feature will only support text messages. However, both companies are already planning to expand their cooperation to phone calls and mobile data.

Otherwise, SpaceX and T-Mobile are inviting other carriers around the world to follow suit. ” […] The CEOs (T-Mobile and SpaceX, editor’s note) shared their vision for global expansion of Above and Beyond coverage by issuing an open invitation to carriers around the world to work together to provide truly global connectivity. T-Mobile is committed to offering mutual roaming to providers working with them to realize this vision,” the operator said in a statement.

We also note that for its part, Google has already announced that it is developing Android 14 so that this new version will be optimized for satellite communications.

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