Starlink: Elon Musk recalls partnership with Apple for iPhone satellite communications

Apple is launching an emergency SOS feature available on the iPhone 14 and linked to satellite. Elon Musk says SpaceX has discussed the possibility of using Starlink with Apple.

A few weeks before the Twitter trial, Elon Musk could have become an Apple supplier. For its new iPhone, the Apple brand is launching an emergency service that will be connected to the satellite. Elon Musk, of course, offers to connect the services of his Starlink constellation of satellites for this new application to work.

The two companies had a “promising exchange,” Elon Musk tweeted, adding that Apple’s iPhone team is “super smart.” SpaceX is in talks with Apple to use the Starlink connection for the iPhone maker’s new satellite features, he said. It is not specified whether negotiations are ongoing.

Starlink is SpaceX’s project to create a constellation of thousands of satellites to provide ultra-fast global internet coverage. The company currently has about 3,000 satellites in orbit and recently said it has over 400,000 customers.

Globalstar on the way

For its part, Apple is already partnering with Globalstar to provide satellite infrastructure. The tech giant said it is giving away $450 million to support the feature. Emergency SOS will allow iPhone 14 users to contact emergency services in areas where there is no network. The feature is expected to launch in November in the US and Canada, but not in Europe. It will be free for two years.

Last month, SpaceX and US mobile operator T-Mobile US beat Apple to say that T-Mobile network users will be able to use SpaceX satellites to send messages to areas without a cell connection. This collaboration depends on SpaceX launching an upgraded version of its Starlink satellites. The service will differ from Apple’s service (limited to sharing location data) in that it will allow communication between consumers.

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