iPhone 13 Might Leverage LEO Satellites To Make Calls And Send Texts In Low Signal Areas

apple iphone 13
Apple's iPhone 13 is expected to slightly refresh the exterior and add significant changes under the hood compared to the current-generation iPhone 12 family. In addition to an expected A15 Bionic SoC, doubled internal storage across the board, and a faster 5G modem, highly reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo alleges that the family will bring a significant boost in connectivity.

We've all come across situations where we've hit low-signal areas that disrupt 4G/5G connectivity on our smartphones. When this happens, making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the internet either become frustrating slow/unstable, or doesn't work at all. However, Kuo says that the iPhone 13 family will feature a custom version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem that supports enhanced communications with satellite networks.

With this low earth orbit (LEO) communications mode, iPhone 13 customers should be able to make calls and send texts when out of 4G/5G range. This feature could be a boon for those who live in rural areas -- or regularly travel through these areas -- or people that hike deep into the wilderness where cell signals don't penetrate.

It's rumored that the LEO communications mode might be limited to 911 emergency and Apple services like iMessage and FaceTime. However, that's pure speculation at this point. And there's no word on how much a feature like this might cost or if it might simply be lumped in with Apple's existing iCloud or Apple One subscription packages. And while the iPhone 13 would serve as the perfect platform to debut such technology, LEO communications could also make its way into expected future products like the rumored Apple Car and AR headset.

The iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are expected to debut in mid-September, with availability coming later in the month.