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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostMon Aug 30, 2021 12:01 pm 
There are rumors making their way around the internet today that the next iPhone will have satellite connectivity support via a customized Qualcomm X60 chip. You can find a wealth of discussion and articles on the topic via this Twitter query:

https://twitter.com/search?q=iphone+13+satellite

This could really change the satellite communicator game. I hate the user experience of my Garmin InReach and would love to be able to free my pack of it by having that functionality within my smart phone. Not to mention how many more people will now have access to satellite communication in times of emergency.

This could be huge! And will undoubtedly save many lives! I've been wondering for years why consumer cell phones didn't have satellite capabilities.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 12:38 pm 
Low earth orbit to me sounds like Musk's StarLink system.   Subscribe for $99/month.

However, don't get your hopes up too much as checking in this area, there is this message on the StarLink website:

Quote:
Starlink is currently at capacity in your area through 2021, your order might not be fulfilled until late 2022. You will receive a notification once your Starlink is ready to ship.

In Cle Elum the message is:

Quote:
Starlink is targeting coverage in your area in mid to late 2021. You will receive a notification once your Starlink is ready to ship.

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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostMon Aug 30, 2021 12:41 pm 
Randito wrote:
Low earth orbit to me sounds like Musk's StarLink system.  Subscribe for $99/month.

Is this just a hunch? The Iridium constellation is also located in LEO. Which is what Garmin's InReach products use.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 12:54 pm 
It's possible that it is iridium -- satellite phone service on the iridium network runs about $70 / month for 60 minutes of talk time -- data time is charged the same as talk time.    So posting photos during a trip would be pretty spendy.

What would be interesting is if they offer some sort of limited use satellite service where you can use your iPhone 13 like an InReach messenger at a similar price point to "emergency" InReach service of $15/month.

That would be somewhat atypical of Apple -- if they follow past business practices -- early iPhone 13 users will be suprised by >$1K monthly bills the 1st time they wander out of cell tower service areas and it "by default" switches to satellite internet services for downloading ads for the last thing they bought on Amazon to their Facebook app.

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Wake_and_Bait
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Wake_and_Bait
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PostWed Sep 01, 2021 3:59 pm 
Inreach took years to develop and not much changed when garmin took over.  It still is not perfect.   I would not buy into this in beta mode, wait a few years and we will see.

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cdestroyer
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PostFri Sep 17, 2021 7:00 am 
many years ago a test was done to see what kind of communication was possible...I believe this occured on the east coast but could well have been done anywhere. using a common cb radio and homebrew antenna a mayday was sent sky ward and picked up on a sideband from a satellite monitoring station.

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InFlight
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PostFri Sep 17, 2021 9:05 am 
Hard to see how a satellite antenna would fit in a standard iPhone case that’s already stuffed with electronics and batteries.  Without an external antenna it would be unlikely to have omni-directional performance.

Probably would be much better served by Garmin.  I used IPhones since the 6S, so I a fan of the device.

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Randito
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PostFri Sep 17, 2021 1:02 pm 
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



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zimmertr
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PostFri Sep 17, 2021 1:24 pm 
InFlight wrote:
Hard to see how a satellite antenna would fit in a standard iPhone case that’s already stuffed with electronics and batteries.  Without an external antenna it would be unlikely to have omni-directional performance.

The Spot PLB doesn't have an external antenna. Their User Guide says:

Quote:
Orienting SPOT so that the SPOT logo is facing up toward the sky will improve performance as the antenna is located directly under the logo. The coolest adventurers place SPOT on their backpacks.


The backside (frontside?) of a cell phone could be used in a similar way. You don't really need omni-directional performance as a consumer because you can mostly rely on cellular networks. I don't think the constraint of sending messages with the phone flat and facing the sky is inconceivable for such breakthrough technology.

InFlight wrote:
Probably would be much better served by Garmin.  I used IPhones since the 6S, so I a fan of the device.

I know it's cool to hate on Apple (I'm a Linux user when I can), but there is no denying they are technology pioneers. From the Apple 1 to the iPod to the iPhone to the new M1 chips in modern Macbooks, I think they can master the domain of pretty much any adjacent technology if they want. They also have $195,057,000,000 in cash and can easily poach Garmin engineers.

Randito wrote:
https://www.pcmag.com/opinions/that-whole-iphone-satellite-thing-was-bogus

This is a sensationalized article reporting on a different article by Bloomberg. It makes it seem like the product isn't viable by using the word bogus. But the Bloomberg article suggests that Apple is actually working on a product called "Emergency Message via Satellite", it just isn't going to likely come in the next iteration.

This was also reported on in 2019 which predates the recent "Next iPhone" rumor.

Apple hasn't confirmed anything but I would bet money we'll see this in consumer cell phones within 5 years. In fact, I might go buy some stock...

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Randito
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PostFri Sep 17, 2021 1:38 pm 
The PC mag article is dated 9/14 post iPhone 13 debute, the Bloomberg article is dated 8/30 pre debute.


Since the iPhone 13 doesn't offer satellite messager features of any sort -- so I think claiming the speculation that the iPhone 13 would have such features as bogus is legit.

Apple has been rumored to be working on iPhone satellite connectivity since 2017.

Maybe in the iPhone 14 in two years.

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