Flying high: iPhone of the (near) future is to reach above and beyond the traditional signal
So there we have it. Apple is about to do it again. After all these laughs and jokes about their gadgets’ new versions being glorified and slightly-enhanced older ones, after all the accusations of bringing in redundant and superficial changes purely out of greed, just as we (well, many of us) started to think they’d run out of doing something truly new with their flagship brand… After all this, they went and made this announcement. And now we have no choice but to wait for yet another model of their still-famous product, the ominously-numbered iPhone 13. If only because it appears that it won’t exactly be a cellphone any more.
And yes, it will be a good thing, because it will become something more and will offer something, to which even the 5G capabilities of the so-far-the-newest model (which has already made it so popular, and no wonder) can’t quite compare, sorry proud owners. According to the company’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 13th iPhone will be able to communicate via space thanks to the addition of a new mode, paired with a more familiar, but still well-advanced Qualcomm X60 chip. This communication tech is called LEO, which stands for low earth orbit. And that, in turn, means that in case of this particular iPhone, space satellites will be able to stand for cell masts, if need be. (Which it will very likely be every now and then, considering all these sob and horror stories about a cell signal getting weak-to-non-existent at the most inopportune moments). Yes, unbelievable as it may sound, we are less than a year away from being no longer dependent on how far away we get from these towers, thanks to much-farther-away yet still apparently much more reliable – and far-reaching- spacecrafts. In other words, making calls and exchanging texts is going to become possible from pretty much anywhere. Officially confirmed (as opposed to two years ago when the company just started to probe such a possibility) and even almost-scheduled (Mr Kuo actually mentioned this year, and no wonder, considering that the official news of the new Apple products’ release are planned for this September).
Well, at least you will be able to do this with one particular brand of phone (and some other gadgets further down the road: on top of all of the above, Mr Kuo talked, if vaguely, about also equipping some other Apple Web-connected devices, such as AR headphones or Apple Car, with this mode). And that will, no doubt, cause some more jibes and complaints about Apple not sharing, keeping all the best things to itself and not overall being compatible enough. To which there might be even some reason in this case, if you are to be finicky, because, for now at least, there is a not so slim chance that such calls and message sending will be limited to Apple networks and services only. (There is neither a definite yes nor a definite no at this point).
But seriously, come on, naysayers. You may just as well complain about it not yet being decided whether this option will be free (which is actually considered, by the way) or will we have, shock horror, pay for it, at least in the beginning, like we once paid for a lot of the-then tech novelties, including incoming calls, for that matter. No, we don’t yet know how far and wide it will go at first, if there will be satellite-cell mast connection and even whether for now these tower-free calls and SMS will only be possible in cases of emergency (which is not too bad in itself, by the way: that’s quite a lot of people potentially saved, taking into account that emergencies also tend to happen in the most inopportune places). However, it is indeed, well and truly, a breakthrough, a game changer, venturing into a really new territory. A first precedent of what has been never quite done before.
And we all know what follows when this happens in the world of consumer technology. Once it’s out of the bag, there’s no going back (apologies for the unintended rhyme). The moment Apple gadget owners start making those space calls, emergency or not, Apple services-limited or not, all the major and even not-so-major players in the field will sit up, take notice and react, like they did with more than one other Apple-pioneered thing. Should we be betting people, we’d take you on the bet for how long the aforesaid lack of compatibility is going to remain an issue, what with Samsung and the like being around.
So be grateful for not-so-small mercies, we’d say. We certainly will be when this actually comes to pass. And we look forward to it. Even though, other than this big news, there is little detail known about iPhone 13 at this point (no more than unspecified camera upgrades and screen refresh rate increase). For, if you ask us, this one news alone is well worth the ticket price.
- iPhone 13 release date: When will we see Apple’s new iPhone? – CNET
- Sell pre-owned iPhone online – iGotOffer
- Everything About Apple’s Products – The complete guide to all Apple consumer electronic products, including technical specifications, identifiers and other valuable information.
New iPhone 13 Satellite Leaks Explained! [Video]
Video uploaded by Rene Ritchie on August 30, 2021