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Elon Musk said that SpaceX was in touch with Apple to discuss the emergency messaging feature on iPhone 14 using the Starlink technology.
On Wednesday, September 7, Apple unveiled its much-awaited iPhone 14 models with top-notch specs and new technology features. Interestingly, the company also announced an Emergency SOS via satellite feature allowing iPhone users to get emergency help in areas where WiFi or cellular connection ain’t available. As of now, Apple is leveraging Globalstar satellites to activate these emergency messaging features. However, Tesla chief Elon Musk revealed that the company had “some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity”.
Starlink and Apple
Musk’s response came after one of the fans on Twitter wrote that he hopes to see apple and SpaceX’s Starlink work together over the emergency messaging feature on the iPhone 14. Responding to this, Elon Musk wrote:
“We’ve had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. iPhone team is obv super smart. For sure, closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower”.
However, Apple has not mentioned anything in their discussions with SpaceX about using Starlink. Also, there’s no word on whether Apple will be using the Starlink technology anytime in the future.
Explaining this feature, Apple noted:
“Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need”.
The emergency messaging feature will come to iPhone with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022.
The Satellite to Cellar Feature
Apple is not the first company to introduce the satellite-to-cellular feature in the market. Last month in August, SpaceX partnered with Tesla to bring the satellite-to-cellular service that would allow second-generation Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit and pair with T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G spectrum. The goal was to provide near-complete coverage across most of the states in the US.
Note that SpaceX’s and T-Mobile’s feature was not limited to any particular handset. It will also work with existing smartphones. However, this service shall not launch until late 2023.
Note that this is an emergency messaging feature that would allow iPhone users to send short text messages to emergency personnel.