iPhone satellite (in)capability

Macrumours has a couple of articles about the imminent iPhone 13 having capability to be used as a satellite phone. The latest article dismisses the rumour:

In Australia we have woeful mobile (cell) phone coverage outside of populated areas so a satellite phone is useful at times - Outback travellers can rent them.
Some Macrumours comments have also referred to the need for satellite phones in an emergency like Hurricane Ida or the Australian bushfires, when the cell phone network goes down.
Although dedicated satellite phones have become quite compact and there are an increasing number of LEO satellite service providers like Globalstar, the technology for adding the capability to a smartphone does seem years away. And it is hard to see why general consumers would be interested in having this capability.

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And don’t forget 9/11 in New York City when Verizon, whose major antenna was atop one of the Twin Towers, went out for days in some locations, and weeks in others. And many land lines and other cable TV services were overwhelmed for days.

It’s sounding like this may be a generation off still, and may be focused on just emergency responders.


More speculation here:

“…though the next iPhone could have the hardware needed for satellite communications, the features are unlikely to be ready before next year…”