The next iPhone's rumored satellite calls might only work in certain areas

You couldn't always count on satellite service as a backup.


You may have to temper your expectations for the next iPhone's rumored satellite communications. As 9to5Mac reports, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims in his "Power On" newsletter that emergency satellite calls and messages on the future iPhone (potentially named iPhone 13) will only work in "select markets," and then only in places without cellular coverage. This likely won't serve as a backup when cell service is spotty in your area, then.

Apple reportedly wants to launch its own satellites to provide more data coverage, but any plans for that are "years away," Gurman said. You also won't get to make non-emergency calls any time soon.

The limitations wouldn't be completely surprising. The new iPhone is rumored to use a modified Qualcomm X60 modem for satellite service — it might not be ready to serve as a full-featured satellite phone. Gurman added that costs and carrier objections might prevent Apple from offering a true satellite phone that bypasses conventional networks.

As it stands, there are other reasons to moderate your hopes for Apple's next event. Gurman also says display issues could limit availability for the Apple Watch Series 7. While the wristwear will reportedly debut alongside the next iPhone, some versions of it may be available "late or in small quantities." Your preferred case and band combo may take a while to ship. While this isn't as bad as the delays that stalled the iPhone 12 and other Apple products last year, it could be a far cry from the smooth launches in the pre-pandemic era.