Elon Musk offers Apple Starlink satellite connectivity as it went with Globalstar for the iPhone 14
The new iPhone 14 models of Apple are the second phones announced to feature satellite connectivity for emergency messaging services after the Mate 50 line. Instead of Elon Musk's Starlink, however, which signed an exclusive agreement with T-Mobile for a similar feature, Apple went with Globalstar as satellite connectivity provider for the iPhone 14.
Despite the deal with Apple, the share price of Globalstar sank when Elon Musk tweeted that Starlink has been in talks with Apple over satellite services as well. "We’ve had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity," he said, without clarifying why did Apple go with Globalstar instead then. He gave some pointers by adding that the "closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software and hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower."
Apple has reportedly gone with Globalstar for the satellite connection under the rather stringent condition to "provide 85% of its current and future network capacity" to support the iPhone's satellite feature that will go live in November. In exchange, Apple will help by financing 95% of the new satellites and the personnel needed to maintain its new Emergency SOS offer. In its wordy SEC filing, Globalstar now forecasts record revenues of US$185-$230 million for 2023, raising the range at up to US$310 million for 2026, "the first full year that all of the company’s new satellites are operational."
The Emergency SOS option on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max allows their owners to send a message for help when there is no cellular connectivity. When there are clear skies, the message can go through in not more than 15 seconds, says Apple, while during overcast it may take minutes. Apple is providing the Emergency SOS feature for free on the iPhone 14 for two years, or until the next big upgrade cycle.
85% of Globalstar’s capacity will be allocated to iPhones: pic.twitter.com/0VZiVJHDBe— Scott Manley (@DJSnM) September 8, 2022