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iPhone 13 Bombshell Rumor: New feature links to Apple Car, Starlink, and iOT

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Unexpected and Explosive Rumors Emerge as September Launch Dates Loom

Several new stories, based on rumors but from credible sources, indicated that both short and longer term some unexpected twists could be coming out at Apple. The first was reported in 9to5 Mac where they quoted renown source Ming-Chi Kuo saying that the iPhone 13 will include a feature that would allow the device to make calls and send messages without 4G/5G coverage. This would be accomplished via a new low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communication mode.

This idea appears to be extrapolated from the fact (unconfirmed) that the iPhone 13 will use customized version of the Qualcomm X60 baseband modem chip, and this will allow the possibility of communications over LEO satellite networks.

The famous analyst also believes that Apple will most likely partner with Globalstar, a LEO Sat company associated with Qualcomm, to provide satellite support. 

Further, Kuo intimated that this type of feature would also, eventually, be included in other products such as the upcoming Apple AR headset, the Apple Car and other Internet-of-Things accessories.

This, while a huge revelation if true, both regarding to the timing, with the iPhone 13 almost certainly being announced in September, and regarding the implications for the future of, well, everything, creates more fascinating questions than it answers.

First, is how the “pre-loading” of the LEOSAT capability would work, with what partner constellations (Starlink, etc.) or even with an as yet wild rumor of a network to be built by Apple itself.

Further, if this would eventually be a full connectivity option or just a voice and message only service (plus FaceTime?), at least initially.

Pure Speculation, Theoretical Observations and Tantalizing Conjecture…

Added to all this was a second rumor, somewhat less solid but nevertheless interesting, that the long rumored Apple Car is, potentially, ready to be revealed (at least as a concept and announced and confirmed publicly) before the end of 2021 (!).

The source for this is an interview in Reuters with Akira Yoshino, the inventor of the first safe, production-viable lithium-ion battery. In the interview he mentioned Apple, Tesla and hinted at big things, particularly long term from Apple.

Here is the juiciest passage:

Reuters: What else should we know about the future of mobility?

Yoshino: Right now, the auto industry is thinking about how to invest in the future of mobility. At the same time, the IT industry is also thinking about the future of mobility. Somewhere, sometime, with the auto industry and the IT industry, there is going to be some kind of convergence for the future of mobility. Tesla has their own independent strategy. The one to look out for is Apple. What will they do? I think they may announce something soon. And what kind of car would they announce? What kind of battery? They probably want to get in around 2025. If they do that, I think they have to announce something by the end of this year. That’s just my own personal hypothesis.

Convergence for the future of mobility has been something that ties together all of Apple’s products including the as yet murky Apple Car plans. These various complimentary rumors logically lead to the even more mysterious idea that Apple could be working already to tie together the ubiquitous and all pervasive access to the internet – 4G/5G, wi-fi, LEOSAT networks, and ultimately all Apple products with the Apple Car as a mobile station (driving autonomously of course). That’d be convergence, all right.

And wow, taking this one giant step further, there has been a little known, highly speculative rumor that Apple, ultimately, has plans to build (launch?) it’s own satellite network.

Naturally, Starlink and others are already building-out, so this is somewhat of a moot point, but based on Apple’s penchant for owning the “whole widget” and squeezing all possible from any synergies, it does make total sense as a long term projection.

The biggest, mind-blowing, aspect of that potential scenario would be the “walled garden” that would include all current devices plus a car (!) and the idea that anywhere on earth connectivity would be always available to the entire system. Oh, and powered by sustainable energy.

It’s that’s not a utopian fantasy (for Apple fans at least) it’s hard to say what would be!

Related:

The Real Meaning of 5G, iPhone 12 Pro and the SpaceX Race to build Satellite Broadband

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