Written by Stephen Niles
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA (Reuters) – iPhone 14 models from Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 have a Qualcomm (NASDAQ :)) chip that can talk to satellites, but have custom-designed Apple plug-ins used in the biggest new phone. The feature, according to an analysis of the phone by iFixit and an Apple statement.
Apple released the iPhone 14 lineup on Friday. One of the main new features is the ability to connect to satellites to send emergency messages when there is no WiFi or cellular data connection.
Apple said earlier this month that iPhone 14 models have new hardware that makes emergency message service possible, which Apple plans to turn on with the upcoming software update in November. Apple did not give details of the satellite hardware.
iFixit, a San Luis Obispo, California-based company that disassembles iPhones and other consumer electronics to assess how easy they are to repair, disassembled its iPhone 14 Pro Max Friday, revealing a Qualcomm X65 modem chip.
Qualcomm’s chip provides 5G connectivity for cellular networks but is also capable of using the so-called band n53, which is the frequency band used by Globalstar (NYSE:) satellites.
Globalstar earlier this month announced a deal under which Apple will acquire up to 85% of Globalstar’s satellite network capacity to enable Apple’s new emergency messaging feature.
In a statement to Reuters on Saturday, Apple said there is additional proprietary hardware and software in the iPhone 14 for the new messaging feature.
“iPhone 14 includes custom radio frequency components, and new software designed entirely by Apple, which together enable emergency SOS over satellite on new iPhone 14 models,” Apple said in a statement.
Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.