Apple’s newest iPhone will offer technology that lets it connect to satellites, allowing users to make calls and send messages when they’re out of range from a 4G or 5G network, according to a new analyst report.
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the new device will feature a customized Qualcomm chip that allows for low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communications, effectively making the next iPhone a satellite phone, according to a report seen by MacRumors.
The analyst said Qualcomm is teaming up with Globalstar on the chip, a customized version of Qualcomm X60 baseband chip.
Kuo added that the ‘simplest scenario’ to get connectivity would have network operators, such as AT&T or Verizon, work with Globalstar.
In this case, a customer of AT&T or Verizon would be able to use Globalstar’s service with no additional contract or payments.
At present, Globalstar has 48 LEO satellites in operation, according to Aerospace Technology.
It’s presently unclear if messages and calls over satellite would be available for iMessage and FaceTime or all forms of communication on the iPhone, 9to5Mac reported.
In addition to the technology potentially being a part of the next iPhone, Kuo said it could be a part of future Apple devices, including the oft-rumored augmented reality headset, the Apple Car and other products.
Shares of Globalstar soared more than 63 percent to $2.34 on back of the report.
Apple and Globalstar have not yet responded back with a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment for this story.
Globalstar’s satellites pick up signals from over 80 percent of the Earth’s surface, using CDMA technology to antennas at the appropriate gateway, then signaled through local networks, according to the company’s website.
Low-earth orbit forms of communication have received significant mainstream coverage, due in large part to SpaceX and its Starlink internet venture.
In June, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company was on track to have more than 500,000 Starlink users by 2022 and could invest as much as $30 billion into the project.
In 2019, Bloomberg reported that Apple had a team working on having satellites send data to its devices.