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Elon Musk says he talked with Apple about satellite communication

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The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature found in the new iPhone 14 models don’t use Starlink, but Elon Musk said that he’s spoken to Apple about it.

As Apple often points out, its custom integration with hardware and software can deliver experiences that few other companies can match.

The iPhone 14 satellite communication feature makes use of custom hardware and software features to help customers in emergency situations. It lets iPhone antennas directly connect to Globalstar communication satellites.

And, Elon Musk has talked to Apple about it.

“We’ve had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity. iPhone team is obv super smart,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. “For sure, closing link from space to phone will work best if phone software & hardware adapt to space-based signals vs Starlink purely emulating cell tower.”

On August 26, SpaceX and T-Mobile announced a collaboration on satellite communication within smartphones. The two claimed that this type of phone connection would be availalbe to users everywhere, or at least “practically everywhere.”

The plan with T-Mobile and SpaceX isn’t as seamless as Apple’s satellite feature. T-Mobile will provide satellite communications for relatively modern smartphones with compatible modems. It will be limited to text messages like Apple’s system — but it has to get off the ground first.

SpaceX has a group of Starlink satellites that its using to use for its own brand of internet connectivity. The company has hyped this product for years — and there are on-the-ground installations in Ukraine — but the overall roll-out has been slow.


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