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Apple iPhone 14 models have new satellite modems and radio chips

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
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Apple Inc’s iPhone 14 models have a Qualcomm Inc chip that can talk to satellites, but they have specially designed Apple plug-ins used in the phone’s biggest new feature, according to an analysis of the phone by iFixit and a statement from Apple.

Apple unveiled its iPhone 14 line on Friday, and one of the major new features is the ability to connect to satellites to send emergency messages when there’s no Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

iPhone 14 models have new hardware

Apple said earlier this month that iPhone 14 models have new hardware that makes emergency messaging possible, which Apple plans to enable with an upcoming software update in November. Apple did not provide specific hardware details for the satellite.

iFixit, a San Luis Obispo, California-based company that disassembles iPhones and other consumer electronics to gauge how easy they are to repair, disassembled an iPhone 14 Pro Max Friday, revealing a chip from the Qualcomm X65 modem.

Qualcomm’s chip provides 5G connectivity for cellular networks but is also capable of using what’s called band n53 which is the frequency range used by the Globalstar satellites.

Globalstar announced an agreement earlier this month 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 He said there are additional special hardware and software for the new messaging feature.

In addition, it “includes custom radio frequency components and new software entirely built by Apple, which together enable emergency SOS over satellite on new iPhone 14 models,” Apple said in a statement.

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