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Elon Musk says SpaceX, Apple have had 'some promising conversations' about Starlink connectivity

·2 min read

Elon Musk said Thursday that SpaceX and Apple have had "some promising conversations" about Starlink connectivity.

"iPhone team is [obviously] super smart," Musk tweeted. "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."

The tweet came in reply to a user who suggested that Apple should partner with SpaceX on the iPhone 14's emergency SOS via satellite feature.

A representative for Apple did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.

APPLE MAINTAINING US PRICES ON IPHONE 14 DESPITE INFLATION

According to Apple, emergency SOS via satellite will allow iPhone 14 users to send messages to emergency services while they are outside cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

The feature will give users a questionnaire in order to assess their situation before showing them where to point the device to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who call for help on the user's behalf. Users can also manually share their location over satellite with Find My feature when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to iPhone 14 users in the U.S. and Canada in November and will be free for the first two years.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, satellite communications firm GlobalStar said it would partner with Apple on the emergency SOS via satellite feature and that the tech giant has agreed to pay 95% of the costs for new satellites associated with the feature.

GlobalStar expects its total revenue for the year ending Dec. 31, 2023, to range between $185 million to $230 million. It added that the new satellites are expected to be operational by 2026 and that total revenue could increase by approximately 35% compared to its 2023 forecast, driven primarily by revenue growth under its partnership with Apple.

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In addition to talks with Apple, SpaceX recently announced a partnership with T-Mobile to eliminate dead zones in rural areas via satellite. The new service is expected to begin with texting in a beta phase beginning by the end of next year.

SpaceX is also partnering with Royal Caribbean for Starlink connectivity on its cruise ships and Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private air carrier JSX for Wi-Fi service on flights.

SpaceX has launched more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into orbit to date.