‘Apple Watch Pro’ Considered for Satellite Features, Not Just iPhone: Report
In this week’s edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman talked about Apple possibly bringing its long-rumoured satellite connectivity functionality to the “Apple Watch Pro” in addition to the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup.
The tech giant has “internally discussed the idea of giving its watches satellite features, which could make sense for a future version of the new more rugged Apple Watch Pro,” Gurman said.
Gurman previously reported that Apple will unveil three new Apple Watch models at its September event this year: the Series 8, a low-end SE refresh, and a new “Pro” model geared toward extreme sports.
Gurman noted that Apple remains committed to adding satellite-powered emergency communication features to the iPhone. He now believes the company is considering them for its planned higher-end, more rugged Apple Watch model as well.
For the iPhone, Gurman said Apple is going to start with a feature that’s internally referred to as “Emergency Message via Satellite.” This new feature will let owners of supported iPhones send SOS messages and report accidents in areas without cellular service.
Ultimately, though, Apple plans for users to also be able to make regular phone calls and have global internet access over satellite links.
Gurman said it’s unclear if Apple will launch satellite functionality for any of its devices at its upcoming product launch event, dubbed “Far Out,” on September 7 — although the branding of the event could be an indication of such an announcement.
Globalstar, Apple’s rumoured partner for satellite technology, acquired 17 new satellites to provide “continuous satellite services” to an anonymous “potential customer.” In addition, a report from earlier this week indicated that we might see Apple debut satellite communication at the iPhone 14 launch event after all.
Earlier this week, T-Mobile and Elon Musk’s SpaceX announced a global cellphone service would be coming in 2023, when next-gen Starlink satellites launch, essentially set to eliminate dead zones on Earth. The Starlink cellular service would eventually expand to Tesla vehicles as well, confirmed the company.