New iPhones have Qualcomm satellite modems, new Apple radio chips Reuters

© Reuters FILE PHOTO: Apple iPhone 14 Pro is seen at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Stephen Nellis

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: ) iPhone 14 models have a Qualcomm (NASDAQ: ) Inc chip that can talk to satellites but have more custom-designed Apple components used in the phone’s biggest innovation. Characteristic, according to the analysis of the phone by iFixit and Apple’s statement.

Apple released the iPhone 14 lineup on Friday. One of the major new features is the ability to connect to satellites to send emergency messages when there is no WiFi or cellular data connection.

Apple announced earlier this month that iPhone 14 models will contain new hardware that enables the emergency messaging service, which Apple plans to turn on with a software update in November. Apple did not provide details about the satellite-based hardware.

To assess how easy iPhones and other consumer electronics are to repair, iFixit, a San Luis Obispo, California-based company, on Friday took apart an iPhone 14 Pro Max model and revealed a Qualcomm X65 modem chip.

The Qualcomm chip provides 5G connectivity for cellular networks, but it can use the same frequency band used by Globalstar’s (NYSE: ) satellites, called band n53.

Earlier this month, Globalstar announced a deal in which Apple will take up to 85% of Globalstar’s satellite network capacity to enable Apple’s new emergency messaging feature.

Apple said in a statement to Reuters on Saturday that there is more proprietary hardware and software in the iPhone 14 for the new messaging feature.

“iPhone 14 includes custom radio frequency components and new software designed entirely by Apple, which together enable emergency SOS via satellite on the new iPhone 14 models,” Apple said in a statement.

Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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