The rumors first originated from the normally reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, but there is a growing collection of people who think he might have gotten this one wrong.
As reported by MacRumors, a number of analysts are now pointing to a specific band of 4G and 5G that was previously to be designed for satellite use. However, it’s now been repurposed for ground-based communications — and it’s all owned by Globalstar, a company with its roots in satellites.
It’s easy to see why things might have gotten confused. Especially when mentioning iPhone 13 support for Globalstar’s n53 band.
Many people have pointed out the issue between Kuo’s prediction and the actual function of the n53 band. PCMag’s Sascha Segan, for example, says that while the X60 may have the support for Globalstar’s Band 53, that in no way means that it’s going to communicate with satellites. Other Twitter users have pointed out similar issues, and have provided more technical details for those interested.
OKAY. I think I may have gotten to the bottom of this "iPhone 13 will include satellite connectivity" rumor, and it could be "iPhone Math" levels of game-of-telephone. The key: Globalstar.
While Kuo is normally accurate with his reporting, it appears that this instance might be a case of misunderstanding or translation issues. Regardless, it seems unlikely iPhone 13 will talk to satellites this time around. But next year might be a different story!