Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite for Android arrives to beat Apple


Snapdragon Satellite

Apple brought some changes with its iPhone 14 lineup. The Pro models were the most notable with a new design for the notch and new 48 MP cameras. However, we can say that one of the remarkable features that came with the lineup was the Emergency Satellite System. Since its launch, the feature has saved a lot of people in emergency situations. Through the SOS system, the iPhone 14 can send SOS alerts no matter if the phone has internet or cellular connectivity. Of course, Android brands don’t want to stay behind. During CES 2023, Qualcomm presented its alternative for Android phones- the Snapdragon Satellite system.

We’ve heard rumors pointing to the launch of a similar system with the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. Now, we can expect the feature on more phones. The Snapdragon Satellite will be ready for “the next-gen premium Android phones”. As a result, we will see more brands introducing this feature in 2023.

The feature comes through a partnership with Iridium. That firm operates a 66-strong Low Earth Orbit Satellite Constellation. To make things even more interesting, Iridium is a key competitor for Globalstar – the one who powers Apple’s system.

Snapdragon Satellite

Snapdragon Satellite will offer more than just SOS alerts

The Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and “other apps”. The last bit teases support for 3rd party apps in the future. Does that mean we will see the feature powering WhatsApp messages? The future is open. The firm wants to make the feature a tool for “recreation in remote and rural locations”.

As we’ve said above, we won’t need to wait much longer to see phones with the feature. The company states it will arrive with “next-generation phones, launched in select regions starting in the H2 2023”. It means that SD8 Gen 2-powered phones will enjoy this feature in a near future, or perhaps, SD8+ Gen 2-powered phones.

Snapdragon Satellite

Worth noting it will also reach other devices soon. These include laptops, tablets, cars, and IoT products. That means, that in the future, we will even see wearables with support for this Snapdragon Satellite without the need for a separate phone.

Moreover, OEMs and app developers can offer unique services by taking advantage of satellite connectivity. The Snapdragon Satellite will also get support for 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks in the future. The company will also partner with Garmin offering support for emergency messaging.

For now, the firm is adding it to flagships, but we can expect more of its SoCs to support the feature soon. Apple only has premium phones, but Android has devices in all price categories. We won’t be surprised to see mid-range phones sporting Snapdragon Satellite in the future.

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