Globalstar announcement on Apple Day?
August 31, 2022
Ardent Apple watchers are expecting an announcement today [August 31st] of its iPhone 14 along with the usual three or four variants. That’s probably a given with widespread gossip that the phones are already en route to the stores in readiness for a September 7th availability.
But there’s another strong rumour circulating which suggests that, following on from SpaceX’s near-global satellite service tie-up with T-Mobile for a ‘direct-to-device’ option, Apple might confirm a tie-up for a similar service with Globalstar.
The market is confused, however. Some suggest that the Apple offering will give users ‘emergency only’ access to a satellite service. This would be useful if only for catastrophic conditions, but hardly ground-breaking, or commercially compelling.
It is also worth remembering that previous Apple announcements have ignored any satellite activity.
Either way, there’s plenty of activity in this sector additional to the SpaceX/T-Mobile news.
For example, AST SpaceMobile has invested five years of effort into a Direct-to-Device system, although only two weeks ago had to postpone their commercial debut of its cellphone-compatible broadband satellite service to “late 2023”. AST is booked onto a SpaceX rocket of its first five satellites (called ‘Bluebirds’).
AST is a fairly new start-up and does not have the deep pockets of a Musk or Apple. The company reported $35 million in operating expenses during the second quarter of 2022, and had $202 million in cash reserves at the end of June.