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Apple loans Globalstar $252m

March 2, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Apple is lending satellite operator $252 million (€237.2m) as an advance prepayment for accessing Globelstar’s satellites for Apple’s latest direct-to-satellite emergency call system on its iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro handsets.

Globalstar has 24 satellites in orbit and has another 17 craft planned, plus a potential extra 9 satellites all of which will be built by Canada’s space technology company MDA (and to be launched by RocketLab). The initial contract is worth $327 million to MDA, with any additional craft costing $11.4 million each.

Apple had already committed to stumping up 95 percent of the cost of Globalstar’s new satellites, but there was an obligation that Globalstar fund – through third-party borrowing – the manufacturing contract. This obligation is now seemingly relaxed.

In an SEC filing Globalstar says it expected to recoup the prepayments in regular instalments beginning in Q3 2025.

Apple gets 85 per cent of Globalstar’s in-orbit capacity on its new satellites.

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