Android Smartphones To Get Satellite Connectivity Got Prolonged

  • Qualcomm has made a partnership with Iridium but ended their partnership.
  • Android smartphone makers don't wish to use Qualcomm's proprietary technology
  • Apple introduced its satellite connectivity feature for the first time with its iPhone 14 lineup back in 2022 for emergency purposes

Apple introduced its satellite connectivity feature for the first time with its iPhone 14 lineup in 2022 for emergency purposes. This emergency feature allows users to contact emergency services the moment they are at some potential risk or get stuck in a region where there is no network. But since then, with a number of amazing smartphones being launched, none of them offer this similar feature. 

Although Google and Qualcomm have planned to bring satellite connectivity support on Android 14 ahead of Apple’s iPhone 14 at CES 2023, Qualcomm then announced the Snapdragon Satellite for two-way satellite communications. In case you are excitedly waiting for Android smartphones to offer satellite connectivity features, then your wait just got prolonged.   

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite announcement earlier this year states that the feature could be unveiled in the H2 2023. At the same time, Qualcomm has made a partnership with Iridium, which is a satellite communication company, so that Qualcomm can easily configure the L-band spectrum for low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. But giving a big blow, both Qualcomm and Iridium have ended their partnership, with Iridium describing that though both companies have developed and demonstrated satellite communications, the technology was not at all adopted by any of the equipment manufacturers.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s technology has proved to have more precedence as compared to Apple’s satellite technology, and this is because Qualcomm offers two-way satellite communication without imposing any limits on SOS alert options. Despite its dominance, Android smartphone makers don’t wish to use Qualcomm’s technology. Describing the reason, Qualcomm stated that “Android phone makers want a standard-based solution but not a proprietary technology”. This drawback means Android phone users still have to wait a little longer to get the satellite connectivity feature.   

Furthermore, Qualcomm has not ceased on the satellite connectivity feature but will also not work on developing its proprietary technology. This wait indicates that Android users will be unlikely to witness the launch of the satellite connectivity feature this year. Nevertheless, it’s expected that Qualcomm, along with the Android smartphone manufacturers, might work out to bring any solution by H2 2024. 


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Jurin Charnvirakul

Jurin Charnvirakul has been a part-time editor at RM Update since 2020, and full-time since 2021. Now, focus your articles on buying guides, tutorials, offer recommendations and product analysis. Graduated in Journalism Communication.

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