Back in January, Qualcomm announced a plan to let Android users send text messages via satellite when they don’t have cellular service. This would have been the company’s response to Apple’s Emergency SOS feature. However, the initiative did not work as Qualcomm hoped.
Qualcomm is ending its Snapdragon Satellite partnership with satellite phone maker Iridium. Although the two men “successfully developed and demonstrated the technology”, smartphone manufacturers “have not included the technology in their devices”, Iridium.
Smartphone makers have “indicated a preference for standards-based solutions” for satellite connectivity, Qualcomm said. . In other words, they’re looking for a more open approach that doesn’t necessarily position Qualcomm as a middleman. As As noted, the cost of satellite SMS may also have deterred some manufacturers. Apple is currently paying the bill for emergency SOS.
Now that its deals with Qualcomm are coming to an end, Iridium says it can work directly with smartphone makers, mobile operating system developers and other chipmakers. Apple, meanwhile, has expanded its Emergency SOS functionality by adding accident detection integration.
Elsewhere, Starlink is . It plans to eventually offer satellite-powered voice and data capabilities directly to phones, meaning users won’t necessarily need a Starlink terminal nearby.