Teardown shows iPhone 14 series using Qualcomm satellite chips

A teardown analysis showed that Apple’s iPhone 14 uses a Qualcomm satellite chip, but additionally added Apple-customized components to implement the phone’s most important new features. Satellite communication is a major new feature on the iPhone 14 that can send emergency messages when WiFi and cellular data networks are unavailable. 

Apple said earlier this month that the iPhone 14 includes new hardware to enable the emergency messaging service. Apple plans to enable the service in a November software update. But the company did not disclose the hardware details related to it.

An iFixit teardown analysis of the iPhone 14 Pro Max on Friday revealed that the phone uses a Qualcomm X65 modem chip. 

A Qualcomm chip provides the phone with 5G cellular connectivity, but can also call on the Band n53 frequency used by Globalstar's satellites. Globalstar struck a deal with Apple earlier this month, which will use 85 percent of its satellite network's communications capabilities for the iPhone's latest emergency communications capabilities.

Apple said in its statement that the company did use additional proprietary hardware and software in the iPhone 14 to implement the new messaging features.

"The iPhone 14 includes custom band components and new software designed entirely by Apple, which works together to enable emergency SOS communications through the new iPhone 14 models," Apple said.

Qualcomm has yet to comment.

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