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Globalstar Stock Rockets; New iPhone Said to Support Satellite Communication

Globalstar shares take off on a report that the latest iPhone will be able to use satellite communications.
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Globalstar  (GSAT) - Get Globalstar, Inc. Report soared for the stratosphere Monday following a report that the Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report iPhone 13 will be able to use satellite communications.

Shares of the Covington, La., mobile satellite services company at last check were 43% higher at $2.05.

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Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, said the Qualcomm X60 baseband chip that Apple is predicted to be using in the iPhone 13 will support low-Earth-orbit satellite communications, according to AppleInsider.

The analyst based his prediction on Qualcomm's  (QCOM) - Get Qualcomm Inc Report work with Globalstar, making the latter the most likely partner for the effort.

Apple iPhones are typically introduced in September. Rumors about the Apple iPhone 13 have circulated for months.

"There are many potential scenarios for Apple's business model cooperation with Globalstar," Kuo wrote in an investors note. 

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"The simplest scenario is that if the user's operator has already teamed with Globalstar, the user can directly use Globalstar's satellite communication service on the iPhone 13 through the operator's service."

Kuo said that other vendors that want satellite communications functions will have to wait a year until some point in 2022, and will have to use the forthcoming X65 baseband chip.

Kuo also said the iPhone 13 pro models will will add a new ultrawide camera lens with autofocus, a feature that will apparently spread to the non-Pro models released in 2022.

Meanwhile, William Blair analyst Louie DiPalma said that while media coverage is focusing on Globalstar, Iridium Communications  (IRDM) - Get Iridium Communications Inc. Report has "discreetly dropped hints" that it is pursuing embedding its LEO satellite connectivity into smartphones and other mass market devices, according to the Fly.

Right now the closest technology to connecting a smartphone directly to a satellite network is what Iridium does "at scale" by embedding its connectivity into the "very small" form factor Garmin  (GRMN) - Get Garmin Ltd. Report inReach handheld devices, he said.

Shares of Iridium were up 8.7% to $44.18 at last check. Garmin shares were 0.6% higher at $176.94,

The iPhone is Apple’s most successful product. IPhone sales covered more than 44% of Apple’s total revenue in the company’s latest quarter.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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