For years, we’ve seen smartphone makers compete with each other on the camera front and on the display front, but now it looks like we have a new area of competition – satellite communications, and it looks like Huawei has beaten Apple and pretty much the entire Android ecosystem to the punch.
The company has recently announced its latest smartphone, the Mate 50 series which lacks 5G, but it looks like Huawei is kind of making up for it with support for satellite communications thanks to China’s BeiDou satellite network. This will allow the handset to send text messages in areas where there is no cellular coverage.
Why this is interesting is because Apple is rumored to be planning a similar feature for the iPhone 14 series which is expected to be officially announced today, so with the Mate 50 now being official, Huawei has managed to announce the feature ahead of the competition. It was also recently suggested that Android 14 could enable a similar feature for future devices.
T-Mobile and SpaceX have also announced a similar partnership, but that would require users to sign up for T-Mobile’s plans, which does limit who can use the feature. At least with the Huawei Mate 50, anyone who buys the phone should be able to take advantage of that.
While we won’t call it a make or break feature in a smartphone, being able to communicate even when you’re out of range can be useful and critical in certain emergency situations. Hopefully many of us won’t find ourselves in such situations, but it’s good to know that the feature is there if we need it.
Source: The Verge