Last summer Chinese market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported the iPhone 13 would include satellite communication capability, remembers long-time tech pundit Robert Cringley, who adds that the prediction was denied by Apple. "This, in itself, was weird because Apple generally doesn't react to rumors. But beyond the mere reaction, the way Apple responded to Ming's prediction was especially odd." An unattributed leak from Cupertino said that the iPhone 13 definitely would not include satellite communication capability. And even if some iPhone could communicate with satellites, the leak continued, it wouldn't be offering satellite voice service (which Ming had mentioned), limiting iPhones to satellite text or iMessage.... This was making less and less sense, but it clearly meant there was something happening. Then came the iPhone 13 launch and Ming was wrong for a change — no satellite communications. So the Cupertino rumor mill went about its business, Ming's satellite rumor apparently forgotten.

Not by me.

And this leads Cringley to another prediction of his own: I am convinced an announcement will be coming soon. Apple will shortly enter the satellite business by acquiring GlobalStar and its 24 satellites. They will use those 24, plus 24 more satellites that Apple has already commissioned, to offer satellite service for iMessage and Apple's Find My network just like they implied in their denial last year. These apps are proxies for Apple entering — and then dominating — the Internet of Things (IoT) business. After all, iPhones will give them 1.6 billion points of presence for AirTag detection even on sailboats in the middle of the ocean — or on the South Pole.

Because of Apple, the internet of things is going to get even bigger. It's possible for the internet of things to be found only on Apple's network. Being able to track anything in near real time anywhere on the planet signals the maturity of the internet of things, turning it quickly into a $1 trillion business.

Apple's stated goals will be only iMessage and Find My, followed by the internet of things, but the company plans to become a satellite phone and data company in the future. It will take several years to shift over additional Globalstar bandwidth and launch more satellites. Apple will also compete with satellite internet providers like Starlink and OneWeb, as well as with other mobile carriers. Apple can compete with Starlink with so many fewer satellites because GlobalStar has vastly more licensed spectrum.