An iPhone with built-in satellite communication might not be too far away. Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known analyst, claims that the next iPhone (possibly the iPhone 13), will support low-Earth orbit satellite calls and messages. It is possible to communicate with someone on a camping trip remotely without any cell phone service and without purchasing a separate satellite communicator.
To talk to satellites, the iPhone will reportedly use a modified version Qualcomm's X60modem. Although it is not clear if satellite support will be available only to certain apps, we would not be surprised if this were the case. Satellite service can be slower than traditional cellular data and excludes many internet-intensive apps that people assume are available.
There are good reasons to be skeptical. Bloomberg reported in 2019 that Apple was developing satellite technology for its iPhone. However, the team claimed they hoped to ship the product in five years. This is assuming that the leaks were true. There are logistical issues to consider, such as choosing the right service provider. Satellite service is historically very expensive and can be difficult to sell, even if you aren't using cellular coverage.
Many people expect Apple to unveil the new iPhone lineup in September. It is not clear if the new iPhone lineup will be available only to Pro models, or all of it.
Apple may have a better hook for the new iPhone if there is a satellite connection. This would be the first smartphone to offer connectivity almost anywhere on the globe, and it's possible that competitors won't match it for a while.