Qualcomm kills Snapdragon Satellite for Android phones

In a shocking transfer, Qualcomm and its associate Iridium have introduced that Snapdragon Satellite is abruptly coming to an finish of types, as the 2 firms have ended a deal that will have introduced satellite tv for pc connectivity to Android phones.

Satellite connectivity was, simply a few years in the past, one thing that nobody actually anticipated to see on smartphones, nevertheless it’s now desk stakes as Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 lineups have emphasised the characteristic and its significance in distant places with out mobile protection. But, on the Android facet of issues, there hasn’t been a lot motion on this space.

The largest announcement round satellite tv for pc connectivity on Android got here with Qualcomm’s reveal of Snapdragon Satellite early this 12 months. The know-how, in partnership with Iridium, would have enabled Android smartphones to determine restricted connectivity by way of satellites to ship emergency messages. Yet, we haven’t heard a lot within the nearly-a-year for the reason that tech was introduced.

Now, Qualcomm and Iridium have introduced that their partnership will probably be dissolved efficient December 3, 2023, with out bringing any units to market with Snapdragon Satellite.

In a press launch, Iridium says that the explanation the partnership is coming to an in depth – a call that traces again to Qualcomm – is just that Android phones aren’t but utilizing the know-how wanted to hook up with satellites.

Iridium explains:

The firms efficiently developed and demonstrated the know-how; nevertheless, however this technical success, smartphone producers haven’t included the know-how of their units.

Qualcomm had beforehand introduced that units from Oppo, Nothing, and Motorola would all undertake the tech, however we by no means noticed something come of it. The firm had additionally proudly mentioned that the tech could be out there to all tiers of Snapdragon chips.

Rival chipmaker MediaTek has additionally beforehand introduced satellite tv for pc connectivity for Android phones and different units.

What does this imply for satellite tv for pc connectivity in Android phones? CNBC notes, citing a press release from Qualcomm, that Android makers apparently have expressed an choice to make use of “standards-based options” moderately than Qualcomm’s proprietary answer. The firm added that it will likely be “discontinuing efforts” with Snapdragon Satellite as we all know it at the moment, and that it expects to “collaborate with Iridium on standards-based options.”

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