July 17, 2024

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Apple spent $450 million with Globalstar, and others on satellite texting

apple On Thursday, it said it would spend $450 million with US companies to enable them to become new emergency satellite Text messaging feature.

Most of that money will go to Global StarThat makes this feature possible, said Apple, the Louisiana-based company that operates the satellites.

Apple does not take a stake in the company but is committed to spending money on equipment and service operations. The money will pay for the satellites, as well as equip the ground stations with a new type of antenna designed by Apple.

In September, Apple announced an emergency SOS with the satellite as A remarkable feature on the new iPhone 14 models. If users are outside of a cell tower, such as in a remote area while camping, they can still call emergency services by pointing their phones at the sky and connecting to one of the 24 Globalstar satellites in low Earth orbit. It will be launched later this month through an iPhone software update.

Thursday’s announcement underscores the significant costs of operating the service.

The feature is free for two years but Apple left the ability to charge open after that. The service isn’t fully automated and requires human-staffed call centers — more than 300 Globalstar employees will work on the service, Apple said.

It’s also an example of Apple highlighting how much it spends on US suppliers. Apple likes to point out that many of the parts it uses in its devices come from the US, even though the final assembly is done almost entirely in China.

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Apple’s payments to Globalstar will come from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, a pool of money the company uses to support suppliers based in the United States.

Since the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund in 2017, it has made the payment $450 million for Corning for iPhone glass productionAnd the $390 million to Finisar To equip a factory to manufacture the laser components needed for FaceID, $100 million for XPO Logistics And the $10 million for Copan Diagnostics for COVID-19 Test kit parts.