Alleged visit to Apple by Elon Musk
Some time ago it was discussed that Elon Musk et.al. had visited Apple HQ. Everyone immediately thought that this must be Tesla and Apple Car related. But I recently thought about all of the other ventures that Elon is pushing. One other company that could be very relevant to telecommunications is SpaceX.
What if Apple and SpaceX could come up with a more cost effective, higher capacity alternative to satellite phone systems like Iridium and Global Star and built it into future iPhones? Even if it just carried SMS &iMessages, it could be revolutionary for people in areas where there is not much coverage from cellular networks.
The DeLorme InReach can do instantaneous satellite based SMS today from anywhere in the world, without outrageous contracts or high per message charges, but its relatively bulky compared to a smartphone and the hardware is not cheap. If the cost of developing this capability could be spread out across hundreds of millions of iPhone handsets, users SMS could seamlessly fall back onto satellite transmission whenever a traditional (cellular or wifi) connection was not available. Your messages would go right through even if you were in a national park or a remote area of a developing country. It seems more likely that Cook and Musk would have a more fruitful conversation on markets where they clearly would be strategic partners, not potential competitors.