Qualcomm has canceled a satellite messaging project it was developing for Android devices. Similar to the iPhone’s emergency SOS feature, the so-called Snapdragon Satellite has been left aside due to manufacturers’ lack of interest in adopting this technology.
The Snapdragon Satellite was announced in January: through it, some devices equipped with Qualcomm chips will gain the ability to send messages via satellite when a phone signal is not available. It’s similar to Apple’s Emergency SOS system, which was introduced in the iPhone 14 line, and which has already saved some lives.
The Qualcomm project was implemented in partnership with Iridium, a satellite mobile phone manufacturer. Although the companies “successfully developed and demonstrated the technology,” according to Iridium, a lack of interest from other manufacturers in adopting the feature on their smartphones caused the project to end.
The manufacturers were not interested in the project
According to Qualcomm, smartphone manufacturers have indicated their preference for standard satellite connectivity solutions rather than adopting another Qualcomm chip for their devices. In other words, other companies would rather not rely on Qualcomm for another advantage.
There was another factor contributing to the high cost of satellite messaging, as Apple has been offering the service for free so far, but has already announced that it will start charging for it starting next year, although it has not announced pricing yet.
With the end of the partnership with Qualcomm, Iridium says it will continue to look for smartphone manufacturers and mobile system developers to provide the service, as it already did before collaborating with Qualcomm.
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