Chip-maker Qualcomm has decided to end its partnership with satellite provider Iridium to offer a satellite SOS feature for Android devices. The feature, called Snapdragon Satellite, was announced earlier this year in collaboration with Iridium, a satellite communications company.
The goal was to enable satellite messaging and emergency services on smartphones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Mobile Platforms using Iridium’s satellite network. The technology was successfully developed and demonstrated. However, smartphone manufacturers have not included the feature in their devices.
In light of this, Qualcomm has informed Iridium that it will terminate the agreements, effective December 3, 2023. While disappointed, Iridium’s CEO, Matt Desch, believes that the industry is moving towards increased satellite connectivity in consumer devices. He mentioned that Apple, along with mobile network operators and device manufacturers, have plans to provide expanded coverage and satellite-based features to their customers.
Upon termination of the agreements, Iridium will have the freedom to directly engage with smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), chipmakers, and smartphone operating system developers that it had collaborated with before. Additionally, Iridium will seek new relationships with OEMs, chipmakers, and developers for its current and future service plans.
It is important to note that the termination of these agreements will not impact Iridium’s financial guidance for the full year of 2023.