Could OnePlus be launching phone with satellite connectivity?

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Unlike most of the time, Apple can be aptly credited as being the flag bearer of satellite connectivity on commercially available smartphones. Apple rolled out its iPhone 14 series in 2022 will the feature leaving Android OEMs gasping for air with just a handset of models getting their share of the feature. However, it seems like OnePlus could join the wagon soon.

For the unversed, Android 15 Beta 1 arrived across unlocked OnePlus 12 and OnePlus Open devices last week. Although the firmware is not for everyday usage, it gives a glance at what Google is cooking with Android 15 set to arrive this spring. One such snippet of code within the Settings app on OnePlus 12 running on Android 15 Beta revealed a surprising detail. Turns out OnePlus phones, in the future, could have satellite connectivity as the snippet reads:

<string name="oplus_authentication_model_new_name_satellite">"Satellite mobile phone   Made in China   OnePlus Technology It (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.   Model: %s"</string>

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One could simply argue this could be a reference to Oppo’s satellite connectivity feature that it has been rolling out across phones in China (since Oppo’s Color OS and OnePlus’ OxygenOS share the same code base). However, you need to know that there’s a separate mention of satellite connectivity on ColorOS dedicated to Oppo devices. This eliminates any argument on a simple mistake in the code or carryover from Oppo to OnePlus.

As of now, OnePlus doesn’t have satellite connectivity and there’s nothing planned for OnePlus 13 as per what we know so far. It remains to be seen if this feature will roll out on future OnePlus devices or not. There’s a possibility that OnePlus could introduce satellite connectivity but limit it to China. There has been an influx of phones with the feature in the country and seems like OnePlus could join the wagon as well.

It is quite subjective if you want satellite connectivity features on your phones or not. The feature can be extremely relieving if you are stuck in the outskirts or somewhere with no network. However, this can’t undermine the potential subscription costs that OEM will charge once the feature rolls out full-fledged.

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