Why iPhone 13 may be illegal in some countries?

It's already been confirmed that the iPhone 13 (if it's going to be called that) will be unveiled on Sept. 14, and pretty much all the key technical information about Apple's future smartphone has already been revealed.

But one information is catching a lot of people's attention: the iPhone 13 may be considered illegal in some countries. And that could happen because of one of its main novelties.

The iPhone 13 is expected to have satellite connectivity, which is not expected to be available in some markets until 2022. Even so, if this feature (which allows you to make calls and send text messages in areas with no cellular signal) is present on the device, it may run into legal issues in some markets.

So let's understand why this can happen.

Why iPhone 13 may be illegal in some countries?

For starters, it's important to clarify that we mere Brazilians can't get too excited about the presence of satellite connectivity on the iPhone 13. The main reason for that is pretty obvious: the service is too expensive.

The field of possibilities that will open up with satellite connectivity is enormous, and this is a very interesting innovation in the long term, as it creates an alternative to keep iPhone users online in the world.

However, at the moment, satellite connectivity is still very expensive, and in all major global markets. The inclusion of the feature may mark the beginning of the democratization of satellite telephony, but it will take a long time to establish itself.

Still, this isn't Apple's biggest problem right now (September 2021, for anyone reading this post in the future). The obstacle to be overcome is legislation in at least 14 countries where the company may have serious problems with the inclusion of satellite telephony.

In these countries, either satellite telephony has very strict rules in its legislation, or the technology is completely prohibited.

The list of countries where the iPhone 13 may be banned because of the satellite phone feature is as follows:

  • Bangladesh
  • Burma
  • China
  • North Korea
  • Cuba
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Nicaragua
  • Russia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Southern Sudan
  • Turkmenistan


It's a very relevant list.

We're not talking about countries unimportant to Apple's business aspirations. Here, we have none other than China, India, and Russia. Three of the biggest global mobile phone markets. And if the iPhone 13 cannot be sold in any of these countries, the Cupertino giant will have serious problems.

What Apple can do to remedy the situation is limit the satellite communication feature for some countries, leaving out markets where legal barriers can prevent the iPhone 13 with this functionality.

Something that wouldn't be absurd or something too complex to do. Let's not forget that some iPhone generations left out 3G and 4G in certain markets in the past, not to mention the different models that the company already produces with different characteristics for 5G compatibility.

But at least there is a record of this curiosity about compatibility, which may happen with the new iPhone's arrival.

Let's wait for Sept. 14.

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