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Dissolution of a High-Profile Collaboration

Qualcomm has officially terminated its partnership with Iridium, a satellite communications firm, in their joint venture to provide satellite-to-phone services. This partnership, initially announced in January 2023, was seen as a significant move for Android in response to Apple’s collaboration with Globalstar for satellite-powered emergency features in iPhones and Apple Watches.

The Reason Behind the Partnership’s End

Despite successful development and demonstration of the technology by both Qualcomm and Iridium, the partnership’s dissolution is attributed to the reluctance of smartphone manufacturers to adopt the technology. Qualcomm pointed out that device makers have shown a preference for standards-based solutions over the proprietary technology developed in this partnership.

Qualcomm’s Future Plans

In light of this development, Qualcomm has announced its intention to continue working with Iridium on developing standards-based solutions for satellite-to-phone connectivity. This marks a shift away from the proprietary solution that was earlier introduced.

Iridium’s Perspective and Future Prospects

Iridium, acknowledging the end of this agreement, views this as an opportunity to reconnect with other entities working on satellite-to-cell projects. The company assured its investors that this termination would not affect its financial guidance for the full year 2023.

Industry Optimism Despite Setback

Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, expressed his disappointment over the partnership not producing immediate results but remains hopeful about the future. He is optimistic about the trend towards integrating increased satellite connectivity into consumer devices, indicating a growing interest in this technology area within the industry.