It was rumored for quite some time that Samsung would adopt a form of satellite connectivity in its Galaxy S23 series, but yesterday’s debut went by without that feature. What happened? Apparently, Samsung is waiting for satellite features to be “ready” for the Galaxy S23 and other phones.

Late last year it was reported that Samsung would adopt satellite connectivity on the Galaxy S23, just like Apple brought to its iPhone 14 series. However, Samsung was rumored to build on Apple’s functionality, allowing for not just pre-set messages and sending an emergency location, but also sending general text messages using satellites.

But as we saw in yesterday’s launch, there was not a single mention of the feature.

Speaking to CNET, Samsung president TM Roh acknowledged the Galaxy S23’s lack of satellite support, saying that the company would adopt the feature when it is “ready.”

When there is the right timing, infrastructure and the technology [is] ready, then of course for Samsung Galaxy, for our mobile division, we would also actively consider adopting this feature as well

That’s certainly a departure from Samsung’s usual approach to new features, where in the past Samsung has often thrown new ideas at the wall just to see what sticks, regardless of how “ready” that feature really was. To an extent, it’s rather odd to see Samsung waiting on a new feature that Apple has already adopted.

Of course, this may all change in the not-too-distant future. Last month Qualcomm announced support for “Snapdragon Satellite,” a feature that will allow users to communicate via satellite on devices using the latest Snapdragon processors. With the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung has moved to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on a global scale.

But even then, TM Roh doesn’t seem to believe satellite connectivity will be all that big of a deal for its users. He said that he does “not believe that is the end-all or be-all of the solutions to ensure peace of mind among users,” pointing to improving sensors in its phones and expanding 5G coverage as efforts to improve the sense of security. It’s an odd connection to make, especially when search and rescue teams have called satellite communications on the iPhone 14 a “game changer” and the feature has already been responsible for helping first responders locate crash victims.

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