Surprise! Apple iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max have an ISRO link
Now that the iPhone 15 series has been unveiled, its tech specs reveal that it features a GPS called NavIC developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
In the last few years, Apple has been investing heavily in India. The Cupertino-based tech giant set up a manufacturing plant for its older iPhone models a few years ago, while it also kicked off the production of the latest iPhone 14 model in 2022. Recently, it was revealed that Apple would also make the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models in India, and they would go on sale within 10 days of launch, making it one of the first countries to get its newest flagship iPhone series. Now that the iPhone 15 has been unveiled, its technical specifications reveal that it uses a GPS developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
iPhone 15 featuring NavIC
On getting a closer look at the technical specifications of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, it has been revealed that alongside precision GPS technologies such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDo, it also features ISRO's NavIC. However, only the Pro models support this feature while the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus do not. The frequencies of NavIC are interoperable with other precision dual-frequency GPS.
Apple has not yet revealed NavIC's features that iPhone 15 will support.
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What is NavIC?
Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) is a regional satellite navigation system indigenously developed by the Indian space agency ISRO as an alternative to the GPS navigation system. It serves two purposes - offering Standard Position Service (SPS) for civilians and Restricted Service (RS) for strategic users. Earlier known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), NavIC has been designed with a constellation of 7 satellites and a network of ground stations that operate 24x7.
According to ISRO's official website, 3 of these satellites are placed at 32.5°E, 83°E, and 129.5°E respectively in the geostationary orbit, while the rest of them revolve in the inclined geosynchronous orbit. On the ground, ISRO operates range and integrity monitoring stations, a precise timing facility, two-way ranging stations, and a control center.
Applications of NavIC include location-based services, transportation services (aerial, marine, and terrestrial), surveying and geodesy, resource monitoring, personal mobility, scientific research, and more.
Speaking to ANI, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, "During this launch [of iPhone 15], India is achieving two milestones. First, the availability of the iPhone 15 in India would be on the same day as the availability of it in New York and London...And the second is that the NavIC GPS satellite system developed by ISRO would be present in the iPhone 15."
iPhone 15 series: How much does it cost?
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus start at Rs. 79900 and Rs. 89900 respectively in India. They will be available in three storage options - 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options.
The iPhone 15 Pro has received a price hike in India, and it now starts at Rs. 134900 for the base 128GB storage variant. The top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max also gets a price hike but a bump up in base storage as well. It is priced at Rs. 159900 in India.