Satellite phones are, perhaps unsurprisingly given the costs usually incurred, yet to make any significant inroads into the mainstream cellphone market, but that’s set to change (perhaps) with the Elektrobit TerreStar Genus. Announced in October along with a partnership with AT&T, the dual-mode HSPA/satellite handset has been spotted clearing the FCC in preparation for its tipped Q1 2010 launch.
The TerreStar Genus is, at first glance, a pretty straightforward Windows Phone, with a touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and a QWERTY keyboard. There’s also a camera on the back and a 3.5mm headphone socket on the side, together with a microUSB port.
Of course, once you look at the side profile of the smartphone, you begin to see the compromises made to squeeze in satellite functionality. It’s not exactly a slender handset, and nor are we expecting it to be a cheap one; AT&T haven’t revealed pricing as yet, but given the usual costs inherent in satellite calls/data, this is likely to remain a pretty niche device.