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Apr 12, 2001
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All four iPhone 14 models include a new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that is set to launch in November in the United States and Canada, and a new report today claims that Apple plans to expand the feature to additional countries over time.

emergency-sos-via-satellite.jpg

Apple reportedly informed Swiss website MacPrime that it plans to announce additional countries for Emergency SOS via Satellite later this year, followed by even more countries next year, but it's unclear exactly when the feature would actually launch in additional countries. We've reached out to Apple for comment on the matter.

Emergency SOS via Satellite is designed to allow iPhone 14 models to connect directly to a satellite, allowing users to send text messages to emergency services when outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. When it launches in the United States and Canada, Apple says the service will be free for the first two years, which suggests that Apple might be planning to charge for the service at some point in the future.


Apple says that in "ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon," a message might take 15 seconds to send, but notes it can over a minute for a message to send "under trees with light or medium foliage." On the iPhone, the feature helps users to orient their iPhone towards a satellite to establish a connection.

(Thanks, Steve!)

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Plans to Expand iPhone 14's Satellite Feature to More Countries
 
Last edited:

mikebenton

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2009
60
71
I imagine the rollout is more dependent on relay stations. Just because you can connect to a satellite anywhere on the globe, in theory, that doesn't mean your message has a meaningful place to go to get you help.
I agree about the relay stations, but it's also likely a radio licensing issue. Given this is a transceiver, there are likely radio licensing hurdles in every country this is implemented.
 

Graphikos

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2007
152
562
MacRumors should also reach out to Apple to find out how much emergency satellite messaging is going to cost when the 2 year free trial period expires. Inquiring minds want to know...
Apple probably doesn't even know. They just want to set the expectation now, especially if this ends up being a costly endeavor for them. Other services like this cost quite a bit. Garmin's InReach starts at $15/mo and you have to buy a device ($400). 2 years free with a device is actually quite nice.
 

Sammy in SoCal

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2021
431
904
It will be interesting to see after a couple years whether Apple does charge for a safety feature. Seems like if someone gets lost somewhere out in a remote area and had a satellite capable iPhone but didn’t pay for the subscription and something happens to that person….would It be considered unethical on apples part?
 

LoveTo

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2021
98
754
They’re better off creating a new product category for these rather than adding that cost to everyone’s phone when many folks don’t even need the feature. I know that you don’t plan on being stranded somewhere but one can take a guess based on their daily routine.
 

munpip214

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011
635
1,658
MacRumors should also reach out to Apple to find out how much emergency satellite messaging is going to cost when the 2 year free trial period expires. Inquiring minds want to know...
My guess is that apple wants a couple of years to figure out how many people will be using it to determine number of employees and relay stations it needs to have by area. This really should be connected to iCloud+ or something so many people can still use it without paying extra.
 

dugbug

macrumors 68000
Aug 23, 2008
1,724
1,446
Somewhere in Florida
MacRumors should also reach out to Apple to find out how much emergency satellite messaging is going to cost when the 2 year free trial period expires. Inquiring minds want to know...

well the garmin inreach (which is the closest thing) is a standalone device that costs ~15.00USD/mo for its 'safety' plan (SOS, location, etc). Not saying thats what gobalstar will charge as inreach uses iridium.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2003
1,592
2,820
Florida
My guess is that apple wants a couple of years to figure out how many people will be using it to determine number of employees and relay stations it needs to have by area. This really should be connected to iCloud+ or something so many people can still use it without paying extra.

Yeah, they could bundle it into some the Apple One or iCloud subscription.
 

Devnul0

macrumors regular
May 28, 2018
150
225
Greater Boston
It will be interesting to see after a couple years whether Apple does charge for a safety feature. Seems like if someone gets lost somewhere out in a remote area and had a satellite capable iPhone but didn’t pay for the subscription and something happens to that person….would It be considered unethical on apples part?
I don't think anyone considers it unethical that a SPOT or an inReach does not work without a subscription.
 

JPSaltzman

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2011
354
758
Well, not only should it be offered to other countries and people, but I would certainly hope Apple would figure out a way to have it available on previous iPhones, especially last year's 13.

I also think it should be a free service to all. Apple can certainly afford it. None of this subscription crap. I can just see it now: family stranded in on I-15 between Utah and Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with no cell service available, and they go to use Apple's satellite service, only to have a message pop up, "Your subscription was expired..."
 
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