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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple today announced that its Emergency SOS via satellite service is being extended for an additional free year for existing iPhone 14 users. Apple originally gave new iPhone 14 owners two free years after device activation, which would have expired in November 2024.


Emergency SOS via Satellite is now free for two more years starting today or at the time of activation of any iPhone 14 model. Apple says the free trial will be extended for iPhone 14 users who have activated their device in any country that supports Emergency SOS via satellite prior to 12 a.m. Pacific Time on November 15, 2023.
"Emergency SOS via satellite has helped save lives around the world. From a man who was rescued after his car plummeted over a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles, to lost hikers found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, we continue to hear stories of our customers being able to connect with emergency responders when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to," said Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing. "We are so happy iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this groundbreaking service for two more years for free."
Available on all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models, the feature enables users to send text messages to emergency services via satellite when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is not available. Users can also share their location via satellite in the Find My app.

With the service, Apple says users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear conditions. Users are prompted to complete a short questionnaire with vital information, and the interface then shows users where in the sky to point their iPhone to connect and send the initial message. This message includes the user's questionnaire responses, location, altitude, iPhone battery level, and Medical ID info if set.

Apple says the service is designed to work outdoors with a clear view of the sky. Apple warns that foliage or other obstructions can result in emergency messages taking longer to send or failing to send, and satellite connectivity might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska.

Article Link: iPhone 14 Users Get Free Emergency SOS via Satellite for Another Year
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Jony Ive and Co.

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2020
If Kaiann is "so happy that users can take advantage of service for 2 more years for free", then Apple should keep it free forever. The outcome is literally in your hands and you are the one deciding whether people can be happy or not!

This epitomizes pure profit greed over happy users and for the benefit of society at large (ppl can call SOS when they need it)
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macrumors regular
Oct 25, 2014
Article title says one more year but the quote says two more years. Which is it? I assume Apple marketing is correct and it’s two more years, 3 total.
The Apple press release could be worded a little better. But:

It’s an additional year of service for users that already activated the free one year of service. And it’s two years total for any new users.


macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2014
Central IL, USA.
I have a 13PM, so I am missing out on this anyway. much as I dislike subscriptions or other fees to use something that was previously free, I would pay a reasonable amount to use something that could possibly save my life or a loved one's life at some point.

One of the reasons why I will most likely upgrade to a new iPhone next year. (assuming it will still have this feature).


macrumors member
Aug 11, 2017
Thanks to Starlink everyone in New Zealand gets full country wide coverage from next year.
Seems like Elon has it covered and anything else is just too little too late.
How long until all of N.America and Europe get the same? (Yeah, I know Canada is getting same as NZ)
SMS coverage in NZ by the end of 2024.
A year away.

Whereas Apple’s service has already been in use for a year and will have been 2 years by the time that service is live.

How is that “too little too late”?

(And you had better hope you or your country don’t upset the muskrat or he’ll simply turn the service off - he has form…)


macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2014


macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2019
If Kaiann is "so happy that users can take advantage of service for 2 more years for free", then Apple should keep it free forever.

This epitomizes pure profit greed over happy users and for the benefit of society at large (ppl can call SOS when they need it)

And maybe they will keep it free, but Apple wants to keep it's options open for probably expensive reasons.
Because right now for Apple this is for what is and always will be a niche feature very very expensive.


macrumors 65816
May 29, 2014
I think it may be because of legal issues.

In the UK, Ofcom puts obligations on telecoms (under General Condition A3.2) to ensure their customers have “uninterrupted access to emergency organisations”— which is the reason why phones can make emergency calls through other providers.

I’m unsure how satellite phone companies are regulated, but they do fall under the definition of telecom…
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