Apple introduced the Emergency SOS via satellite for all iPhone 14 users in November 2022. When there are no other options for contacting emergency services, emergency SOS via satellite feature can help users get in touch with them. Compatible iPhone models make an effort to link customers to necessary assistance via satellite-based communication in the event they are unable to reach emergency services because they are outside the coverage area of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. The feature has been reported to be life-saving in several situations so far. Initially provided for free for two years, the emergency SOS feature will now be available for longer for iPhone 14 users at no additional cost.
The iPhone maker confirmed in a press release that it is extending the two-year free trial of the Emergency SOS via satellite feature for iPhone 14 users by another year. “We are so happy iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this groundbreaking service for two more years for free,” Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, said in the release.
According to Apple, the free trial will be extended for iPhone 14 users who have activated their device in a country that supports Emergency SOS via satellite prior to 12am PT (1:30am IST) on November 15, 2023. Currently, Emergency SOS via satellite is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US. There’s no word on when the feature would make its way to India.
Apple launched the iPhone 14 lineup with four models – iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, in September 2022. It was followed by the release of the Emergency SOS via satellite feature in November of that year, initially only in the US and Canada, and later extended to more countries.
Buidling upon the satellite connectivity capability, eligible iPhone 14 users travelling off the grid, that is a location without cellular or wireless connectivity, can also use the Find My app and communicate their location with friends and family via satellite.
Apple also introduced the Roadside Assistance via satellite feature in the US, which connects car-owners to AAA roadside assistance in case of car trouble in a region with no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. According to Apple, the feature is included for free for two years, starting at the time of activation of a new iPhone 15 or 14 series model, and would require iOS 17 on the device to work.
The Emergency SOS via satellite service has also been extended to iPhone 15 users in 16 countries and regions, according to Apple. The company recently expanded the feature to Spain and Switzerland. Apple launched its latest iPhones at its ‘Wonderlust’ event in September.