It has been a year since Apple introduced the emergency SOS via satellite feature on iPhone 14 units in the US. This feature allows users to text emergency services for help even when they have no cell service. Upon activating an iPhone 14 or iPhone 15, Apple is offering two years of free access to this service.
Although Apple has not disclosed how much they will charge for the feature after the free access period, users can enjoy worry-free access for an additional year. Existing iPhone 14 users who activated their phones in a country where the service is available will receive an extra year of free access.
The emergency SOS via satellite feature has proven to be life-saving around the world. Examples include a man who was rescued after his car fell off a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles and lost hikers who were found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy. Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance, mentioned that these stories highlight how their customers can connect with emergency responders when traditional methods fail.
Apple is extending the free access period for users, coinciding with Qualcomm’s unsuccessful attempt to offer a similar feature on Android devices. Qualcomm’s partner, Iridium, stated that smartphone manufacturers have chosen not to include the technology in their devices, as they are seeking standards-based solutions. The associated costs of implementing this initiative may have also deterred them.
In summary, Apple is providing users with extended free access to the emergency SOS via satellite feature on iPhones. This feature has been instrumental in saving lives globally, and its availability for an additional two years will continue to benefit iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users.