Since its launch in late 2022, the iPhone 14 has been praised for its Emergency SOS satellite texting feature, which has successfully saved people in dire situations outside of cell signal range. Apple has recently announced that current iPhone 14 owners will receive an additional year of the Emergency SOS service for free.
The Emergency SOS feature utilizes GlobalStar’s satellite network, allowing iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 owners in 16 countries to contact emergency services in remote areas where mobile networks are unavailable. While other major phone providers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have expressed plans to expand connectivity using satellite networks, they have not yet implemented these plans beyond technical demonstrations. Additionally, Qualcomm’s attempt to connect Snapdragon-powered phones with Iridium’s satellite network has been discontinued.
As the only major phone provider to offer widespread coverage of satellite emergency texting, Apple continues to highlight the instances where Emergency SOS has helped save lives. By providing an extra year of satellite service to iPhone 14 owners, it is expected that more people will be rescued using this feature.
However, Apple’s long-term plans for Emergency SOS still remain unclear. With the launch of the iPhone 14, Apple stated that phone owners would receive two free years of service, but did not specify how the service would be utilized afterwards. The addition of another free year of service is a positive development, but Apple has yet to clarify how the service will evolve.
It is important to note that individuals who purchase an iPhone 14 after the announcement on November 15, 2023, will not receive the additional year of service. Only those who activated their phones in countries that support Emergency SOS prior to this date are eligible. This means that users who activated their iPhone 14 before November 14, 2023, will enjoy a total of three years of Emergency SOS.
Furthermore, owners of the recently launched iPhone 15 will not receive the extra year of Emergency SOS.