Apple has announced that iPhone 14 users will receive an additional 12 months of free Emergency SOS via satellite usage. This feature allows users to send messages and share their location with emergency services when they are outside of normal cell reception range. The offer extends the original two-year coverage promised by Apple when the iPhone 14 series was launched. The free coverage will expire from September 2025 onwards, depending on the purchase and activation date of the phone.
Unfortunately, iPhone 15 users will not receive any extra time, despite the same two-year offer at launch. They will continue to have 24 months of emergency satellite connectivity for free, with coverage expiring from September 2025 onwards, similar to the iPhone 14 series.
iPhone 15 users, however, have an added feature included in their satellite package. Apple introduced Roadside Assistance via satellite, allowing American users to call for car repairs from AAA in addition to other capabilities.
It is unclear what Apple plans to charge for the use of Emergency SOS via satellite in the future. Currently, the feature is only available in 16 countries. It is possible that Apple is waiting to activate the feature in more countries before implementing subscription fees. Alternatively, Apple may be taking its time to determine the fee structure and bundling options with other services.
The announcement of the extended free coverage coincides with the shutdown of Snapdragon Satellite, a rival smartphone satellite service. This leaves Apple with a monopoly on smartphone satellite connectivity until another company enters the market.
While there are no confirmations or denials regarding changes to Emergency SOS via satellite for the upcoming iPhone 16 series, it is speculated that it may also receive free coverage for a year or two, along with potential additional functionality.