When Apple launched its iPhone 14 series of smartphones in 2022, the company also introduced a new feature: Emergency SOS via satellite. The feature, which allows users to send an SOS message even without a cellular connection, was released in November 2022 and was enabled for free for all iPhone 14 buyers — for two years.
Apple has now extended free access to Emergency SOS via satellite for another year.
The caveat here is that this only applies to existing iPhone 14 users. From Apple’s announcement: “The free trial period will be extended for iPhone 14 users who have activated their device in a country that supports Emergency SOS via satellite before 12 a.m. Pacific Time on November 15, 2023.”
Apple Emergency SOS on iPhone: What it is and how to use it
As for iPhone 15 buyers, they get two years of free access to the service when they activate their phone.
The feature is available in 16 countries and regions; for a complete list, check Apple’s website.
Apple’s iPhone SOS emergency feature has already proven its worth; just in august a woman and her dog were saved after a flash flood in utah thanks to the feature and a family stuck in a van during the wildfires in Maui used the feature to call for help.
“Emergency SOS via satellite has helped save lives around the world. From a man who was rescued after his car plunged off a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles, to lost hikers found in the Apennines in Italy, we continue to hear stories of our customers being able to contact emergency services when otherwise they couldn’t,” said Kayan Drance, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing.
Apple never said how much it plans to charge for the service. There is currently no competition; none of the Android manufacturers offer this functionality, although it does rumours that Samsung and Google’s Pixel phones will be among the first to get such a feature.