Apple confirms emergency SOS via iPhone satellite launch later this month
Apple today Confirmed in a press release who – which SOS emergency via satellite iPhone 14 models will be launched in the US and Canada later this month. Apple has not yet provided a specific release date or the iOS version required for this feature.
Apple also announced that it is investing $450 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to develop critical infrastructure to support emergency SOS via satellite, with the majority of the funding going to Apple partner Globalstar.
Apple said its investment will provide significant improvements to the Globalstar satellite network and ground stations in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Puerto Rico and Texas to ensure iPhone 14 users can call emergency services when they are off grid.
All four iPhone 14 models will be able to connect directly to Globalstar satellites, allowing users to text emergency services when they’re out of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage and share their location via satellite using the Find My app. This feature will help users orient their iPhones towards a satellite with images visible on the screen.
Apple says a satellite message could take 15 seconds to send in ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and horizon, but it could take more than a minute to send the message “under trees with light or medium leaves.” In environments with “heavy foliage” or “other obstacles,” the iPhone may fail to fully communicate with the satellite.
As a result of this investment, Globalstar ground stations have already been upgraded to use new high-power antennas designed and manufactured specifically for Apple. Apple has shared more details about how the feature works:
When an iPhone user performs an Emergency SOS via a satellite request, the message is received by one of Globalstar’s 24 satellites in low Earth orbit traveling at approximately 16,000 miles per hour. The satellite then sends the message to dedicated ground stations located at key points around the world.
Once received by a ground station, the message is routed to emergency services who can dispatch assistance, or a relay center with Apple-trained emergency specialists if the nearest emergency services location is unable to receive text messages.
in support documentHowever, Apple says satellite Emergency SOS will be available with the iOS 16 software update coming in November. The service will be free for the first two years, which indicates that Apple plans to ship it in the future.
Apple has reportedly confirmed that the feature will Expansion into other countries By the end of next year, she did not make clear the plans.
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