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Good news for iPhone 14 users! Apple extends free satellite service for another year

If you own an iPhone 14 and are living in one of the eligible markets for Emergency SOS satellite feature, Apple has good news for you.

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Nov 16, 2023, 11:46 AM IST

Apple Emergency SOS via Satellite
Apple Emergency SOS via Satellite

Story Highlights

  • Apple has extended free access to Emergency SOS via satellite service.
  • iPhone 14 users get another year of free service, meaning a total of three years.
  • The price for when the free period will be over has not been decided yet.

Apple said on Wednesday iPhone 14 users would get free access to its emergency SOS feature for another year. The company’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce that access to emergency satellite communication will now remain free for another year for iPhone 14 users. Introduced a year earlier, the feature allows users to share their location through satellite from areas without network by using Apple’s FindMy app and send messages to emergency services.

“Emergency SOS via satellite has helped save lives around the world. From a man who was rescued after his car plummeted over a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles, to lost hikers found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, we continue to hear stories of our customers being able to connect with emergency responders when they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing. “We are so happy iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this groundbreaking service for two more years for free.”

The Emergency SOS satellite communication feature was launched last year with the iPhone 14. Buyers of iPhone 14 were given two free years of service after device activation in eligible markets. An extension of another year means the Emergency SOS satellite feature will remain free for another two years, giving iPhone 14 users some peace of mind in case they like the feature but are hesitant about paying for it. Although Apple has not revealed how much it will charge for Emergency SOS via satellite when the free period is over.

The service has been rolled out to 16 countries and regions, after its initial launch in the United States and Canada. However, it is still unavailable in India, so iPhone 14 users in India do not have anything to rejoice over after this announcement. But Apple may introduce the service in India anytime soon, considering it has ramped up its efforts in the country over the past few years. Making the emergency SOS satellite service in India would also require Apple to obtain certain permissions and licenses from the government.

Users of the iPhone 15 line-up will continue to have two years of free access to the service, provided through a partnership between Apple and satellite operator Globalstar. That means the service for iPhone 15 users has not been extended. The free access for iPhone 15 users will expire in September 2024.

Apple also introduced a roadside assistance feature earlier this year, helping its smartphone users connect via satellite to the American Automobile Association for help in the United States.

— Written with inputs from Reuters

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Author Name | Shubham Verma


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