Apple has promised that its Emergency SOS via satellite feature, an exclusive safety feature for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, would launch in four more countries by the end of the year. It seems we may have a launch date for one of those countries.
As reported by MacRumors, the feature, which originally launched in the United States and Canada back in November, may launch in the United Kingdom as soon as next week. According to a source, the company is eyeing a potential launch date of Thursday, December 13.
Apple could expand the Emergency SOS via Satellite and Find My via satellite functionality to the United Kingdom as soon as next week, according to a source that spoke to MacRumors. Emergency services personnel in the country have been told that calls from the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature will be routed to local emergency services facilities starting on Tuesday, December 13.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Apple also said that the safety feature would launch in France, Germany, and Ireland before the end of 2022. It’s currently unclear if those three countries could also launch on the 13th, but the company has promised their launch in December.
As Apple explains, the feature allows users to contact emergency services with their iPhone, even if they happen to be outside of a cellular signal. It has already saved at least one person who was stranded in Alaska.
Emergency SOS via satellite combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.”
The new safety feature is currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro and will be available to users for free for the first two years. It’s currently unclear what price Apple plans to charge for it after that time period.