– Sep. 15th 2022 8:08 am PT
Apple’s new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is coming to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro in November, but only in the United States and Canada at launch. A new report from MacPrime, however, suggests that Apple has ambitious plans to bring the feature to other countries as soon as later this year.
The report doesn’t dive into specific information about individual countries. Instead, Apple reportedly told MacPrime that the satellite connectivity feature will come to “other countries this year” with additional countries slated for sometime in 2023.
We’re also still waiting on more details regarding Apple’s monetization plans for Emergency SOS via satellite; the company has said the feature will be free for two years to iPhone 14 buyers. The company could end up charging users once that two-year window is up, or it could choose to continue offering the feature for free.
Emergency SOS via satellite enables messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Once your iPhone is connected to a satellite, you can reach emergency services regardless of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Satellite connectivity can also be used to share your location with friends and family via Find My.
Since it takes some time to establish the connection with the satellites, iPhone will ask users a few preloaded questions while the device is searching for signal.
Apple has created a compression algorithm that makes text messages three times smaller to make communication faster, since bandwidth is low compared to cellular networks. Satellite connectivity is also integrated by default with Crash Detection.
Apple’s plans to expand satellite connectivity to additional countries could prove to be ambitious. The satellite infrastructure is still very much in its early days. Apple, however, has committed to spending $450 million on boosting that infrastructure over the coming years.
(H/t 9to5Mac reader Steve!)
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