In a surprise turn, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is helping Apple in the future of its SOS services. Originally announced alongside the iPhone 14, Emergency SOS via satellite allows Apple users to access emergency services without WiFi or cellular signal. It is a literal life saver and now it looks like Apple could be putting even more money into the service
Globalstar is Apple’s partner in providing this service and is in control of the satellites it needs to offer this form of support. Globalstar is currently giving 85% of its network to Apple for use in phones and will continue to supply the same portion of all future deals the company makes.
Emergency SOS Services has ensured continued support
As originally reported by Nola, Globalstar is set to pay $64 million to SpaceX for the use of its satellites, and payments will be made over the next two years. Apple will then have access to a greater array of satellites to use in its SOS Services.
These services can be used to text emergency services in the event you don’t have cell service, as well as share pertinent information with contacts, and share your location with anyone who can use it to get to you. It is currently only available in the iPhone 14 line but we anticipate it will also arrive with the launch of iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. While Apple currently offers the service free for two years, we don’t know how much it’s going to cost users going forward
On the Apple support site, it states:
“Emergency SOS via satellite is free for two years after the activation of iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro.”
Given the cost of setting up networks and maintaining satellites, it seems unlikely this will be free forever and may come with new purchases much like how you can get Apple TV Plus for free. Given the service is only available in a few select countries right now, this initiative is likely a plan to add a more global reach to SOS services and give better coverage for when the next line of iPhones is announced at this year’s Apple event.