iPhone 14 and 15 buyers won’t need to pay for Apple’s satellite-powered Emergency SOS safety feature anytime soon. This morning, the company announced that it’s extending the free phase of Emergency SOS for an additional year for iPhone 14 owners. That means that the service will now lapse at the same time for both iPhone generations in November 2025.
Emergency SOS makes it possible to reach emergency services via a satellite connection in areas where Wi-Fi or a regular cellular signal are unavailable. Apple says the feature 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,” Apple’s Kaiann Drance said in a press release.
Emergency SOS via satellite will be extended for iPhone 14 buyers who activated their device anytime before 12AM PT on November 15th.
Part of this could be that Apple still hasn’t figured out a subscription price that consumers would actually be willing to pay over the long haul for the added peace of mind. Now, it’s got a much longer runway to come up with a rate that could further benefit the company’s services business.
Qualcomm briefly attempted to build out its own satellite-based emergency services for Android, but its Snapdragon Satellite effort failed to launch due to very low interest from smartphone manufacturers. Last week, the satellite communications company Iridium shared that Qualcomm had “elected to terminate” their partnership.
As a result, Apple won’t have to worry about a rival offering from Android competitors in the short term and can take its time deliberating a price for Emergency SOS. The company recently introduced Roadside Assistance via satellite, which can connect users to AAA if they encounter car issues like a flat tire when outside cellular coverage.