The iPhone 14 series’ satellite connectivity feature that allows you to send an SOS message when you don’t have a cellular network can reach countries outside of Canada and the United States, according to a report. The feature is expected to arrive in these countries in November, Apple announced at the “Far Out” event, which saw the launch of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14. iPhone 14 Pro Max. The feature is free for the first two years.
According to a report from macprime, the iPhone 14 models’ limited form of satellite connectivity, which, when it launches in November, will allow users to send an SOS message when they don’t have cellular connectivity, could be rolled out in other countries. However, there is no information on which countries will benefit from this feature. This is one of the five features that we think are great when it comes to saving precious human lives.
Satellite connectivity of the iPhone 14
If you’re a hiker lost in the woods or suffer an injury that prevents you from moving, you can theoretically use your iPhone 14 to send an SOS message via satellite and it could help with your rescue. “Satellites are low-bandwidth moving targets. Message transmission may take a few minutes. Because every second counts, iPhone loads a few questions to assess your situation. Just tap on it to reply. It then shows you where to point to connect to a satellite,” explains Apple.
To send an SOS message, the sender must be outdoors with a clear view of the sky. Since satellites move quickly through space, iPhone 14 will help the sending point maintain its connection and avoid obstacles like mountains and thick foliage. Apple claims that, under ideal conditions, the message can be sent in less than 15 seconds. Under light foliage, it may take more than a minute. Once connected, iPhone 14 will automatically send your responses, location, Medical ID (if configured), and battery level to a dispatcher.
While researching and writing about this feature previously, we spoke with Tarun Pathak of Counterpoint Research. He explained that the feature will be a good thing from a user’s perspective “especially in India, where it can bring about significant developments.” He rightly points out that while the functionality is great, there are operational challenges that need to be addressed. “What [happens] after the SOS communication ends? Do we have a response team as fast as in other countries? Pathak told Gadgets 360, while explaining the feasibility of the feature in India.
Apple has partnered with Globalstar to support this emergency feature on the new iPhone 14 series. The Cupertino company has revealed that it will allocate $450 million (around Rs 4,000 crore) from its tipping manufacturing fund to support this new function.