Apple's iPhone safety feature could get a leg-up from an unlikely ally

Apple's Emergency SOS feature
(Image credit: Apple)

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. 

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • Just_Me_D
    Unlikely? Businesses work with each other all the time so why is this collaboration “unlikely”?
  • Annie_M
    True! And I do recall that there was a summit of sorts a few months back when Elon Musk came to Apple and met with Tim Cook. Perhaps this is the result of tha meeting?
  • Ledsteplin
    Unlikely? Wow, the bias against Elon Musk by the iMore writers continues.