Lifesaving iPhone 14 feature reportedly being copied by Samsung's Galaxy S23

iPhone 14 emergency SOS via satellite
(Image credit: Apple)

Samsung is reportedly ready to launch its upcoming Galaxy S23 devices with a feature that iPhone 14 owners will be immediately familiar with — and it might even best what Apple has to offer.

The report claims that Samsung is looking to add satellite communications to the Galaxy S23 lineup, likely to be announced in 2023. Apple added similar capabilities to its iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices when they went on sale in September, with the aim being to allow people to send short text messages to emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity isn't available.

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While the iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is designed specifically with that use case in mind, The Elec reports that the Samsung version will go further.

Set to use the Iridium network of 66 low-orbit network satellites, Samsung is said to want to allow people to not only send short text messages but also media a swell. It's reported that Samsung hopes to be able to manage speeds of "hundreds of kbps" which the uncharitable among us might suggest is similar to many cellular networks anyway.

Apple uses the Globalstar satellite network and was keen to point out the low-bandwidth nature of transfers via such a connection. The company didn't explicitly say how fast its satellite network was, but it clearly wasn't comfortable opening it up to non-emergency traffic.

The Elec's report doesn't make it clear whether Samsung will hold the satellite feature back for its high-end Galaxy S23 models or if it will launch for all of them, but  Apple didn't keep its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature for only its best iPhones — it seems likely that Samsung would follow suit.

No firm release date has been shared for Samsung's next flagship lineup, but we can likely expect the Galaxy S23 devices to be announced around February time next year.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.