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Apple Extends Free Emergency SOS Satellite Access for Existing iPhone 14 Users

It’s been a year since Apple introduced emergency SOS via satellite on all iPhone 14 units in the US, allowing users to text emergency services when lacking cell service. Apple is providing two years of complimentary access upon activating an iPhone 14 or iPhone 15.

Although Apple has not disclosed the post-free access pricing, users can enjoy worry-free access for a couple more years. Existing iPhone 14 users (those who activated their phones before Wednesday in a country where the service is available) will receive an additional year of free access.

“Emergency SOS via satellite has played a crucial role in saving lives globally. From rescuing a man whose car plunged over a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles to locating lost hikers in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, we continue to hear stories of our customers connecting with emergency responders in situations where they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” stated Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing. “We are delighted that iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can benefit from this groundbreaking service for two more years at no cost.”

Apple’s decision to extend the free access period comes shortly after it was revealed that Qualcomm’s attempt to introduce a similar feature on Android devices has encountered setbacks. Iridium, Qualcomm’s partner on the Snapdragon Satellite project, reported that smartphone manufacturers have chosen not to incorporate the technology into their devices. Qualcomm cited the preference for “standards-based solutions” among Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and the associated costs may have deterred them from adoption.

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