Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Apple extends the free use of Emergency SOS, its satellite connection, on the iPhone 14

Good news for users of the iPhone 14. Apple announced the extension of the period of free use of Emergency SOSits satellite connection service, for those who have any of the models of the smartphone line that was introduced in 2022.

Specifically, Apple will expand the free use of Emergency SOS on the iPhone 14 for one more year. Let us remember that, in principle, this feature could be used free of charge for two years from the activation of the mobile.

This means that, for example, those who bought an iPhone 14, 14 Plus, or 14 Pro/Pro Max as soon as they were launched will be able to use Emergency SOS without having to shell out a single dollar or euro until 2025, when the original period would expire before end of 2024. Let us remember that this option was activated in North America and part of Europe in November 2022.

I repeat, this is just an example. In the fine print of Apple’s announcement it is mentioned that the extension of the Emergency SOS free trial will be limited to iPhone 14s that were activated in a country where the service is already available, before 12:00 a.m. on November 15, Pacific Time.

This means that if you bought and activated an iPhone 14 yesterday in any of its variants in Spain, you will be able to use Emergency SOS without paying until November 14, 2026. If you bought the smartphone today, or were planning to do so in the coming days, you will be tied to two years from the original announcement.

Why Apple extends the free use of Emergency SOS on the iPhone 14

Apple has not provided a precise explanation as to the reason for this determination regarding its satellite connection. However, there is already speculation that it could be because those from Cupertino They have not yet defined how much Emergency SOS will cost once the free period ends. Or they haven’t informed the public yet, at least.

By offering one more year free of charge on the iPhone 14, Apple would have additional time to polish the final details of its commercial strategy. As we already said, with this extension, those who purchased the 2022 models when they first went on sale will conclude their trial period. almost simultaneously with the first users of the iPhone 15. Apple will likely have fully clarified pricing by then. And it would not be strange if he announced them during the presentation of the iPhone 16.

Since its activation, Emergency SOS has already been used successfully on more than one occasion. In December 2022, the first case of a person saving their life thanks to this feature was recorded, after being stranded and without coverage in Alaska. Meanwhile, this year, a family was rescued during the devastating Maui fires thanks to the iPhone 14’s satellite connection.

A very important bet

Apple is betting very heavily on this utility. Let us remember that, at the end of last year, those from Cupertino invested some 450 million dollars in several companies dedicated to satellite communication. The most benefited was globalstarwhich will develop and deploy new satellites for Tim Cook’s, and will give them the use of 85% of its current and future network.

Days ago, Emergency SOS saw the fall of Snapdragon Satellite, which appeared to be its main rival to bring a similar function to Android phones. Qualcomm decided to break its contract with the company Iridium, due to the lack of interest of smartphone manufacturers in integrating this technology. For now, MediaTek is moving forward to incorporate a similar option in phones with its hardware.

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