Millions of iPhone 14 owners awarded an extra year of Apple's life-saving SOS feature for free

an apple logo hanging outside one of the iphone makers' stores

Apple has decided to extend free access to its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature for all iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro owners

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 30/11/2023

- 07:03

Apple hasn't confirmed how much a subscription for its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature will cost when the free trial ends

  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users will enjoy the feature for free until late-2025
  • Emergency SOS via Satellite lets you call for help without a mobile signal
  • Android phones look set to miss out on a similar feature from Qualcomm

If you have an iPhone 14 in your pocket, Apple has added an extra year of its life-saving SOS feature to your account for free. Dubbed Emergency SOS via Satellite, the clever functionality lets you contact the emergency services with a text message when you don't have any mobile signal or Wi-Fi connection.

When Apple introduced the emergency feature, it promised that customers who bought a handset from the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro range would be able to access the functionality free for two years. After that, iPhone owners would need to pay a subscription to enable Emergency SOS via Satellite.

But with the original deadline less than a year away, Apple still hasn't revealed further details on how much users would be charged, whether it would be a monthly or annual charge, whether the functionality would be included with existing Apple One bundles or a slew of other questions surrounding the emergency text feature.

And now, Apple has a little longer to put together the answers to all of these queries. If you own an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, or iPhone 14 Pro Max and have already activated the two-year trial of Emergency SOS via Satellite, you will now benefit from an extra year of the service at no cost.

a picture of an iphone 14 using the emergency sos via satellite feature

​Emergency SOS via Satellite lets you send your location on Find My and contact emergency services using a connection to a satellite. Apple will quiz you about the incident, and then send all of the information about your condition and location to Mountain Rescue, Ambulance, or other relevant services 


Apple is offering the same two years of free access to Emergency SOS via Satellite to iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max owners.

With the latest extension, those who bought an iPhone 14 last year will lose free access to the emergency text feature at the same time as those who ordered an iPhone 15 at launch last month.

"Emergency SOS via Satellite has helped save lives around the world. From a man who was rescued after his car plummeted over a 400-foot cliff in Los Angeles, to lost hikers found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, we continue to hear stories of our customers being able to connect with emergency responders when they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to," revealed Kaiann Drance, Apple Vice President of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing.

"We are so happy iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this groundbreaking service for two more years for free."

Both iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 also include Crash Detection, which can detect a severe car crash thanks to an upgraded accelerometer capable of recording G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new gyroscope.

It will automatically dial emergency services if you're unconscious or unable to reach your iPhone.

Interestingly, this feature was pioneered by Google with its Pixel smartphone range, which introduced the ability to detect car crashes back in late 2019. It's available in 20 countries worldwide.

In comparison, Apple's Car Crash Detection works in the 65 countries worldwide where iPhones are sold.
Android users are currently missing an answer to Emergency SOS via Satellite, something that US chip manufacturer Qualcomm tried to solve earlier this year.

Dubbed Snapdragon Satellite, the new functionality (and partnership with satellite communications firm Iridium) was announced at the start of the year.

However, less than a year later, the feature has already been cancelled. Qualcomm and Iridium have terminated their contract because of a lack of interest from smartphone makers. Qualcomm supplies its popular Snapdragon processors to a wide variety of brands, including Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, and more. It's also behind clever technology like ultrasonic fingerprint scanners.

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