Apple releases the iPhone 14’s emergency satellite SOS capability.

The New Apple’s Event

At the debut of the iPhone 14, Apple revealed a new satellite connectivity function dubbed Emergency SOS through Satellite. The program is designed to make it easier for users of Apple’s newest smartphones to connect when their cell coverage is down. According to Apple, it took years for the program to become a reality.

The business said that it specifically created and integrated technologies into iPhone 14 devices to enable satellite connectivity even when the devices are far from a terrestrial tower. The program is anticipated to launch in the US and Canada in November. Apple said on Wednesday at its dazzling annual event that pre-sales of the iPhone 14 will start on Friday and cost $799.

“Unlike stationary cell towers, communication satellites are hundreds of miles above the Earth, and flying at over 15,000 miles per hour. To connect to these satellites, you need to be outside with a clear view of the sky. And the bandwidth is so limited that even sending a text message is a technical challenge,” Williams said. “Typically, the only way to tap into such a network is with an expensive device that uses a bulky external antenna.”

“We knew that approach just wouldn’t work for iPhone,” she added. “So we invented another way.”

Apple releases the iPhone 14's emergency satellite SOS capability.
Apple releases the iPhone 14’s emergency satellite SOS capability.

The Advanced Technology

The iPhone 14 will feature the integrated antenna needed for satellite communication, and it won’t resemble the large satellite phones of the past.

When no other service alternatives are available, the phone will have software that will instruct consumers where to aim their devices in order to connect to a satellite. Ashley Williams, an Apple satellite expert who spoke at the event, said that once linked, the phones will be able to send and receive information to get emergency relief. The business said it developed a quick text compression system to condense messages such that, provided a user has a clear view of the sky, they will send in roughly 15 seconds.

The technology can also be utilized in non-emergency scenarios, such when a user is out for a long hike and wishes to inform their family on where they are.

The Expert Comments

According to Kaiann Drance, vice president of iPhone marketing at Apple, the service will be provided without charge for two years with the purchase of an iPhone 14. She remained mum regarding the subsequent expense of the service.

According to Ben Wood, principal analyst at CCS Insight, adding satellite service to new iPhones “should dominate the news.”

“The investment to add satellite capability should not be underestimated. It will likely have taken Apple years to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place including a commercial agreement with satellite provider Globalstar and the creation of the infrastructure needed to pass messages to the emergency services,” Wood said.

Globalstar acknowledged that it is the project’s contractor in a financial filing. A request for more information through email did not immediately receive a response from Apple.

However, T-Mobile recently revealed identical intentions to “remove dead zones” by employing new SpaceX Starlink satellites for backup coverage. The news, with a release date just next month, follows T-announcement. Mobile’s It has been promoted as an initiative to extend complete high-speed internet connectivity to remote areas. Although T-Mobile stated that once available, the service should be compatible with consumers’ current phones, the roll out of that service is not anticipated to occur before the end of next year.

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