Apple today confirmed in a press release that the new satellite features of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro would be available in November for customers in Canada and the United States. iPhone 14 users can connect to a satellite to send an emergency text message and share their location with loved ones when they are out of cell phone service.
Apple announced today a 450 million dollars investment as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support satellite features. Globalstar, responsible for operating the satellites, will receive a significant portion of this money.
First, emergency SOS via satellite will become available in the USA and Canada. It is free for two years. Pricing details for after that period have yet to be disclosed. Apple has yet to confirm if the service will be available in other countries.
Satellite emergency SOS uses spectrum bands L and S to contact satellites above. To reach a satellite, the iPhone user must have a clear sky view; the iPhone’s on-screen UI will guide them in the right direction.
Apple’s partnership with Globalstar means that iPhone 14 can contact one of the 24 Globalstar satellites orbiting the planet. The message is then transmitted to ground stations by the satellite.
Satellite connectivity can be used to send the person’s location to the Find My App and SOS texts.
These features will be available to iPhone 14 customers in the next few weeks. The launch of the feature has yet to be revealed. It will either be part of iOS 16.1 or require a software upgrade.