When to Expect the Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature to Launch on iPhone

All four iPhone 14 models support a new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that will allow the devices to connect directly to a satellite, enabling users to send text messages to emergency services when outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Apple says the feature will launch in November, and while the company has yet to provide a more specific release date, we have outlined the most likely timing below.

apple point at satellite
In a support document, Apple says Emergency SOS via Satellite "will be available with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022." Given that iOS 16.1 was released in late October, and that iOS 16.2 is expected to be released in December, Emergency SOS via Satellite will likely be enabled with iOS 16.1.1, which is already in testing and should also address issues related to Wi-Fi connectivity and the SKAdNetwork framework.

There's a lesser chance that Emergency SOS via Satellite will be enabled with iOS 16.1.2, but there is no evidence of such an update yet and Apple would likely want to get Emergency SOS via Satellite launched before the week of U.S. Thanksgiving.


When it launches in the United States and Canada, Apple says Emergency SOS via Satellite will be free for the first two years, which suggests that Apple might be planning to charge for the service at some point in the future. Apple reportedly confirmed that the feature will be expanded to additional countries by the end of next year.

In "ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon," Apple says a text message might take 15 seconds to send via satellite, but notes it can take over a minute for a message to send "under trees with light or medium foliage." Read our in-depth guide to Emergency SOS via Satellite for additional information about the feature.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
4 weeks ago

When it launches in the United States and Canada, Apple says Emergency SOS via Satellite will be free for the first two years, which suggests that Apple might be planning to charge for the service at some point in the future. Apple reportedly confirmed that the feature will be expanded to additional countries by the end of next year ('https://www.macrumors.com/2022/09/15/emergency-sos-via-satellite-more-countries-report/').
This Emergency SOS service should be a FREE SERVICE FOR A LIFETIME. We are already paying premium prices for the iPhones & cellular carriers.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
4 weeks ago

This Emergency SOS service should be a FREE SERVICE FOR A LIFETIME. We are already paying premium prices for the iPhones & cellular carriers.
I think the SOS service will be free for lifetime. Same as an old cell phone with no service can still dial 911.

The potential for negative press is just too great. I can see it 3 years from now. Someone with a used iPhone 14 is on a pre paid cellular plan that doesn't pay for the satellite service and finds themselves out in the middle of the desert in a car wreck with 2 toddlers and a puppy. Then the ONLY way they can save themselves is a satellite 911 text and it doesn't go through because they couldn't afford to pay for the service. Headline reads:

"APPLE SATELLITE SERVICE HATES PUPPIES AND LITTLE KIDS".

But I think texting a friend or no emergency service will come with a fee, either monthly or per useage.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
4 weeks ago

Via satellite, hmmmm....the price will eventually be $8 /month.
Or maybe perhaps an incentive based structure:



Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roar08 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Globalstar is hosting an investor day on November 16. Pretty sure that's when we'll see this go live.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joe The Dragon Avatar
4 weeks ago
planning to charge for the service? what happens when it fall under rules that 911 and others do.
That any phone even with no funds in account, dead beat account, roaming, no sim, even blocked imei can make an emergency call?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Via satellite, hmmmm....the price will eventually be $8 /month.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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