Emergency SOS for iPhone 14: Apple gives users 2 years free

This story is part of Focal point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips, and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

The iPhone 14 gets a new safety feature. At Apple’s “Far Out” event, the company announced that the new iPhone will let you send emergency messages via satellite when you are out of cell phone service or have no reception.

Apple modified the iPhone 14’s antennas to connect to satellites, using a system that shows you where to point your phone in the sky. The company also developed a text compression algorithm to reduce the size of messages so that they can work with the limited bandwidth of satellites.

The Emergency SOS service may eventually become a paid add-on for iPhone users, but iPhone 14 owners will get two years free to get started. Learn everything we know about the free Emergency SOS service plan.

When will the new iPhone 14 be available?

Apple will start taking preorders for iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max Friday 9 September. The new phones will be available on Friday Sept 16..

When and where does the Emergency SOS feature work?

Apple plans to launch Emergency SOS service for all iPhone 14 models in Nov 2022. It will be available for iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max users in the US and Canada.

Emergency SOS service for iPhone 14 will be available in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, but will not be available at launch in Guam or American Samoa. Foreign travelers can use the Emergency SOS service when visiting the US and Canada, unless they bought their iPhone 14 in China, Hong Kong or Macao.

Satellite Direction in Emergency SOS Feature on iPhone 14

Emergency SOS will help point your iPhone 14 towards communication satellites.

Apple/screenshot by Sarah Lord/CNET

Who will get the two free years of Emergency SOS service?

Apple hasn’t released all the details of its Emergency SOS plan, but it looks like anyone who buys an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, or iPhone 14 Pro Max will get the two free years of service. It’s not yet clear how long the two-year free service offer will last, but Apple’s press releases indicate that, at least for now, all iPhone 14 owners will get two years of free emergency SOS services after purchasing their iPhones.

How much does Emergency SOS cost after those first two free years?

Full details of the Emergency SOS service are still being merged. Apple has not yet announced a standard price for its iPhone 14 emergency service. Since the iPhone 14 is brand new, Apple has a few years to decide whether Emergency SOS will be a premium add-on for iOS and, if so, how much it will cost.

In his analysis of Apple’s Wednesday announcements, longtime Apple reporter Dan Moren speculates that delaying the cost decision by two years “could give Apple time to see how many people are actually using it, and what the price should look like then, or it could extend the date after that, thinking it’s a bad look to provide a handy emergency feature that may become unusable without a fee.”

We will keep this story updated as more information emerges about the Emergency SOS service.

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