American multination tech giant Apple announced on Wednesday an extension of the free trial period for its innovative Emergency SOS via satellite feature for iPhone 14 users. Originally slated for two years, the complimentary access will now last for an additional year, reinforcing the company’s commitment to user safety in emergency situations.
“Emergency SOS via satellite has helped save lives around the world,” Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing Kaiann Drance said. “We are so happy iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this groundbreaking service for two more years for free.”
Launched with the iPhone 14 series last year, the Emergency SOS via satellite feature has been pivotal in aiding users during dire circumstances. It enables individuals to communicate with emergency services in the absence of cellular or Wi-Fi connections by establishing a satellite link. The feature has been instrumental in life-saving interventions across various scenarios, including car accidents, hiking emergencies, and natural disasters.
Initially, Apple planned to offer this groundbreaking service free for two years, hinting at a possible subscription model in the future. However, in a move that has been welcomed by users and tech analysts alike, the tech giant has decided to extend this period. This extension applies to iPhone 14 users who activated their devices in supported countries before November 15, 2023. Purchases made post this date will not be eligible for the extended trial.
Interestingly, the feature is also available on the newer iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, which have further expanded the service with the addition of Roadside Assistance via satellite. As of now, Apple has not disclosed the pricing for this feature post the free trial period. The extension grants the company additional time to strategize on the pricing model.
The service, initially available in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K., has expanded to include Australia and New Zealand, among others, totaling 16 countries. Despite its growing global reach, some regions, including India, are yet to see the feature’s availability.