A now-deleted MacPrime article (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)) says that Apple had told it that the new safety feature would apparently be coming to other countries this year, with more on the way in 2023. As of the iPhone 14 series' launch, Emergency SOS via Satellite works only in the U.S. and Canada, leaving users in the U.K., Australia and beyond a feature short on their new iPhones.
As the name suggests, Emergency SOS via Satellite lets your iPhone connect to a satellite to communicate with emergency services via short text messages composed based on a questionnaire you're stepped through on the iPhone 14. You have to keep the iPhone out and ideally be located in an open space in sight of the sky, but the phone will prompt you to give you the best chance of sending the message quickly.
Emergency SOS via Satellite can also let you share your location via Find My, so your friends and family can see where you are when you've gone off-grid. The new Crash Detection system can also work in tandem with satellite connectivity, too, if you're in a collision in a remote area, for instance.
Assuming MacPrime's report is accurate, that leaves only one question about Emergency SOS via Satellite: what happens when the two free years of service, promised by Apple at its September event. expires? It sounds like users will need to pay to access satellite connectivity, although it's not clear how much. Perhaps Apple will end up bundling it with iCloud or Apple One, although hopefully it doesn't cost users too much to re-enable this very useful feature.
The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max all hit stores today, but it may be a while until your order arrives thanks to some lengthy iPhone 14 pre-order delays. In the meantime, check out our reviews, as well as our thoughts on the iPhone 14 Plus, the fourth and final new iPhone that will arrive in early October.
Next: Our iPhone 14 launch live blog has all the info you need on reviews, bugs and more.