The iPhone 14, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max have a fresh emergency SOS feature via satellite connectivity, so users can get assistance even when they leave the app. This feature is launched first in the United States and Canada, starting in November.
A Reuters report this weekend stated that a Qualcomm X65 modem inside the phones supports the satellite capabilities. An Apple statement to Reuters also stated that custom Apple-designed radio frequency components and software also make the satellite feature possible.
The Qualcomm X65 processor delivers 5G cellular connectivity for phone calls and data, but also with the band n53, which allows the iPhone to communicate with satellites in the sky. Specifically, Apple has partnered with Globalstar''s satellite infrastructure.
When an emergency SMS is received, the phone will only connect to a cell tower. In this case, the device will include the possibility to connect to satellite and send a brief text message instead. iOS will require users to point their devices to line up overhead.
If local emergency services can use text-based channels, the iPhone will transmit these messages directly via the satellite link. If not, Apple relay centers will receive the SOS message and call the emergency services on your behalf.
This satellite service will last for two years starting in November. Apple has not disclosed pricing plans for the satellite service until the free period is up. Country availability is initially limited to United States and Canada.
Apples chip teams are currently working on an in-house 5G modem with the aim of eliminating Qualcomm components from the iPhone completely, with the primary objective of power efficiency (longer battery life) and reducing royalty payments to increase unit costs margins.
Making a modem is quite complicated, yet many analysts remain optimistic if Apple will succeed. Apple hopes to replicate the success of its customized silicon investments for the A-series and M-series SoCs. According to the consensus, the first Apple modem will be expected to arrive in 2024.