- Apple has revealed that it will invest $450 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to develop the infrastructure that allows off-grid backpackers to call for help when outside mobile coverage.
- Apple’s iPhone 14 is the first-ever satellite phone of the company.
- Users cannot make calls on it but can use the satellite connection to send messages to emergency services across the US and Canada. It could be a lifesaver.
Apple has said it will provide Emergency SOS over satellite as a free service for the next two years.
Apple said in a statement that it is spending $450 million to help put in place the critical infrastructure of its Emergency SOS through satellite for iPhone 14 devices needs. That means at least some of this cash is being spent on improving and expanding the infrastructure of its satellite partner, Globalstar.
Apple and Globalstar have major plans around satellite connectivity and Apple products. Apple has agreed to pay 95% of the capital costs associated with the service as per the terms of the deal between both the companies. Globalstar aims to launch several satellites by the end of 2025.
Announcement By Apple
Apple announced its collaboration with Globalstar during the iPhone 14 launch event in the month of September. Apple promised the service will be launched in the US and Canada in November, may be in the next major iOS point upgrade.
The filings seem to reveal the following:
- Apple has secured 85% of Globalstar’s network capacity under the deal.
- Apple expended tens of millions of dollars to support the launch of a Globalstar satellite.
- While Apple suggests the service will expand, it specifically states it will not be available in China, Hong Kong, or Macao.
- The deal suggests new ground stations will be put in place globally.
By the end of 2025, Globalstar has also ordered next-generation satellites for launch. The arrangement was gathered by Tony Blevins, Apple’s former vice president of procurement.