Don’t look for the iPhone’ s’Emergency SOS via Satellite’ feature to come to Android devices

Apple extends Emergency SOS via satellite for an additional free year.

One of the iPhone 14’s major new features was “Emergency SOS via Satellite.” The Android ecosystem immediately set about copying the feature. Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon Satellite” was announced in January 2023. However, now the plan is dead. Qualcomm’s satellite partner for the project, Iridium, has announced the dissolution of the partnership in a press release, notes reports ars technica

Here is some of the info from the press release: Iridium previously announced that it entered into agreements with Qualcomm to enable satellite messaging and emergency services in smartphones powered by Snapdragon Mobile Platforms using Iridium’s satellite network. The companies successfully developed and demonstrated the technology; however, notwithstanding this technical success, smartphone manufacturers have not included the technology in their devices. Due to this, on November 3, 2023, Qualcomm notified Iridium that it has elected to terminate the agreements, effective December 3, 2023.

Ars Technica says that, essentially, the project is dying because Qualcomm couldn’t get a single Android manufacturer to add satellite messaging to a phone. However, Qualcomm says it still wants to work with Iridium for future projects. 

The Emergency SOS technology enables users to message with emergency services while outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Additionally, if users want to reassure friends and family of their whereabouts while traveling in an area with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, they can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.