SpaceX to Launch Satellites for Apple’s Emergency SOS Feature

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to play a pivotal role in bolstering Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, which made its debut alongside the iPhone 14 series. This significant development comes on the heels of a partnership agreement between Globalstar, Apple’s partner, and SpaceX, as revealed in the company’s federal filing.

According to reports by Nola, Globalstar will make substantial launch-related payments totaling $64 million on a periodic basis. These payments will continue until all the satellites covered by the agreement are successfully launched by 2025.

Apple’s Satellite-Based Emergency SOS

For those who may not be familiar with it, Apple introduced the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature with the iPhone 14 series. The tech giant is also expected to include this feature in its upcoming iPhone 15 models set to launch later this month. This groundbreaking feature allows users in select regions, even when they have no cellular service, to contact emergency services using their iPhones.

The SpaceX Connection

SpaceX, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, is renowned for its spacecraft manufacturing and launching capabilities. Nola’s report indicates that Globalstar acquired these satellites in February 2022 from a Canadian firm named ‘Macdonald Dettwiler and Associates Corp.’ The purchase cost a substantial $327 million, and Apple provided Globalstar with a loan of $252 million to facilitate the acquisition.

“This collaboration between SpaceX and Globalstar is another milestone in our mission to expand access to life-saving emergency services, regardless of cellular coverage,” said an Apple spokesperson.

This isn’t the first instance of SpaceX assisting Globalstar. In the past, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company has aided Apple’s partner in launching satellites for missions related to Florida’s Cape Canaveral.

It remains to be seen whether the increasing number of satellites launched through this partnership will extend the reach of the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature beyond its current coverage in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, and France. Alternatively, it could be part of a routine exercise aimed at ensuring the seamless operation of this vital service.

iPhone 15 Series Launch Date

In related news, Apple has officially announced that the launch date for its highly anticipated iPhone 15 series will be September 12. At this much-awaited event, the tech giant is expected to unveil an array of new iPhone models, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra. Additionally, the event will feature the introduction of the new Apple Watch Series 9 and the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra.

As we eagerly anticipate these forthcoming releases, the collaboration between SpaceX and Globalstar marks a significant step towards enhancing the accessibility and effectiveness of emergency services through satellite technology.


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