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SpaceX to launch future Globalstar satellites used to power Apple’s Emergency SOS feature

Highlights
  • SpaceX to launch satellites for Globalstar in 2025
  • Globalstar to pay SpaceX $64 million
  • Apple likely to have loaned Globalstar that amount as it did in the past
  • The new satellites will power the iPhone's Emergency SOS feature

Globalstar has recently revealed it will seek out help from SpaceX to launch new satellites into orbit necessary for Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on the iPhone over the next two years, according to new regulatory filings first reported by Nola.

According to recent SEC filings, Globalstar is set to pay SpaceX no less than $64 million for “launch-related payments on a periodic basis” till SpaceX launches the new satellites sometime in 2025. The purported satellites are specifically sought to support Apple’s Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone 14 lineup, which allows users stranded in remote locations with no ground cellular connection to seek emergency help by contacting service providers via wireless satellite connectivity.

Globalstar is Apple’s primary partner for the feature, being chiefly responsible for running and maintaining satellites necessary to operate Emergency SOS, with Apple booking no less than 85% of Globalstar’s total satellite capacity solely for the feature. The company initially stated that Emergency SOS would be free of charge for iPhone 14 users for the first two years from the point of iPhone activation onwards, but pricing plans still remain unclear once the two-year period runs out.

Globalstar first purchased the initial satellite batch which currently powers the feature for $327 million from a Canadian company, with Apple providing Globalstar with a loan of $252 million to fund that purchase. Last year, SpaceX founder and current CEO Elon Musk posted that the company held “promising conversations” with Apple to rely on Starlink’s satellite constellation to power Emergency SOS. While today’s news doesn’t mention that Apple is looking to follow through with what it discussed with Musk, it still hints that a more direct collaboration between Musk and Apple might still be in the cards.

Emergency SOS via Satellite is currently available for users in the United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Editor's Pick

Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

Read More

Who are we?

Supercharged is not just another news outlet. We’re a platform on a mission to offer personalized and ad-free news directly to you. Discover more of Supercharged.

SpaceX to launch future Globalstar satellites used to power Apple’s Emergency SOS feature

Highlights
  • SpaceX to launch satellites for Globalstar in 2025
  • Globalstar to pay SpaceX $64 million
  • Apple likely to have loaned Globalstar that amount as it did in the past
  • The new satellites will power the iPhone's Emergency SOS feature

Globalstar has recently revealed it will seek out help from SpaceX to launch new satellites into orbit necessary for Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on the iPhone over the next two years, according to new regulatory filings first reported by Nola.

According to recent SEC filings, Globalstar is set to pay SpaceX no less than $64 million for “launch-related payments on a periodic basis” till SpaceX launches the new satellites sometime in 2025. The purported satellites are specifically sought to support Apple’s Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone 14 lineup, which allows users stranded in remote locations with no ground cellular connection to seek emergency help by contacting service providers via wireless satellite connectivity.

Globalstar is Apple’s primary partner for the feature, being chiefly responsible for running and maintaining satellites necessary to operate Emergency SOS, with Apple booking no less than 85% of Globalstar’s total satellite capacity solely for the feature. The company initially stated that Emergency SOS would be free of charge for iPhone 14 users for the first two years from the point of iPhone activation onwards, but pricing plans still remain unclear once the two-year period runs out.

Globalstar first purchased the initial satellite batch which currently powers the feature for $327 million from a Canadian company, with Apple providing Globalstar with a loan of $252 million to fund that purchase. Last year, SpaceX founder and current CEO Elon Musk posted that the company held “promising conversations” with Apple to rely on Starlink’s satellite constellation to power Emergency SOS. While today’s news doesn’t mention that Apple is looking to follow through with what it discussed with Musk, it still hints that a more direct collaboration between Musk and Apple might still be in the cards.

Emergency SOS via Satellite is currently available for users in the United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand.

TOPICS: , ,
Share this Article
note icon

Did you know?

Easily add Supercharged to your Home Screen and stay informed on the go! Get instant updates and breaking news stories via push notifications directly on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Just tap the share icon, then "Add to Home Screen," and be the first to know.

Have a tip for our newsroom? Securely reach out to us and tell us what you know. Your insight and information are invaluable to the work we do. Click here.

Have a tip for our newsroom? Securely reach out to us and tell us what you know. Your insight and information are invaluable to the work we do. 

Editor's Pick

Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

Read More

Craig Federighi

Age: 63
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