- 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.