According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will allow you to connect your iPhone with satellites to make emergency calls in areas without cellular coverage. Bloomberg's article was published Sunday after Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, stated that the iPhone 13 might be able make satellite calls. Kuo is known for revealing details about Apple's plans before they are officially announced. Bloomberg sources suggest that Apple's approach to satellite connectivity for iPhones may be less open-ended than Kuo.
Bloomberg reports that one feature, Emergency Message via Satellite (or Emergency Message via Satellite), will allow you to text emergency services or contacts even if you don't have a cell phone signal. This is possible by harnessing a satellite network. These messages will be limited in length and represented by a grey bubble, instead of the green used to send SMS messages or the blue for iMessages. These messages can be sent to emergency contacts even if they are in Do Not Disturb mode. This could ensure that your message gets seen.
New emergency reporting features
Users can also report emergency situations. Bloomberg reports that the phone will ask you what type of emergency is occurring, such as whether there is a boat, plane, or fire. You can also send information, such as your location or your Medical ID (which is available in the Health app). You might also be able notify emergency contacts simultaneously with reporting an emergency.
Bloomberg reports that the next iPhone may have the hardware required to make satellite calls. Bloomberg is told by a source that the new features won't be available before next year. This discredits the notion that you may be able use them immediately after you purchase the next iPhone.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If they are available, the new satellite link features could ease concerns about not being able contact emergency services when you need it or when you're far from a cellular network. The features may also be able to provide an alternative way to contact emergency services in the case of 911 outages which can occasionally happen.