Apple unveils iPhone 14 with emergency satellite messaging, Ultra watch

CUPERTINO, California – Apple introduced a range of new iPhone 14 models capable of sending a call for help via satellite during an emergency, as well as crash-detection ability and an adventure-focused Ultra watch.

The iPhone 14 models will test Apple’s ability to wring dollars from its relatively affluent customer base, which has kept spending in the face of rising inflation but is not immune to a weakening economy.

The iPhone 14 will start at US$799 (S$1,100) and the iPhone Plus at US$899 and both will be available for pre-order starting Sept 9.

Apple said it put together a system that will work with emergency responders during emergencies in remote areas.

It also said that in some situations, users will be able to use its FindMy app to share their location via satellite when they have no other connectivity.

Globalstar said in a filing that it will be the satellite operator for Apple’s emergency SOS service.

Globalstar’s stock fell about 16 per cent on Wednesday before being halted ahead of the announcement of the Apple deal. The stock has gained about 50 per cent year to date.

Other companies are working on similar functions. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said last month it is working with T-Mobile to use its Starlink satellites to connect phones directly to the Internet.

Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus model will have a larger screen like Apple’s iPhone Pro models but an A15 processor chip like the previous iPhone 13.

The Cupertino, California-based company also showed a trio of new Apple Watches, including a new Watch Ultra model aimed at extreme sports and diving.

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The Ultra has a bigger battery to last through events like triathlons and better waterproofing and temperature resistance to operate in outdoor environments, as well as better GPS tracking for sports.