Before the iPhone 13 launch last fall (Northern Hemisphere), a flurry of reports had suggested the 2021 iPhone lineup would feature "LEO," or satellite connectivity. Satellite connectivity would enable the iPhone to send short messages to emergency contacts over satellite networks without going through a carrier.
Apple's plan includes two parts to let users leverage satellite connectivity. The first, called "Emergency Message via Contacts," and the second component would let users report a crisis, such as a car, boat, or plane crash, to relevant authorities.
As expected, Bloomberg cautions that the feature will be dependent on local regulation and availability, adding "they’re not designed to work in every country."
So the question remains whether, according to the Bloomberg report, it could still launch with the iPhone 14 this year. If so, it would certainly be a revolutionary step forward in terms of communications ability. The Apple Watch already found a strong following with regard to it's health monitoring capabilities, and this would likely provide another massive growth spurt, as current satellites comms all require some form of subscription service. The capability also requires a special modem chip to be included, which would probably have to fit inside the phone itself, so this may be a Watch and Phone combo requirement. And of course, very importantly, there is also the dependency on local regulations and satellite locations (so that could rule out many non-US countries anyway).
See Apple Watch to Eventually Gain Satellite Connectivity Feature for SOS and Emergency Contacts
Apple plans to bring satellite connectivity to the Apple Watch in the future, which would allow for emergency texting and SOS response features...