Apple Watch 8 Pro/Explorer might have emergency abilities via satellite

watchos 9

Apple Watch 8 Pro/Explorer might have satellite emergency abilities

We shall find out very soon if the expected, high-end Apple Watch 8 has emergency support for athletes when out of cell range.

The announcement date for Watch Series 8 is set for Wednesday 7th September, possibly with orders at the end of the week (9 Sep) and then who knows when shipping will start?

Last year’s mini-debacle revealed Apple had supply chain issues and the watches took some time to get to fully stocked positions. China’s home-grown covid vaccine seems not to work so they are still suffering from significant, regional lockdown issues which might impacy timelines this fall.

Satellite Emergency – What’s The Big Deal?

The big deal is that the Apple Watch 8 range is going to morph from what has come before. The Watch SE gen 2 and Watch 8 regular editions will iterate as normal. However, there is supposedly a newer, larger Watch 8 model called either an 8 Pro or 8 Explorer. This model is specifically targeted at outdoors athletes aka the less serious end of the Garmin Fenix market.

We’ve already seen that WatchOS 9 (image above) adds running power, running form metrics, heart rate zones, hands-free triathlon multisport mode, custom multisport modes, kickboard detection, power alerts, and custom workouts. So this is a significant software update for athletes that marks the start of difficult times ahead for competitors in the sports watch market...yes, even for Garmin.

A few months ago, the rumours were that the Pro/Explorer model would get a larger battery life by dint of a physically bigger shell and a physically bigger battery (fair enough). That obviously implies a larger screen for those maps too. Other rumours suggested increased durability (but it’s already fairly durable if you get the sapphire version). But that was it. There was no real edge that might tempt vaguely serious weekend adventurers away from a Garmin Epix 2 or Garmin Fenix 7.

So roll on the potential of emergency satellite connectivity in the iPhone 14. If you are out of cell range a new chip might let you ping emergency messages to key contacts via satellite or to a paid-for assistance desk like Garmin’s GEOS/IERCC, heck, they might even team up with Garmin for this one. (Big maybe).

It’s a potentially nice headline feature that might appeal to the more adventurous weekend warrior but I still can’t help but think that more serious adventurers will already have some means of satellite assistance, perhaps with a handheld Garmin inReach.

Price & Feature

The Watch 7 stainless/sapphire model currently starts at $700 and this also is the starter model for LTE connectivity. My guess would be that the larger, durable Watch 8 Pro will start at $800 perhaps also with a more expensive ceramic shell option.

The Watch 8 Pro will not necessarily have LTE but a ‘pro’ model is going to have all-singing all-dancing everything. Either way, my guess would be that the Watch 8 will piggyback on the satellite connectivity features of the iPhone 14 rather than add then into the watch by hardware. So for reviewers that have to test this out, it’s going to be an expensive day at the races. Watch 8, Watch 8 Pro, Watch SE 2 and an iPhone 14 Pro…ouch.



Reader-Powered Content

This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners. Thank you! FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: Links pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

4 thoughts on “Apple Watch 8 Pro/Explorer might have emergency abilities via satellite

  1. It would be good to see if Garmin implements this selling inreach at the same time.

  2. Apple would have to substantially increase battery life before any such feature would be useful to rescuers.

    1. the extra size of the 8Pro could ALL be taken up by battery so, theoretically, AW8 could double the battery life…or more.
      Apple always historically quoted 18 hours battery life but you can readily get more than that.
      Of course not as good as Epix 2 let alone fenix 7

      however apple is NOT going for the pro end of the market. they are going for the MUCH bigger weekend warrior end of the market. those people are never going to get close to an ultra marathon or a glacier, and perhaps just a few more trees than in the local park.

      think about the markets (user types) and not the product features that you or I might ‘need’

  3. Agreed. The 945 LTE is such an underrated device since its emergency services are routed through the IRCC like InReach devices. I wish Garmin would finally issue the August 2022 software update for the 945 LTE. I’m looking forward to real world tests of Apple’s iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite and InReach.

Comments are closed.