An Apple repair and refurbishment center in California has reportedly placed about 1,600 accidental calls to 911 over the past four months and there is absolutely no clarity as to why these calls were placed and by whom. The center houses Apple iPhones and Apple Watches, both of which are capable of triggering the emergency calls even without a cellular connection.
According to a report on The Washington Post, it is not clear why the calls are being placed and if the iPhones and Apple Watches at the facility are triggering them. Jason Jimenez, a public information officer at the Elk Grove Police Department, said that there have been as many as 20 calls a day since October coming from the Apple facility located in Elk Grove.
Even as they appear to be accidental, they are becoming a nuisance as operators are trying to address real emergency calls. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly trying from its end to resolve the issue.
The company is quoted as saying in the report, “We take this seriously, and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn’t continue.”
Internationally, as well as in India, smartphones are required to come with emergency calling feature to help distressed individuals, even when there is no cellular support. For Apple devices, the emergency call feature on the iPhone 8 or iPhone X works when you hit buttons on both sides of the phone simultaneously. This calls the emergency service 911 without the need for you to unlock the device. In older phones, you can activate the feature by hitting the power button five times in succession.
As for the Apple Watch, you have to hold down the side button to trigger an emergency call. In both instances a loud noise plays before the call is actually placed.
Recently, an Apple Watch helped saved two lives. The SOS feature on the smartwatch saved the life of a woman and her baby, after they were in a car accident. Kacie Anderson, a 24-year-old from Hannover, PA, reportedly used the watch’s SOS feature to call for an ambulance after suffering injuries from a car accident late last year.