Apple's iPhones are causing trouble in Elk Grove and Sacramento County in California, as too many accidental 911 calls are coming from one of the company's repair facilities in Elk Grove.
According to a local report, there have been about 1,600 accidental calls to 911 from the Apple facility since October 2017, which translates to about 20 per day.
Apple Repair Facility Makes Too Many Accidental 911 Calls
Emergency dispatchers from Elk Grove and Sacramento County in California have seen a significant increase in false 911 calls, with the source being the Apple repair facility in Elk Grove.
The accidental 911 calls, which started in October 2017, typically had nobody at the other end of the line. According to Elk Grove Police, with 20 false alarms per day, it takes away valuable seconds from legitimate emergency calls. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Communication Center also receives the accidental 911 calls, with a total of 47 since Jan. 1.
"The times when it's greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call," said Jamie Hudson, a police dispatcher.
Apple has confirmed that the accidental 911 calls are indeed coming from its repair and refurbishment center in Elk Grove and that the company is working on a solution.
The company has not issued an official explanation on the cause of the errant emergency calls, but the culprit is likely the Emergency SOS feature that Apple rolled out with the iOS 11 upgrade. The operating system, along with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, was released in October, coinciding with when the accidental 911 calls started.
iOS 11 Emergency SOS Feature: What Does It Do?
The Emergency SOS feature that was introduced in iOS 11 gives users a quick option to call 911. For the iPhone 7 and earlier, the feature is activated by pressing an iPhone's lock/power button five times quickly. For the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, users will simply have to press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
In addition to calling emergency services, activating the emergency SOS feature also automatically disables Touch ID and Face ID. This will prevent other people from accessing the iPhone by forcing the owner's finger on the device or by holding it up to their face.