Apple denying access to emergency positioning used in Estonia may affect phone sales (4)

iPhones. (Reuters/Scanpix)
8/24/2016 4:13 PM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

The fact that the emergency phone call positioning service taken into use in Estonia, currently eyed by several other countries as well, does not work with Apple phones may start to have an impact on sales, experts speaking at a press conference in Tallinn on Wednesday found.

"I do have great interest in what the reaction of iOS will be, since when this solution will start to spread more broadly in Europe ,pple may find itself in a great hurry," Sami Seppanen, manager of the operator Elisa Eesti, said. "They've been very rigid so far. But this [precise emergency call positioning] is a strong sales argument."

"Apple hasn't understood what value Android and Google have created," said Aivo Riisenberg of the Ministry of the Interior's Center for Information Technology and Development. "When they do get it, I believe they will react fast."

The precise positioning system taken into use by the Estonian Alarm Center launches automatically when a person makes a call to the emergency phone number 112, switching on the device's positioning feature and sending a text message to the emergency center with the telephone's coordinates.

Apple is not cooperating with the solution which was implemented in Estonia in collaboration between the Alarm Center, Google, Sony Mobile Communications, the Ministry of the Interior's Center for Information Technology and Development, operators Telia, Elisa and Tele2, technology company Reach-U and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA).

Lithuania is currently very close to launching a similar service, expecting to have it operational this year already. In Sweden, the service is in a testing stage with full launch planned for 2017. Altogether some 15 countries have demonstrated interest in the service, noted Janek Laev, the director general of the Alarm Center.

According to experts, of the mobile telephones currently in use in Estonia, about 70 percent use the Android operating system, while 10-15 percent are Apple devices using iOS, whereas the rest are either devices using Windows or have no positioning capability.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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