Skip to main content

An Apple repair center in California can’t seem to stop calling 911


Emergency dispatchers keep receiving calls from an Apple repair center in Sacramento County, California. The dispatchers are taking up to 20 calls a day from the center, with around 1,600 logged since they started hitting the switchboard last October.

No, they’re not for real emergencies — Apple CEO Tim Cook would have to be really concerned if the center was suffering that many calamitous incidents every single day. Instead, the calls are being made in error, apparently from iPhones during the repair process.

Police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told a local CBS news outlet that the location of each call shows up on a display, and Apple’s address in Elk Grove keeps flashing up. There’s no one on the other end of the line when the erroneous calls come through, though with some of them you can apparently hear people talking in the background — about Apple devices and repairs.

The tech giant says it’s now investigating the matter. “We’re aware of 911 calls originating from our Elk Grove repair and refurbishment facility,” it said in a statement, adding, “We take this seriously and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn’t continue.”

So what exactly is happening? It seems that during the repair process, technicians are somehow triggering the emergency call on the iPhone. Notably, the false calls seem to have started with the launch of iOS 11 last fall, which is when Apple included a new Emergency SOS feature.

Apple describes Emergency SOS as a “quick and easy” way to call the emergency services. With the iPhone X and iPhone 8, an emergency call is made by pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears. It’s then a case of dragging the slider across to place the call. Alternatively, if you continue to hold down the side and volume buttons, a countdown starts and an alert sounds. Keep the buttons pressed until the countdown ends and the iPhone will automatically call emergency services.

For the iPhone 7 and earlier Apple handsets, you need to rapidly press the side button five times, at which point the Emergency SOS slider will appear. But it’s not clear why it seems to be only this particular repair center that’s making all the calls.

Jason Jimenez of the Elk Grove Police Department described 911 as “a lifeline for everyone in our community, so having these lines open and available is paramount,” but insisted that despite Apple’s regular calls, “public safety is not in danger.”

Editors' Recommendations

I tried replacing my $4,000 camera with the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. and iPhone 14 Pro.

The smartphone-versus-DSLR camera debate divides opinions rather sharply, and for good reason. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, unless you’re doing photography for professional reasons, the phone in your hands is an extremely powerful imaging tool that can run circles around a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

I’ve been exploring the foothills of the Himalayas for the past few weeks and decided to take along Samsung and Apple’s best smartphones, instead of carrying a professional DSLR camera with me (one that, in total, costs around $4,000). My travel-logging companions have been the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro. I’ve been blown away by what these smartphone cameras can accomplish, and the dramatic upper hand they hold over your average DSLR camera in a healthy bunch of scenarios.
Night mode is the magic mode

Read more
Your Google One plan just got 2 big security updates to keep you safe online
Two Google Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.

Google just added some major new security features to keep its Google One subscribers safe while on the web. After all, the internet is where you spend a lot of your time, whether that's looking things up, paying bills, shopping, booking appointments, or sharing photos with family and friends. That’s a lot of information, and Google wants to keep subscribers safe from the darker side of the web.

Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, all Google One subscribers are getting the following two security features.
VPN by Google One for everyone

Read more
How the iPhone became the most boring phone you can buy in 2023
iPhone 14 Pro Max in the middle with Galaxy S23 Ultra on the left and Honor Magic 5 Pro on the right.

It says a lot about a phone when the most-talked thing about its next iteration is its new volume buttons. That’s what the Apple iPhone is in 2023. It doesn’t fold, it doesn’t have a periscope zoom lens, it doesn’t fast charge, the design has been the same for years, it’s uncomfortable to hold, and its cameras are no longer the best — something proved most recently in our Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro camera test.

In the past few years, iPhones haven’t seen any kind of big new innovation. The Dynamic Island had the potential to be the innovation we'd been waiting for, but that hasn't come to fruition. When you add all that together, it makes the iPhone the most boring phone you can buy in 2023. Here’s why.
The iPhone has a folding problem

Read more