Apple Watch different country

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by iso667, Jan 13, 2018.

?

Will the Apple Watch LTE bought in a different country work outside it??

  1. Yes, while in the same region.

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  2. No, it won't work!

    9 vote(s)
    69.2%
  1. iso667, Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

    iso667 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #1
    Hi!

    I live in Spain, and here currently we don't have the LTE version already.

    For personal matters, I'll have to fly to Geneva next weekend and I have found that there I could buy the Watch LTE European version. Also I'll get the steel model for 550€, the same model will cost around 700€ when released here in Spain.

    I have read several places where people are saying that there are only three Apple Watch LTE models for three different regions: USA; EU and China. So the EU version should work in Switzerland and later in Spain also.

    Apple has published the different models in this website:

    https://www.apple.com/watch/cellular/

    But I have read too several informations saying that the Watch is in some way "related" to the carrier and you couldn't use it outside the country/carrier of origin. I think this won't be true at all because this means that every carrier should have like a "whitelist" of IMEI or eSIM identifiers with all the Apple Watches of the customers. It has no sense to me.

    What do you think? Have any of you tried one Apple Watch LTE in a different country with a different carrier?

    I suppose the correct answer is the first one, with three different models depend on the region, because of the different frequencies we use to adopt the regulations, but the "attachment" to the carrier has no sense to me. Here in Spain we have more than 10 carriers so I suppose in the future I will be able to attach my apple watch to them.

    Do you think I should buy the Apple Watch next weekend or wait until it is released in Spain?

    My Apple Watch first generation is dying and I'll need a replacement soon :)

    Thanks!

    Best regards.

    ISO
     
  2. multispoke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    Hi ISO.

    I am only a newbie to the AW3 but before buying the Series 3 I did strongly consider the AW3 LTE model on a stopover in UAE on the way to China. As it happened I ended up going to Doha and am I glad that they did not have any Apple store where I could buy a AW3.

    My suggestion to you is not to buy any AW3 LTE in a country outside your own.

    Here in Ireland no carrier is supporting the LTE version and only very recently only one carrier is supporting WIFI calling.

    As opposed to getting the AW3 LTE would you not consider just getting the AW3 non-LTE and opting for a carrier that offers WIFI calling. I haven't tried this but you could have a hotspot device that is 2.4Ghz and this might trick the watch into making calls over the WIFI without having your phone.

    There seems to be a huge number of posts on problems with the LTE model and noticed quite a few that were related to EE in the UK which would be European like Spain (very ai least for the time being :) )

    The LTE seems to have a lot of restrictions with not being able to roam etc.

    If you would like the look of the LTE model you can source a special red dot for the crown and justify it on the fact that it is setup for WIFI calling :)

    I had a problem recently with the AW3 where the WIFI would not work and after spending many hours trying to get it work I was relieved that I was not a pioneer for the new LTE model.

    Also of the carriers who offer support for LTE are subsidising the purchase of the LTE model so maybe in 2 years you could get the watch for 'free' if you wait until the new technology settles down.
     
  3. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #3
    Hello multispoke and many thanks for your answer...

    The point is that my Apple Watch is dying and I can't last it for long time, so I will need a new one soon.

    My choices here in Spain right now are only aluminium ones, and I prefer the steel version.

    Also in the past, I remember the cheapest steel one here was like 669€ or something like that in 38mm version.

    So for me, the steel version of the series 3 for 550€ is a good deal, even if I never use the LTE. I suposse in Spain, when we finally have it, it could cost more than 700€.

    Given that, I don't know what to do. But for me it has no sense that the carriers "limit" the apple watch model. I think this is just based in the number of frecuencies it can use, that was the beginning of the thread :)

    I was wondering if someone here has used a Watch purchased in the United States and used it also in Canadá, or taken from Germany to France, something like that :)

    I think it should work!!

    Thanks!

    ISO
     
  4. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #4
  5. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #5
    Yes, I have read a lot of them, but there are two versions:

    - Articles saying that you can only use it in the country of origin.
    - Articles saying that there are just three models: USA, EU and China, and the only "limitation" is the number of bands/frequencies they can use.

    So it is very tricky to know the truth.

    Because all of them are just this, articles, I was trying to find anyone here in the forums who has used a watch in two different countries with two different carriers, if possible :)

    Best regards!

    ISO
     
  6. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #6
    Well, your carrier is not supported by Apple the Apple Watch. Are there plans for the LTE watch to launch in Spain? If not, its highly unlikely it will ever be supported.
     
  7. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #7
    Yes! Apple will launch it during this year, maybe spring or summer. I suppose they are in negotiations with some carriers in Spain to launch it soon.

    Best regards!
     
  8. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #8
    I honestly would wait as long as possible. Because changing carriers also comes at the cost of activating the watch. No longer just simply swapping a SIM card.
     
  9. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #9
    The issue about your LTE watch feature only working in country of "Activation" not country where you purchase it as long as you are in the same "Region" as defined by Apple.

    The issue is that the pairing with your iPhone and call routing only works on the same carrier that you currently have your watch & iPhone active on. The LTE watch does not support roaming to other networks in your country or while traveling internationally.

    The information from Apple is correct, there are only 3 versions of the Cellular watch. In Spain, you would be using the EU version once a carrier begins to support the LTE feature of the Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) watch.

    The watch can be used on multiple different carriers but only 1 carrier at a time. For example, here in the USA, the 4 major carriers all support Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) watch. You can switch between any of the 4 carriers at any time. Yes, you may need to pay an activation when you switch carriers, if multiple carriers in Spain support the LTE watch.

    Summary: Yes you can use your LTE watch in different countries, if both countries support the LTE watch and has the LTE / UMTS bands that may overlap or be needed in the region of the world. For example, here in the North America, we can reuse the same watch in Canada and Puerto Rico without issue since this region supports the "same" LTE/UMTS(as a fallback supported by some carrier's) bands.

    Dave
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Well if it's cheaper to buy it in Switzerland, you might as well. Even without LTE you'll have a good watch.
     
  11. multispoke, Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

    multispoke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    Hi ISO.

    Checking your price of the SS AWE3 LTE at 550 Euro seems cheap compared with the $649 that you would pay in the U.S. To be honest I am surprised that Apple Watch only supply a Stainless Steel version in the LTE. To get a SS one now for a country not supporting LTE means buying secondhand and that means going back to a AW2.

    In 2 years time I would imagine that the current AW3 will be out of date or have a poor battery. So if you invest in a SS I would question the value for money. Spending money on.a decent automatic watch could be deemed a better 'investment' but on technology it's questionable.

    If your current AW is dying I can only guess that you have a Series 0. The current AW3 that I have seems to have a good battery. For me it seems to be lasting a day and a half. Had envisaged that it would not last a day so they seemed to have improved the battery or the way that it is used. It also seems quite fast, clear resolution for text etc but it is not good enough for pictures etc. Also with the Alti-meter and the build in GPS it seems to quite accurate as a fit bit.

    If I bought a AW3 SS LTE and the cellular part of the watch did not work - it would bother me. If you are locked into a contract with a mobile provider switching to another carrier is not always that easy. I would imagine that only a small player for mobile services would offer support on the LTE initially and not the bigger players like Vodafone. LTE may have had a poor uptake judging by the advertisements on UK TV. They appear as if they are trying to flog it. Plus the AW does not support WhatsApp which for some is a disappointment.

    If you can buy a AW3 cheap - think of it as a stop gap - a disposable watch and re-buy it in a year to 2 years when support for Cellular (LTE) is officially supported.

    Lastly, I am not too sure if buying a LTE AW3 would even be supported for non-LTE stuff in your own country. E.g. if you had the trouble that I had with the WiFI on the non-LTE AW3, Apple could have it put it down to the cellular capability being the cause. Sometimes keeping it simple is better.
     
  12. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #12
    The OP wants the SS model and Apple only offers it with the LTE feature included. In addition to the watch being SS, it has double the storage of the Aluminum model 16 GB instead of 8 GB and all LTE models have a ceramic back instead of the basic composite back.

    You never have to even activate the LTE function unless you chose to use that feature. In addition, you can enable it, test if you like it and even cancel Cellular service if you don't find it useful

    As to which carrier in Spain will support the LTE feature of the watch that uses the newer Embeddded SIM (eSIM) that replaces a physical SIM card. It is currently an extremely expensive solution and requires a complex back-end system that is required to provide the ability for the Apple watch to appear to share the same phone number with the paired iPhone. The eSIM can be re-provisioned to use on any Carrier in your supported region that offers support for Wearable devices that utilize LTE. for the OP the EU model would be the correct choice.

    Currently, only very large carriers with very wide coverage areas are offering the support for the LTE feature. None of the current Carriers require a long, high price contract to add the watch.

    Dave
     
  13. multispoke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Ireland
    #13
    This is an interesting thread.

    When I had a choice of buying a SS AWE3 LTE or an Aluminium AWE3 GPS I did strongly consider taking a 'chance' and buying the SS model for the look. I thought that in time I would be able to use the Cellular capability and it would be a bonus.

    But buying a capability that you cannot test now seems a little risky. Plus having features that are not supported by the region could interfere with other aspects of the Apple watch's capability even if you can 'switch it off'.

    I am currently with Vodafone in Ireland and from what I understand they have no intention of supporting LTE.
    In the UK Vodafone don't currently support it whilst EE seem to be the only carrier that does.
    Here Eir are the only carrier supporting WiFI calling and they would be small compared with Vodafone.
    https://www.eir.ie/wificalling/

    If you looking at the satisfaction rating of other carriers e.g. in the UK, customers do not appear to be happy with their service.
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/may/27/ee-vodafone-us-worst-mobile-providers-which-networks

    I've no idea what the carriers are like in Spain but it might be worthwhile checking whom will provide support for cellular first and realistically when. Orange in Spain do provide WIFI calling.

    If I had to opt for a change of carrier so that I had support for LTE I probably would change. Issue for some is the lock in that a carrier imposes for a subsidised handset. For many it's 2 years.

    When and if Ireland supports LTE which will probably be in 2019 I would consider buying into then.

    If you did buy the SS now you could end up having to re-buy it at a later stage if the e-sim configuration was too costly.
     
  14. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #14
    In Australia, the cost of eSIM is not that high (half the price of that in USA) although it is also per month basis and only supports post-paid plan. Regarding the carrier support, Vodafone, Telstra and Optus all supports Apple Watch connection. By far Telstra has the best offer (just hop in and confirm subscription) and easiest postpaid policy (no need to pay anything upon signing a contract if you have a clean credit record. Reasonably long bill payment period) among all three carriers, plus the best network coverage. The cost is still the highest though, but I am almost ready to jump on this boat.

    I would say, Watch LTE support in Australia is by far the most friendly and covers everything. Don’t know much about europe but looks like it is messy and unclear.
     
  15. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #15
    Thank you Dave, this is what I though about it and it seems reasonably to me.

    I think I'll take the risk and buy it this weekend in Switzerland.

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer this thread. I´ll inform you about the results if I finally buy it, and later they expand the LTE functionality to Spain :)

    The reason to buy the SS version is because I think it is more "durable" or resistant? I don't know the correct word in English. When I was reading about watches, I read that the Aluminum version has a normal glass and the SS version has a more durable glass, and even as someone has told, the ceramic back. I hope it is more durable than my series 0. Nowadays I have the glass completely scratched and some parts of the aluminum with marks. It has three years and I used it everyday since the launch date, but it is feeling the past of the time so, maybe the SS would be a better choice for me use case. And also, it has a better looking :) I never use any other watch so, for me, making and invest in an automatic watch of any kind has no sense.

    Thanks again to all!

    Even with the results of the poll, I think I will follow Dave's advice and go for it :)

    Best regards!

    ISO
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2018 ---
    Agree, but if you don't have LTE you should be able to use the watch like a "normal" one, at least to my understanding.

    I don't want WiFi calling because I never use the watch in WiFi places. The use cases for me to use the Apple Watch LTE are like:

    - Going to the swimming pool and receive an urgent call.
    - Going to ride my mountain bike without carrying the iPhone.
    - Going to the beach with no phone at all. Avoid the necessity of leaving things in the towel while on water.
    - Going to the gym and leave the phone at home instead of leaving it in the locker, less secure.

    And things like these ones.

    Probably you are right, but I think I will risk and buy an EU version in Switzerland and hope I could use it here later in Spain.

    Best regards and thanks for your time in the thread! :)

    ISO
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2018 ---
    That's the point! :) Thanks!
     
  16. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #16
    Hey @iso667 yes you are correct the SS model has a Sapphire crystal and ceramic case. The Aluminum models come with what Apple calls Ion-X glass crystal and have a composite back (plastic).

    Personally while I really like the look and feel of the SS model, I just can not justify the price for a piece of technology. If I were purchasing a tradition analog SS Watch that I expect to keep for a long time, then I would consider the additional cost of the Stainless Steel model.

    Dave
     
  17. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #17
    Cellular version has a ceramic back as well, even for aluminum case.
     
  18. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #18
    Thanks again Dave, but keep in mind this:

    As I told you, I only use this watch, I don't have any other watches. I use different straps for example I have the Milanese loop if I want to get dressed a bit more "elegant". For example to go to the office with a shirt or a suit.

    Here in Spain, I think the cost of the SS version with LTE will be around 729€. Always speaking of 38mm version. My wrist is small.

    The aluminium version costs nowadays 369€ without LTE. With LTE it will cost 40-50€ more. So let's say around 419€.

    In Switzerland, I can buy the SS LTE version for 550€. So the difference is 131€. For this amount of money and given the thing that the glass is more durable in the SS version, for me I think it will worth the difference. Maybe not for everyone :)

    My only doubt is if the SS version can suffer under the water in the swimming pool but they sell the product to do that so I hope not! :)

    Best regards!

    ISO

    Yep, but the scratches on my series 0 are on the front :) here is where I can add a bit more resistance.

    Thanks!

    ISO
     
  19. Vermifuge macrumors 68000

    Vermifuge

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #19
  20. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #20
    Yes!! Thank you Vermifuge, this is was I was looking for. Some real experiences of people who have done that. This is very helpful!

    I'll buy it in a couple of days :)

    Thank you again!

    ISO
     
  21. multispoke, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018

    multispoke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    Hi iso667.

    It would appear that Dave is right in that you should be able to use the Swiss bought LTE in Spain. What may be worthwhile buying in addition to the AW :) is an Apple care plan. This would extend the technical cover beyond the 90 days to 2 years and of course the extended warranty. Spain seems to have a number of Apple stores unlike here where we only have re-sellers. So if you go in looking for advice it always involves handing the device over and having to pay for a diagnosis :(

    Reading back on one of your posts on the reasons for the SS decision - it would be worth clarifying a few things in relation to durability particularly in relation to your activities.

    - Sapphire is not as strong an Mineral Glass although it is certainly more scratch resistant. If you look at say a Seiko's Divers watch they would use a hardened Mineral Glass. They decided not to opt for Sapphire even on one of their more recent PADI watches which is one of their more premium 'budget' watches. Mineral glass is more impact resistant which could be useful if you're mountain biking.

    - A SS case will scratch particularly the polished SS like the one on the AW. Although it is possible to rub these out. Aluminium does not suffer from this hence one of the reasons why I opted for 'silver'.

    - Water resistance. Generally for a watch to be rated as swim proof it should have a screw down crown. I personally wouldn't trust my AW3 swimming. I think the warranty is only valid if I take out an additional Apple Care - it is not covered under the standard Apple care cover that comes with the AW.

    - The series 3 has twice the brightness of the AW1 but with Sapphire this is reduced by a third ? Also it is twice as reflective as Mineral glass. This overall effect would only be evident outside but not indoors. But if you can easily read your AW0 currently this should not be a problem on the SS AW3.

    SS is definitely much nicer looking and since it will be your only watch I can fully relate to why you wish to buy it particularly given that it be your only watch.

    I've still kept wearing my 'old' watch - it is a Timex Navi Harbor on the left wrist. I've put the AW3 on the right wrist which is a better home for it since I am actually left handed. I tend to hide the AW3 so no one knows that I'm wearing it. I have my eye on a new Seiko Padi - which I can definitely bring swimming :). I like the AW3 as a gadget and as a fit bit and the way that it connects to my phone through WiFI in the house and at work without having to carry it around with me.

    Keep us updated on how you get on with the AW3 SS particularly when it is supported in Spain & hopefully this year !
     
  22. Vermifuge macrumors 68000

    Vermifuge

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #22
    A lot of people seem to think the SS is easily scratched or will look bad after use... So for reference here is my S0 received on launch day and used daily. It has never been polished though I have considered getting a cape cod cloth do give it a quick buffing.

    The band does get scratched but the watch body and face look fine. The SS is a little dull but the screen is in perfect condition. (never used a case or screen protector either.)

    aws0_01.jpg aws0_02.jpg
     
  23. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #23
    Hi guys!

    Thanks again to all of you to take the time to answer to this thread.

    Now, I have my new SS AWs3 on my wrist :)

    I have finally bought it in Switzerland. For the moment it is working flawlessly doing the same things that my older Alu AWs0 was doing.

    Let's see how it works in the future and if I finally am able to use it in Spain when they deploy plans there to use the AW3 LTE.

    Best regards!

    ISO
     
  24. Vermifuge macrumors 68000

    Vermifuge

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #24
    How about that battery vs the s0
     
  25. iso667 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    #25
    I can't tell for the moment, I bought it this morning! But now it says 97% and I ended up charging around 11:30 when I posted.

    Anyway, my S0 was dying. For example if I use it one day, I pick it up from the charger at 7-8 a.m., use it until 2 p.m. and then do a running workout (30 to 60 minutes) using the HRM, it dies around 3-4-5-6 p.m. so I have to charge it after running if I want to go later to the gym or do any other activity.

    I hope this new one works better from here in advance :)

    My S0 has been rocking from the day it was launched in Spain. I think it was in June 2015 so it has almost three years, used everyday and charged every night. The battery has suffered and has some degradation nowadays. So maybe it's not possible to compare in my case :) I hope the new one last more and doesn't need any extra charge at mid-day :)

    Thanks!

    ISO
     

Share This Page