Apple Watch ESIM (available globally?)

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by salivan, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. salivan, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019

    salivan macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2015
    Carrier in my country just started providing ESIM support.

    On the carrier website iPhones are all listed as supported, but when I asked about Apple Watch they either didn't know or said it is not supported (they also said apple is blocking them?).

    I cannot find any relevant information about this. I'm tempted to just buy cellular version and test it myself, but hey, I will be pissed if I spend extra for a feature I cannot use :)

    Any pointers?
  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Umm, which country are you in now?

    And, Apple may “block” eSIM on Apple Watch for certain regions, but maybe it’s carrier who is lazy enough to implement eSIM support. My money is on later.

    If the shop in your country has nice return policy, you can buy one and test it out.
  3. salivan thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2015
    Republic of Georgia.

    I don't get why would apple allow iPhone and disallow the watch. It seems weird.

    I will be buying on ebay/amazon so no returns for me :|
  4. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    I don't think you can without specific Apple watch carrier support, because it is hooked up to the plan on your phone and not acting as a separate one.

    This may change with time, as Apple makes the watch now independent, but Only apple knows.
  5. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    I definitely wouldn't buy an Apple Watch on eBay or anywhere that didn't have a return policy. If your carrier is saying that the watch won't work, it won't work. Apple makes deals with carriers frequently to add watch to their portfolios, and the watch is a big enough deal that most carriers would highlight it as an option, so if they are saying they don't support it, you're likely not going to get it activated once you purchase it. Also, the watches (or at least v 3, I think it's still the case now) are region locked, so if you buy one on the US, it will only work in certain countries, and can't be activated in Europe or Asia, and the same thing if you buy one from Europe or Asia, so you need to make sure that you have the correct region's watch to begin with. It's possible that if your carrier just got eSim support recently, that they will be taking on the Apple Watch soon. I'd definitely hold off on getting one until your carrier officially provides support, or else move to another carrier that does officially support it.
  6. KarstenS macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2018
    ESIM alone is not enough.

    As the phone number has to be the same as on the iPhone, you need multicard support too.

    So you need a multicard as ESIM.
  7. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    It is not that they disallow the watch, they just don't have support for the Apple cellular watch on their network. For a carrier to support the Apple cellular watch they need to make changes to their networks to support the cellular watch on their network as specified by Apple. It takes a signification investment by any carrier to support the Apple cellular watch.

    Apple has designed the watch to be paired with an iPhone and both the watch & the iPhone appear to share the same phone number (iPhone). This means the carrier has to add additional hardware / software to support this behind the scene function. The cellular watch has a unique phone number assigned by the carrier but calls you make appear to be from your iPhone's phone number.

    For calls you receive on your watch, the caller is just calling your iPhone phone number and the carrier's network manages the routing of the inbound calls to both your iPhone phone number and the paired cellular watch's phone number. The carrier's back-end systems have to be upgraded to support this capability to route calls to both devices (iPhone & cellular watch).

  8. FL Newbee macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2019
    I am new to posting on this forum, but found this from Apple on regional settings for the Apple Watch. Read the portion on international roaming Since you say you are in the Republic of Georgia and the watch on eBay might be from another region, it might not work due to not having the correct bands.

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7 August 16, 2019