Apple Watch LTE Implementation

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ASUgrad1999, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. ASUgrad1999 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    Something tells me that even with an LTE Apple Watch, it will still be dependent on the iPhone or at least tied to owning an iPhone. Here are my thoughts why:

    I doubt there will be room for a physical SIM. I'm thinking you will somehow provision the Watch through an IPhone. It will be an extension of the phone with a separate LTE radio but not separate plan or phone number. Perhaps this will boad well for carrier plans for a Watch (e.g. it will be only $5 more per month to have an IPhone/Apple Watch Plan vs just a iPhone plan). This would make sense since the Watch isn't a major data consumption device like an iPhone or iPad, so the carriers may be willing to do this.

    If the Watch were to have stand alone calling capability, I'm sure there would be significant cannibalization of iPhone sales (think teenagers, retired people, etc). Im sure that's one reason the iPad lacks this capability and, in part, why the Apple Watch was designed as a companion device to the iPhone.

    Despite this it would still be super convenient to have an LTE enabled Apple Watch for those times you want to disconnect but not miss important messages. I have a Series 0 and have not seen a compelling reason to upgrade thus far, but LTE capability would get me over that hump.
  2. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It's not that I wouldn't appreciate LTE capabilities on the Apple Watch, I personally have no interest in paying any more fees to my carrier then I already do currently. And I have never been in a position for myself, where my iPhone has not been within reaching distance of my Apple Watch. But I can understand for those who would appreciate to not be tethered From their iPhone.
  3. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

    Apr 13, 2017
    Can be useful for some,in some situations,but LTE in a watch is not something i would pay for. I use the watch strictly with the phone. The watch is perfect for checking mails and use phone navigation functions withouth taking my phone out of my pocket.
  4. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    Why? And for that matter, why would it even need an actual SIM? The watch I have on now, an LG Sport, has an actual SIM card in it. Samsung has been using an embedded SIM (not an actual removable SIM card) for years now. They have used it since at least 2015 with the release of the Gear S2 watch (which came out only 6 months after the original AW).

    That said I think Apple will do something different for the AW with LTE, and just use LTE for data. My watch now has its own number but I find that pointless. I either use NumberSync (AT&T) that makes my watch make and take calls as if it was my phone, or forward my phone's (missed) calls to my watch. For me, neither of those are optimal. NumberSync is a pain, drains battery, and forwarding missed calls to my watch means voicemails always go to my watch. Not cool.

    I was able to use my Apple Watch for just about anything, including calls, as long as it had a valid WiFi connection. Granted it was still married to my iPhone, but the way I see it if Apple merely uses LTE to ensure the AW always has data that would work fine for me. I switched to an Android Wear watch specifically so I would have connectivity should I not have my phone (forgot it, battery died, working out, etc.). But I do not like how LTE is implemented on Android Wear. My Apple Watch would have been perfect if it had LTE and only used it if it didn't have Bluetooth or Wifi.

    What I do NOT see, at this point in time, is a 100% standalone AW. There is just no way the battery could handle that, among other factors.

  5. 0003462, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    0003462 Suspended

    Dec 17, 2013
    It'll be similar to the iPhone pre-2011; you needed a PC to set it up but you could use it without a PC thereafter.

    Functionality will be reduced without an iPhone (much of the data, like music, will sync from it I imagine rather than streaming directly from Apple Music), not to mention a whole bunch of settings won't be adjustable on the Watch itself, but the majority of functionality will work fine.

    With regards to an independent Watch and cannibalisation of the iPhone in future: as Apple themselves have said, when one product gets better, the one above it needs to get much better to prove itself. When the Watch gets its own data connection and sophisticated software/hardware, the iPhone really needs to excel in its unique features: a pocketable camera; a pocketable screen large enough for viewing and editing 'content'.

    Although I have an SE, bigger screens are where it's at when the Watch becomes more capable.

    Above that, the iPad needs to be great at managing multiple apps at once and an even better device for viewing and editing than the iPhone.

    Watching this stuff progress - particularly the Watch - is so exciting to me.

    If/when the LTE Watch can stream directly from Apple Music, I can see my iPhone data usage reducing drastically and the Watch being my main device followed by my iPad. iPhone pocketability isn't that big a deal if I can communicate/organise/track with my Watch and write/edit/view on my iPad. The pocket camera is the only thing the iPhone would excel at in that device lineup. The iPhone becomes a burden to me at that point unless the Plus models become increasingly like small iPads. But I don't think an iPhone can compete with my iPad Pro.
  6. CatherineVeraSiG Suspended

    Aug 6, 2017
    Then why ditch the NanoSIM card slot that is rumored to be in the Apple Watch Series 3 for an eSIM.

    So that the Apple Watch Series 3 can have better battery life, and better features while having the same exact technology that deals with SIM cards.

    eSIM is a shorten version of Electronic SIM so that it can be built into the phone without having to deal with SIM Cards or any SIM Card slots. And it can be used in every single device on the planet, without having to build SIM Card slots directly into phones, tablet, and anything else that deals talking to other devices.

    This has been an rumor since the iPhone 5, that Apple was going to ditch the SIM Card slot in favor of an eSIM in the iPhone 6.

    It's about time to ditch SIM Cards and just have an eSIM card that is going to be build into every devices in the future.

    Here if an link below about eSIM technology.
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Have little interest in an LTE watch.

    To others it will be the Holy Grail.
  8. Lloydbm41 macrumors 601


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    My suggestion to you is look at T-Mobile's wearable plan with Digits on the Gear S3.
    Everything you talk about has already been addressed and implemented nearly a year ago.

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