Gave up on AW S3 LTE Verizon

jbizzybeetle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2015
501
195
After the move from AT&T, Verizon could never get my AW S3 LTE to work independently and reliably.

So, I ditched the monthly $10 “wearable” line today and will just carry the iPhone X with me.

Maybe I will go back to AT&T after Verizon promotional period ends. I don’t want to pay back $100 reward for prior carrier change.

Meanwhile, we will see if anything relevant comes of the DOJ’s eSim-collusion investigation.
 

jbizzybeetle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2015
501
195
Did you have the watch on LTE while with ATT?
yes. Apple-purchase AW in Sept. worked fine on AT&T thru 6splus, and both AT&T-tied iPX and simfree iPX purchased directly from Apple.

problem started with switch to verizon in December, tried several times to fix with Verizon tech support. today 3-4 hours, and I gave up.

wasn’t too bothered thru initial 3 months no-charge wearable but balked at $10 per month for no independence.

BTW: First Verizon person in Dec told me “you won’t be able to use the AT&T watch with Verizon. You will have to buy a Verizon AW. “

She wasn’t supposed to be right, but maybe that was the honest truth. More recently, I noted a Google search turned up a Verizon statement re: AW and a vSim. V not e.
 
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TiggrToo

macrumors 68020
Aug 24, 2017
2,313
5,065
Out there...way out there
Anyone who tells you that you cannot use a watch brought from AT&T on VCW (assuming the associated iPhone is on VCW) is 100% categorically absolutely fundamentally wrong in every conceivable respect.

Granted before swapping one needs to ensure the watch is paid off, has not been reported as lost or stolen and has been disconnected from the previous plan (which is more than just unpairing it). That all said, if all that is true then you absolutely have a watch than can be used with any of the big 4 (soon to be 3?) US carriers.
 

jbizzybeetle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2015
501
195
Anyone who tells you that you cannot use a watch brought from AT&T on VCW (assuming the associated iPhone is on VCW) is 100% categorically absolutely fundamentally wrong in every conceivable respect.

Granted before swapping one needs to ensure the watch is paid off, has not been reported as lost or stolen and has been disconnected from the previous plan (which is more than just unpairing it). That all said, if all that is true then you absolutely have a watch than can be used with any of the big 4 (soon to be 3?) US carriers.
yes. we know that all is supposed to be true.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,596
2,350
The watch could be locked by ATT.

Yeah we know the watch is supposed to be able to be used on any network blah blah blah.

There are other posts where watches that were in t-mobile couldn’t be used on Verizon.

I see it frequently. But I’m sure I’m sure I am categorically absolutely fundamentally wrong in every conceivable respect in any advice I may provide, so I will allow some others whom are apparently experts to advise.
 
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dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,382
696
Just West of East
BTW: First Verizon person in Dec told me “you won’t be able to use the AT&T watch with Verizon. You will have to buy a Verizon AW. “

She wasn’t supposed to be right, but maybe that was the honest truth. More recently, I noted a Google search turned up a Verizon statement re: AW and a vSim. V not e.
I know we covered this before but just to try to reduce further confusion should others stumble onto this thread.

There is no such thing as a Verizon AW. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) comes in three regional models – Americas, China, and Europe/Asia Pacific!

The issue @jbizzybeetle and others that have switched carriers have often reported is that the new carrier rep does not know how to enter the device specific information into their back-end system to allow for the watch's eSIM to be provisioned correctly by their carrier's back-end system.

The reason it almost always works the first time for a watch purchased initially from "your" carrier is that the correct information has already been provided to the carrrier's back-end system.

When you switch carriers, there is no way for the new carrier to know the information need to provision the eSIM. A carrier rep must enter the required information manually into their back-end system. Then and only then can the iPhone Watch app drive the on device activation workflow or the carrier rep must complete a manual provisioning of the eSIM by completing the registration of the required data and starting the required carrier workflow.

For example: if you purchase the watch from Verizon directly, before you ever get your hands on the watch the box was scanned and the bar codes on the bottom of the box identified the required information and recorded it in the carrier's back-end system. This is similar to how you can purchase an iPhone X directly from Apple that arrives directly from the Apple factory with the carrier's nano-SIM preinstalled. Just before your carrier iPhone is loaded into it's shipping box, it is scanned and the bar coded information is provided to the appropriate carrier's back-end system including the physical SIM that was installed in the iPhone at the Apple factory.

Note: the only difference currently is the Watch uses an eSIM instead of a physical SIM. The information from the bottom of the box is needed to actually provision the eSIM for carrier service. There are no shortcuts! Yes you can find the same information for the Apple Watch app and on the physical watch but I find it easier to just read off all the barcoded fields from the bottom of the watch box. Yes there are some long strings of numbers and that is another place where the rep can fail to enter the correct information. Without the exact information, there is simply no way to properly provision the eSIM.

Dave
 

CobraPA

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2011
727
174
Lansdale, PA, USA
There have been a couple reports of Apple simply swapping the watch in these cases. We know the carriers should be able to fix it, but if you escalate to Apple support they seem to realize it's more of a headache to the customer. There have been a couple threads were Apple came through and just supplied a replacement watch. (Not that they should have to do this, but it solves the problem, as the new watch goes through the standard provisioning.)
 

infernoguy

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2011
253
79
Nashville, TN
What a timely thread. I am in the same boat with my recently paid off AW3 LTE from AT&T.

I have tried almost everything mentioned (including going to a Verizon store) and they all tell me the same thing. When I tell them that the IMEI from the watch needs to be entered into their backend system, I get blank stares and told basically you’re outta luck.

I still have my box for the watch so I wonder if I gave Verizon all the numbers associated with my watch (if I can find a knowledgeable tech on the verizon side) would they add it in.

Otherwise, I’ll try the Apple Store and see if they can help. Anyone have any success going the Apple Store route?
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
783
Btw, you knowledgeable people with LTE watches:

Someone told me that although you don't need to bring your phone with you, you need to have your iPhone turned on (and connected to cellular network) in order for the watch to be able to connect as well.

Is this really true? Sounds weird to me. Like, if my phone battery runs flat - or is out of reception for whatever reason - my watch becomes worthless (as a smart device anyway) as well?
 

CobraPA

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2011
727
174
Lansdale, PA, USA
Btw, you knowledgeable people with LTE watches:

Someone told me that although you don't need to bring your phone with you, you need to have your iPhone turned on (and connected to cellular network) in order for the watch to be able to connect as well.

Is this really true? Sounds weird to me. Like, if my phone battery runs flat - or is out of reception for whatever reason - my watch becomes worthless (as a smart device anyway) as well?
SMS requires the phone to be connected somewhere. Other things do not, like iMessage. Or direct phone calls from the Watch.
 
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goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,731
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long island NY
SMS requires the phone to be connected somewhere. Other things do not, like iMessage. Or direct phone calls from the Watch.
All the US carriers have free programs in place that allow the watch to receive sms and everything else over their network without the iPhone on. You have to turn this on tho.
 

CobraPA

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2011
727
174
Lansdale, PA, USA
All the US carriers have free programs in place that allow the watch to receive sms and everything else over their network without the iPhone on. You have to turn this on tho.
Do you have a reference for this? Link to the carriers perhaps? The Apple support documents still state this requirement as far as I know. See here, for example: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208489
 

infernoguy

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2011
253
79
Nashville, TN
What a timely thread. I am in the same boat with my recently paid off AW3 LTE from AT&T.

I have tried almost everything mentioned (including going to a Verizon store) and they all tell me the same thing. When I tell them that the IMEI from the watch needs to be entered into their backend system, I get blank stares and told basically you’re outta luck.

I still have my box for the watch so I wonder if I gave Verizon all the numbers associated with my watch (if I can find a knowledgeable tech on the verizon side) would they add it in.

Otherwise, I’ll try the Apple Store and see if they can help. Anyone have any success going the Apple Store route?
Update: went to the Apple Store today and after they called Verizon for an hour and they refused to add the watch to their system I got a replacement watch which works perfectly. YMMV.

I have a sneaky feeling Verizon and AT&T banned each other’s watches to prevent people from buying the watch from one carrier and using it on another.
 
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jbizzybeetle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2015
501
195
Update: went to the Apple Store today and after they called Verizon for an hour and they refused to add the watch to their system I got a replacement watch which works perfectly. YMMV.

I have a sneaky feeling Verizon and AT&T banned each other’s watches to prevent people from buying the watch from one carrier and using it on another.
Such switches are great and must cost Apple something. Perhaps explains why Apple would complain about eSim “locking problems”.
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
783
I have a sneaky feeling Verizon and AT&T banned each other’s watches to prevent people from buying the watch from one carrier and using it on another.
That shouldn't happen though, as the watches are all one and the same model, and come shrinkwrapped from the same China factory.
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,382
696
Just West of East
Such switches are great and must cost Apple something. Perhaps explains why Apple would complain about eSim “locking problems”.
No locking on the watch. Carriers were / are only locking the iPad models that have both and eSIM and a slot for a physical nano-SIM.

The stated reason was the carriers did not want to support an "Apple" reusable SIM that could allow the customer to easily switch between carriers. That's what the carriers fear the most: customer churn!

Dave
 

infernoguy

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2011
253
79
Nashville, TN
No locking on the watch. Carriers were / are only locking the iPad models that have both and eSIM and a slot for a physical nano-SIM.

The stated reason was the carriers did not want to support an "Apple" reusable SIM that could allow the customer to easily switch between carriers. That's what the carriers fear the most: customer churn!

Dave
So the eSim on the iPad Pro's are locked as well?
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,382
696
Just West of East
So the eSim on the iPad Pro's are locked as well?
No not as well, the Apple watch eSIM is not locked and has never been locked to a carrier!

The issue is with poorly trained carrier employees when adding a device to the "White List" for the carrier. I would say that 90% or more don't have a clue what to do with a cellular wearable device ( Apple / Samsung ) that was not already scanned into their back-end system.

The issue with the eSIM on the iPad models is that if you purchase the iPad directly from the carrier the eSIM may be locked. However, you can still use the standard nano-SIM slot for any valid nano-SIM.

Note: the iPad Pro Cellular models come with an imbedded eSIM and a physical nano-SIM slot that will have an Apple nano-SIM or a carrier nano-SIM depending on where or how your purchase the device.

The next odd thing is that AT&T will lock an Apple nano-SIM to AT&T. Normally the Apple nano-SIM (removable) when used in the iPad allows you to select from a list of carriers and switch as often as your needs change.

Note: AT&T customers have reported being able to get AT&T to actually unlock the eSIM on the iPad if the device is not on a device payment plan.

Dave
 

jbizzybeetle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2015
501
195
No locking on the watch. Carriers were / are only locking the iPad models that have both and eSIM and a slot for a physical nano-SIM.

The stated reason was the carriers did not want to support an "Apple" reusable SIM that could allow the customer to easily switch between carriers. That's what the carriers fear the most: customer churn!

Dave
I an NOT arguing against your points. That is why I put “ locking eSim” in quotes.

What if Apple did not specifically and in these words officially complain of “locking eSims” but rather of more complicated, even incompetent if not dishonest, business practices that effectively tie up AW LTE uses, reputation, and ultimately impact revenue?

Wouldn’t be the first time a spokesperson or article author “simplified” a concept for us with a catchy and quick phrase but left us no better informed.
 

bigdog5142

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
625
204
MI
Weird...I purchased an open box Apple Watch Series 3 SBSS from Best Buy yesterday...paired it with my iPhone X...and just went through the process of adding it to my AT&T account. Went through without a hitch. Now...maybe it was already linked to AT&T, but there's no way to know that.

In other news, I have not been able to add AppleCare+ to it through Apple. Am waiting for a phone call from a rep to do that.
 

newtestleper

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2013
542
818
A lot of misinformation here. I posted about this a few months ago in hopes of people not wasting half their life like I did.
 
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