LTE in Apple Watch Series 3 Models Only Works in Country of Purchase

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 only available in a handful of countries at the current time, it might be tempting to purchase one in another country, but it won't work. Series 3 models appear to be limited to connectivity in their original country of purchase.

    An Apple support representative who spoke to MacRumors reader Thomas said that an Apple Watch purchased in the U.S. online store will only work with the four carriers in the United States, perhaps due to hardware limitations.

    Additionally, Apple Watch Series 3 models do not support roaming outside of a provider's network coverage area, according to Apple's fine print, so roaming when traveling to another country is not supported.

    Unlike iPhones, Apple Watch Series 3 models also support a limited number of LTE bands, another factor that contributes to no support between countries. In the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, for example, only bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, and 41 are supported.

    LTE Apple Watch models are currently only available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States. Apple says availability will expand to other countries next year.

    Article Link: LTE in Apple Watch Series 3 Models Only Works in Country of Purchase
  2. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    The limitations are all coming out now, 1 hour battery life, no roaming. Wonder whats next?

    Makes this far less desirable.


    No doubt, the roaming issue will be fixed in the AppleWatch 4.
  3. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I am sure that packing in so many items has its limits . Hoping to hear that these do not burn in their sim to lock in the first carrier selected, for the life of the watch.
  4. theSpringZone macrumors member


    May 4, 2017
  5. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    how do you change carriers within a single country
  6. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Personally this is why I didn't buy it. I'll keep rocking the original till there is a compelling upgrade. Maybe next year.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    The 1 hour of battery life seems like the bigger issue. Without battery power, it won't even work in the country you bought the watch.
  8. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    This will not be welcomed by folks in Europe who have just received continental roaming rights.
  9. theSpringZone macrumors member


    May 4, 2017
    I'm going to cancel my pre-order because of this. I was planning on traveling to Vietnam for 3 months and was hoping to get it to work over there, but now Apple comes out with this clarification. Ugh.
  10. The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012

    Can you even change carriers within a country ?
  11. tito2020 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2011
    Thats why they do not register a new number
  12. tn-xyz macrumors regular


    Sep 13, 2017
    isn't this like so 2011?
    i thought we got past these boundaries.
  13. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Wait - if Cellular Series 3 watches are only available in countries with supported networks - does that mean if you're in a country where it's not supported that it's not possible to buy a stainless steel Series 3 watch? That would be quite odd if true.

    I'm fascinated how the whole eSIM thing will work. We'll see this eventually on phones as well as more carriers start to support it. I'm going to be connecting my Series 3 next week. So interested to see how that process is handled (it looks like it's done in the Watch app on the phone).
  14. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
  15. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    It's likely very early limitations of eSIM and carriers getting on board.
  16. imran5720 macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2013
    Oh that's disappointment for us where apple watch is not officially sold and is smuggled from other countries
  17. theSpringZone macrumors member


    May 4, 2017
  18. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    They've said you can switch the carrier within the software.
  19. Maetzle macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2014
    That's kind of disappointing especially with the new EU (+Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) roaming regulations. And a bit annoying since I'm probably going to move to another country within the next 3-4 months. :-/
  20. entropys macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    Smells of carrier (or less likely Apple) geoblocking. The sim is electronic.
    Why build a different LTE chip for different countries.
  21. FasterQuieter, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

    FasterQuieter macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2008
    This is a travesty! How will I function not being able to speak from my wrist when I happen to forget my phone when I happen to be in a foreign country? What are we, barbarians?
  22. Mr. Orange macrumors newbie

    Mr. Orange

    Oct 20, 2014
  23. themick4u macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2014
    South Florida

    Not buying it. I'll sit out on this one indefinitely
  24. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Do we know details about the cellular chip being used? Is it Apple designed now? I wonder if to minimize it as much as possible they reduced the bands supported to simple the watch per region. No clue though, just thinking out loud.
  25. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Only 3.5% of the US population has EVER traveled abroad. But we should probably blow this up into a HUGE problem because EVERYONE has to have their watch to talk when they're traveling.

    We couldn't talk on our watches before 9/22 but it's IMPOSSIBLE to travel without that ability after that date. Cancel my trip.

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