Prepaid limitation - hardware of just policy BS?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by spydr, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. spydr macrumors 6502

    spydr

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    #1
    I am struck by several of the limitations on the LTE service on the AW3.

    1. Why is AW3 not available to prepaid plans? Is it only because of the numbersync feature not being available to prepaid customers?
    2. Related: Why don't I have the option of keeping the number for the watch different, without the 'sync' they are forcing currently?
    3. Why do I need to have an iPhone at all? Why can't all the advanced configurations be set/managed from a MacOS device?

    I guess we will get there eventually — but am curious if the current handicap is because of hardware limitations or just a business policy that may get relaxed in the future?
     
  2. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #2
    Apple is not ready for watch to cannibalize iPhone sales yet. Plus not enough battery life to be a good user experience.
     
  3. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #3
    The LTE radio in the AW is not designed to have its cellular radio active on all the time. I mean look at your iPhone battery life. Imagine the same full-featured cell radio, but with a battery as tiny as the one in the AW. How long do you think it will last?
    As for the plans, there's no SIM slot on the AW so carriers have to fully cooperate with Apple in integrating their services into the Apple SIM. If you are a carrier, will you give a "cheaper" plan option for your locked-in customer? Heck no. It's not Apple's fault per se, just carriers taking advantage of their customers that are already locked in.
     
  4. madgalaxy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #4
    I think it is more of a limitation of NumberSync, Digits, etc. I worked for GTE/Verizon years ago and back then prepaid was a totally separate system (not sure how it is now). Prepaid, by nature is meant to be simple - one line, no family plans, etc.
     
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #5
    1&2 are likely carrier limitations unrelated to the watch. Probably some part "systems & processes" and some part marketing of providing higher level feature sets to the postpaid customers.

    3 is more a design / hardware limitation at this point. As other said, there's simply not enough battery or oomph to be completely independent of the phone at this point. Maybe in a future generation this will be possible, but right now the AW3 would really suck as a completely independent device even though it works quite well as an adjunct "satellite" device for your phone.
     
  6. spydr thread starter macrumors 6502

    spydr

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    #6
    I understand the obvious limitations of why it can't be a replacement for the average-to-heavy mobile user—but I probably should've emphasized that I am envisioning this in the context of very low LTE use (emergency/kids) etc where I want it to have the option to be a standalone device with the connectivity as and when needed. $10 a month per watch then is not a bad deal— but it necessitating a $50+ monthly plan and a phone to serve as a master for each watch in the family seems a bit atrocious, and all seems to be just business decisions to me.
     

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5 October 8, 2017