Will AT&T Lock AW3 Cellular SIM after Activation

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by bradbomb, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. bradbomb macrumors 6502

    bradbomb

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Has anybody heard if AT&T will lock the eSIM similar to how AT&T will lock an Apple SIM to AT&T after activation. Although I am an AT&T customer now, there is always the chance of me switching carriers in the future.
     
  2. Wentzelg macrumors member

    Wentzelg

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    #2
    Great question. They do that with the e-sim that is installed in the iPad Pro's. If I recall correctly it is only the ones that are purchased directly from AT&T. I am expecting a watch 9/22 and will be activating it on AT&T. There is not a chance I would want to switch, but i am concerned for resale later on?
     
  3. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #3
    Is there something that leads you think this would happen?

    I've not heard of AT&T locking any devices that weren't under some sort of service or financing contract. Unless you finance/buy the watch from AT&T it shouldn't get locked to them. I'd expect lawsuits to be flying if they did lock it and wouldn't unlock it for you.
     
  4. bradbomb thread starter macrumors 6502

    bradbomb

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    I mean I want to say there is no chance I would switch, I have been with AT&T since 2008 when I switched on the iPhone 3G, but you never know. More and more, I get frustrated with AT&T's service in the Los Angeles area.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2017 ---
    Well, they would be locking the SIM, like they did with the Apple SIMs in iPad Pros. There is a history of them doing it. AT&T even would lock the embedded SIMs. In those cases though, the device itself was unlocked and you could use a different physical SIM in them. The watch doesn't have that option.
     
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #5
    I'd only heard of them being locked if purchased from AT&T, not when people used AT&T with them. Never bought an ipad pro. I'd have submitted an unlock request immediately and bounced the thing back on AT&T immediately if it were denied.

    *IF* they lock the watch, AT&T will find themselves the target of a bunch of lawsuits and lost customers.
     
  6. Wentzelg macrumors member

    Wentzelg

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    #6
    They have a history of that. I also know that with the apple sim once it is activated to ATT they won't release it either. The others will release it to be used again.

    Like the others here, I want to make certain that it can be used on other carriers.
     
  7. bradbomb thread starter macrumors 6502

    bradbomb

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    #7
    So here's the thing, with the devices that had a regular Apple SIM, AT&T would lock the SIM to AT&T only after being used with an AT&T plan. This was the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 12.9" (First Gen), and I believe the iPad Mini 4. With the iPad Pro 9.7", there were conflicting reports regarding the embedded SIM. Officially from Apple, Apple said iPad Pros sold in AT&T stores would have the embedded SIM locked to AT&T, but you could use the external SIM slot for other carriers. For iPad Pros sold in Verizon stores, the embedded SIM was disabled completely so you were forced to use the SIM slot with a SIM. There were concerns that AT&T would lock the embedded SIM of iPads purchased at Apple Stores if someone added an AT&T plan. I have not been able to find someone to confirm or deny that ever happened.

    So with the Watch again, since this is an eSIM (no physical SIM), I really want to make sure that the SIM will activate on other carriers if I ever switch Carriers or sell the Watch later on.
     
  8. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #8
    Since the carrier is not specified during the purchase process, I would doubt they will lock.
     
  9. Wentzelg macrumors member

    Wentzelg

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    #9
    I have an iPad pro (bought from apple so both internal e-sim and external sim slots are unlocked) and I use ATT. I was never brave enough try the internal sim. I always used the external sim with ATT. I have used the internal on other carriers and it works fine.

    I don't know this for 100% but as I have read and thought about this, I assume that the internal e-sim that apple uses, along with their external apple sim has some sort of virtual ICCID that is not specifically assigned to a carrier. I am guessing it is a universal number that can be re-assigned to any carrier, as long as they release it. I believe therein lies the issue. Once ATT gets a hold they won't release it, so it is essentially locked to them.

    The OP is correct I believe. iPad Pros bought from ATT have the internal sim locked to ATT. It is not the same as a sim lock that only allows a certain carrier, ATT does something or maybe just won't release it, but the end result is the internal cannot be reused. I am told it holds even if hard reset.

    In the case of the one on the iPad Pro not bought from ATT, you can have more than one carrier associated with the internal sim and swap back and forth. I have a prepaid Tmobile plan and also added a sprint $5 day pass to prove that to myself. Once ATT locks the internal sim, it is limited to one carrier (ATT) and nothing else. Not saying that the AW3 will allow multiple carriers like the iPad e-sim (I am sure it won't) but I am saying that I don't know if ATT will lock me once I activate? The thing is I don't have a way to test. My phone is ATT, so until I sell, give or loan it to someone else I will not know if it is locked.

    Once friday comes, someone please activate it on ATT, reset it and activate it on another carrier and then let us know how it works. If you could do that by early evening, so I can activate mine, I would appreciate it! :) Seriously till someone does that, we won't know. I doubt that I will wait once I get my sweaty hands on my SS AW3 Friday.
     

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8 September 15, 2017