Apple Watch Series 3 Unlikely to Support Direct Phone Calls, but VoIP Calling a Possibility

The third-generation Apple Watch, set to launch this fall with LTE support for the first time, is unlikely to support phone calls, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note shared this morning.

According to Kuo, while a voice service that replaces the iPhone's calling functionality is "feasible," he believes Apple must first work on improving the "user experience of data transmission." As a result, he says the Apple Watch "probably" won't support traditional phone calls "this year."

apple watch series 2 2
The watch could, however, support VoIP services like FaceTime and Skype, as FaceTime audio calling is already supported on current Apple Watch models.

This has two benefits: (1) negotiations with mobile operators will be more simple and the chances of cooperation with mobile operators will improve; and (2) 3G connectivity can be scrapped, simplifying the antenna design and facilitating internal design. However, we think there is a chance that users may use LTE Apple Watch to access VoIP services, such as FaceTime and Skype.

Kuo also says that based on a lack of internal space, the LTE Apple Watch is likely to use an eSIM instead of a physical SIM slot, with the device set up to share the same phone number with an iPhone. He warns that LTE connectivity in the Apple Watch could be limited to specific countries and markets as not all mobile operators support that particular business model.

Rumors have already suggested that the major carriers in the United States, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will support and sell the upcoming LTE Apple Watch.

Though Apple is currently embroiled in an ongoing patent dispute with Qualcomm, Kuo believes Apple will use Qualcomm chips in the Apple Watch because Qualcomm's technology is superior to Intel's with smaller chips that consume less power.

Finally, Kuo predicts Apple has no intention of developing an Android app for the Apple Watch at this time, given that it would be difficult to have the same deep integration between Apple Watch and an Android phone that's possible with the Apple Watch and iPhone.

The third-generation Apple Watch is expected to be introduced in September alongside new iPhones. LTE connectivity is expected to be the main selling point for the device, and while there were some rumors pointing towards major design changes, Kuo has previously said there will be no "obvious change" to the form factor.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

BornAgainMac Avatar
62 months ago
Lets ask the HomePod Firmware for answers.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnysods Avatar
62 months ago
Man are they really going to do Series 3 this year? I was thinking it would be every 2?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iConnected Avatar
62 months ago
Finally, Kuo predicts Apple has no intention of developing an Android app for the Apple Watch at this time, given that it would be difficult to have the same deep integration between Apple Watch and an Android phone that's possible with the Apple Watch and iPhone.
Sure, that's why there won't be Android app for Apple Watch. :rolleyes:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brownpaw Avatar
62 months ago
I feel like this is all going to be about what the carriers charge. Obviously it would piggyback on existing data plans but the question is the line/device access charge. LTE functionality in Apple Watch would be nice but it's not something for which I would pay more than around $5/month.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
62 months ago
I think a lot of people are missing something important: If the watch is completely untethered from the phone, then that means that the watch is going to have 100% native apps and will likely be much faster than previous models. It will be like a micro iPad with a data plan.

As for the data plan, I really hope it is something virtual where your watch just shares the same data plan as your phone. I'm not willing to buy a data plan for my watch, lol. That's crazy. Maybe someday when the watch can do a lot more if it's only $5/mo. But considering the limited data it would use anyway, it should just be included with service. If AT&T and Verizon charge for it, I could see T-Mobile offering it free with service to compete, which I would be fine with since I switched to them earlier this year.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wizard Avatar
62 months ago
One phrase: too little battery power!


That pretty much sums it up, transmitting on LTE takes a lot of power; as such Apple would need significantly more battery power in the device as one phone call could easily kill the current battery. Now it isnt impossible for Apple to have access to new battery tech but that isnt part of the rumors. Id live to see such advancements in Apples watch because eventually we will get to the point that Apples watch will replace todays IPhone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...