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

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.

applewatchseries3

"If you purchased one (an Apple Watch S3 GPS + Cellular) through the US Apple Online Store, it'll only work for the 4 US carriers. It wouldn't work internationally unfortunately. I'm not entirely sure what type of error it would show if you took a US Watch to Germany, but it wouldn't be compatible with Telekom".

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
88 months ago
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.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
88 months ago
This will not be welcomed by folks in Europe who have just received continental roaming rights.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FasterQuieter Avatar
88 months ago
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?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mactendo Avatar
88 months ago
Only 3.5% of the US population has EVER traveled abroad.
Only 4% of the world population lives in the US.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theSpringZone Avatar
88 months ago
This is rediculous.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
88 months ago
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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)