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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.

"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 Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

23 weeks 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.
Rating: 43 Votes
23 weeks ago
This will not be welcomed by folks in Europe who have just received continental roaming rights.
Rating: 35 Votes
23 weeks 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?
Rating: 23 Votes
23 weeks ago

Only 3.5% of the US population has EVER traveled abroad.

Only 4% of the world population lives in the US.
Rating: 17 Votes
23 weeks ago
This is rediculous.
Rating: 15 Votes
23 weeks 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.
Rating: 14 Votes
23 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 13 Votes
23 weeks ago
A worryingly number of americans don't realize Apple sells it products to other countries, and people of other countries do tend to travel regularly ! ;-)

Sounds like folks are making a mountain out of a molehill.
1. Country of origin. The vast majority of US customers won't care.

Rating: 12 Votes
23 weeks 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.


I am going to guess, that people that can afford an Apple Watch are well represent in the 3.5%. Also, it cuts both ways. People in EU, Asia, and elsewhere cannot get service in the US.
Rating: 10 Votes
23 weeks ago
Personally this is why I didn't buy it. I'll keep rocking the original till there is a compelling upgrade. Maybe next year.
Rating: 10 Votes

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