Some Apple Watch Series 3 Owners Facing LTE Activation Issues [Updated]
Apple Watch Series 3 models are being delivered across the United States and the rest of the world today, and as customers start attempting to activate their new LTE devices, some of them are running into serious setup issues.
On the MacRumors forums, several AT&T customers have received messages stating AT&T is not supported. Support reps seem confused about how Apple Watch activation works, with one rep telling MacRumors reader KG87 that his watch needs a new number.
I am having the same problem. I contacted AT&T and they said I need to have a new number created for the watch before it will work and I am almost certain that is not true.
I contacted AppleCare and they said that there are connectivity issues with the watch and the engineers are working very hard to get it fixed.
Basically, this is a nightmare scenario for Apple and we're left without the #1 reason we made this purchase.
Many of the affected AT&T customers have said the company seems to be having trouble activating watches not purchased directly through AT&T and have been spending quite a lot of time on the phone in an attempt to get the problem ironed out. Some customers are even being told to call back tomorrow. From MacRumors reader Greg:
I have been on the phone for quite a while today with AT&T, transferred over 10 times, only to be told that they can't activate watches today due to a system issue and to call back tomorrow. It seems to be gaining notice on reddit on the apple watch subreddit.
According to another AT&T support rep, customers who ordered an Apple Watch directly from Apple will not be getting them activated until tomorrow because they're missing key information Apple was supposed to send them.
Verizon users don't seem to be having as much trouble as AT&T users, but several have been told Verizon's systems aren't fully functional. Verizon is said to be doing maintenance to fix the problem and there's no estimate of when issues will be worked out. Many VZW customers may not be able to make phone calls due to the server issues.
T-Mobile customers also appear to be having significant issues, like MacRumors reader Jesse, who said he's spent several hours on the phone with T-Mobile trying to work out an authentication error with his social security number. "T-Mobile reps are completely unprepared for dealing with this issue today. Spent many hours on the phone with T-Mobile and Apple already. Apple claims this is T-Mobile issue," he told us.
T-Mobile customers have also been told the company is having system wide issues affecting the signal T-Mobile users are getting on the Apple Watch.
At least some of the activation issues are due to customers who have incompatible plans. AT&T customers with a grandfathered unlimited data plan, for example, are not able to use the Apple Watch Series 3, despite assurances from AT&T reps that the watch was compatible with the plan.
Across the pond, some EE subscribers in the UK are having the same activation problems, and EE reps are at a loss on how to help
I'm on EE and my Apple Watch wasn't connecting either so called EE and they did some checks and asked me to restart the watch but still no go. They can't figure it out either and said they are working on a fix from Apple as lot of EE customers are having issues. They did not have any problem with what type of contract I had with EE as I'm on a monthly 20GB for GBP21 plan.
Though some customers are having issues, others have been able to activate their LTE watches with no problems and have even said it's an easy process. For the subset of users running into issues, though, it's been a frustrating afternoon attempting to deal with Apple support and carrier representatives who are still struggling to figure out all the quirks and problems that come along with supporting a new device.
Update: Several AT&T customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans have been able get an Apple Watch Series 3 to work with their plans with the help of an AT&T representative. The Apple Watch can be set up as an independent wearable and then linked to the iPhone using NumberSync.