Promise – this is the last Apple post for the day! 🙂 With pre-orders starting tomorrow, I know a lot of people are trying to decide which Apple products would be best for them, especially since things like new products with design updates tend to sell out pretty quickly. If you were wanting to jump for the new Apple Watch Series 4 with LTE for using your watch without having to carry your phone, be prepared for one bad thing about this!
The Apple Watch Series 4 LTE Capability Is NOT For International Travel
Just like last year when the Series 3 was released, Apple has still kept with restricting their LTE watches to their home network area. This means no roaming outside of that network area.
If you want to use your Apple Watch Series 4 LTE in the US and you are on a regular plan with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, you are good to go for traveling in the US and getting coverage.
But, if you want to travel outside of the US and still have that same freedom with just using your watch for communication, you will be disappointed with this Apple Watch – again. I thought for sure that Apple would make this roaming-capable since it opens up for more people to get use out of it.
But, that would mean that their carriers they partner with may not be happy since they would lose that $10 per month (or so) add-on for using the Apple Watch LTE. Still, with Apple pushing the eSIM technology into their phones after already having it on their iPads, I am sure we will see roaming capability with the Apple Watch at some point (the Apple Watch does have the eSIM technology, but it is not for activating with any carrier).
From Apple About Roaming with Apple Watch
Here is what Apple has to say about the roaming ability (or lack thereof) of the Apple Watch Series 4. “Coverage dependent on carrier network. Roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area.” Also, they say this – “They have been optimized for use in the country of purchase, and not all models work in all countries or regions. There is no single model that supports roaming worldwide.”
This could be for several reasons – they want to make carriers happy, they want to keep battery life expectations higher, they aren’t ready to squeeze radios in with that many bands, or, in typical Apple fashion, they want to keep that for next year to make sure you upgrade!
This is important (the roaming capability) for several reasons. I mean, imagine going out for a nice run and pulling up a route on your watch, calling an Uber if need be, receiving a phone call from your travel partner, getting directions, handling messages – all while on your international travels and just using your watch.
To see the full list of providers and countries that the LTE watch will work in, check out this link.
The Apple Watch Series 4 with LTE will cost you an extra $100 over the base model. If you go for the stainless steel version, you will be automatically receiving the LTE built-in with those models.