Those of us geeks in India who were thinking of playing out childhood Dick Tracy fantasies with the Apple Watch Series 3 will have to wait a while. The cellular version of Apple’s latest smartwatch is not headed to India at the moment, at least not till a mobile network partner volunteers to set up the infrastructure needed. Apple Watch Series 3 has two versions, one of which has an e-SIM that lets users make calls and be online without being connected to the primary phone. However, Apple has not listed India among the countries where this new version will be available. The regular version will start selling in India later this month.
Why is the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity not coming to India now?
Well, the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular is powered by an e-SIM which will connect directly to the network without linking via the iPhone as was the case in the earlier versions. However, this technology will require Apple’s carrier partners to invest in new infrastructure. Even though the Apple Watch is becoming popular in India, the numbers might not be significant enough for a carrier to justify the investments required at the moment.
Are there policy issues with Apple Watch Series 3?
Technically, both the Apple Watch Series 3 and the iPhone connected to it will use the same cellular number. However, the e-SIM will for all practical purposes have a number of its own, and primary number will actually be doing a sort of “call-forwarding” to this number. While Indian government’s policy on number duplication is still not clear, there is unlikely to be an issue if this works in the form of call forwarding.
What will you miss if you don’t get the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular?
While both the Apple Watch Series 3 versions are more or less the same, users will not be able to make or receive calls on the regular version. Also, when Apple releases the feature later this year, Apple Watch cellular users will be able to stream music directly via the watch. Also, there will be other apps that will use this connectivity and make the Apple Watch Series 3 a smarter device.
We can just hope at least one Indian carrier starts offering the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular in the coming months to cater to the geeks and Apple fans out there. If this happens, this version of the Apple Watch Series 3 will most probably be sold directly by the carrier itself, maybe with SIM locking.