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You may have heard of a rumor stating that Apple Watches were not compatible with the Verizon network. Let’s be clear. Even if it is true that some users may have experienced some issues when trying to set up their Apple Watch to connect to the Verizon network, the potential incompatibility is just a hoax. But this rumor leads to the key question of whether or not the Apple Watches are carrier locked?
Are Apple Watches carrier-locked?
According to Apple, the GPS+Cellular Apple Watches are not carrier-locked, even though regional differences exist. Regional differences mean that the Apple Watch models are optimized on a regional or country level to optimize the experience in the country where the device was bought.
Apple maintain a list of all of the Apple Watch supporter carriers according to the countries. The approved US carriers for the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Apple Watch SE can be found. In the US only, more than ten carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, are available.
Even if an LTE-compatible Apple Watch is not carrier locked, it somehow requires the same carrier for both the iPhone and the Watch. As I often say, the Apple Watch is an extension of your iPhone and, as such, will need to share a common carrier.
Adding an Apple Watch Series device to a Verizon account is an easy process that needs to be completed in the Apple Watch App and will cost you $10 per line and month as of this writing. Depending on your data plan, you can expect to pay between $5 and $20 per month.
How to Activate a Carrier Plan on the Apple Watch?
Remember that using a carrier plan will only apply to LTE-capable Apple watches. If your Watch is GPS only, it will still be possible to make and receive calls through your Watch, but the calls will require your iPhone to be with you at all times. To gain complete freedom, a cellular-capable device is mandatory.
If you do not know if your Watch comes with LTE, look at the digital crown. Do you see a red circle on the crown side? If you do, you are the lucky owner of a cellular Apple watch and can proceed to the initial activation.
Another way to check if your Apple Watch offers cellular features is to open the Apple Watch App and to check if the Cellular menu is present under the “General” tab.
Doing so is simple, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap on cellular, and tap on “Set Up Cellular.” It should open the iPhone-associated carrier page and will allow you to complete the Apple Watch activation.
Can I Remove a Carrier from My Apple Watch?
If you plan to sell your Watch or change your phone carrier, it is important to remove the carrier information. It will avoid being charged and allow the new owner to set up his network information.
As you did during the activation process, open the Apple Watch App on your iPhone, tap on cellular, and tap on “remove carrier plan.” Don’t forget to contact the carrier’s tech support to cancel your plan.
To Wrap Up
We hope we have convinced you that the Apple Watch Cellular devices are perfectly compatible with Verizon and many more carriers. As mentioned, the Apple Watch is not locked to any carrier and does not come with a physical SIM card. Instead, all settings are conducted directly through the Apple Watch companion app.