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We often say that the Apple Watch is an extension of your phone. You may then wonder if you always need to carry both devices with you or if your Apple Watch can act as a standalone device? It is a very valid question! Especially when planning to use your brand new Apple Watch to track your morning jog performances? Do you need to carry both devices to stay connected?
Keep on reading, and we will tell you everything about this new wonder of technology, the eSIM card.
Do Apple Watches Always Need a SIM Card to Access the Internet?
No, they don’t. Most Apple Watches, especially the more recent series, come in two flavors: GPS or GPS + Cellular.
The GPS-only Apple Watch will require a Bluetooth connection or wifi network to interact with the iPhone and benefit from its cellular connectivity. As you imagine, the Apple Watch will always need access to a phone or a wifi network to access the Internet or answer a call directly from the watch. It can become frustrating when willing to live a free life and not feel obligated to carry several devices.
The GPS + Cellular Apple Watch will cost a little bit more than the GPS-only apple watch but will give you total freedom. No more need for an iPhone to check Google Map on your Apple Watch while on the go. You should also be aware that the cellular version of the Apple Watch will require a data plan for the cellular carrier of your choice. Yes, freedom comes at a price
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Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The next logical question is then to wonder if Apple Watches have sim cards and where to find the sim card slot? Not so fast! The Apple Watch is a wonder of innovative technologies, apart from its battery, of course, and do not expect to have to insert physical sim cards, even a nano one, into your Apple device.
The Cellular Apple Watches rely on a built-in digital eSIM to add cellular capabilities. At this point, I will understand if you feel a bit confused. What are eSIM cards? How do they differ from a physical card? How do you know if your Apple Watch includes one?
What Are eSIM Cards?
ESIM card stands for “embedded Simcard.” The eSIM cards were introduced in 2016 and embedded directly into the Apple Watch. What makes them even more impressive than their small sizes (2.5 x 2.3 x 0.2 mm, that’s 60 times less footprint than a nano SIM card) is that they can be programmatically accessed. No need to switch the physical SIM card if you want to contract with a new carrier. Everything can be done digitally.
How Do I Know if My Apple Watch Includes an eSIM Card?
The question is to check if your Apple Watch is cellular or not? You can get the answer from various sources:
- Look at the digital crown on the side of the Apple device. If the digital crown includes a red circle or a red dot in the center, it means that you are the lucky owner of a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch.
- Another way to identify your Apple Watch model and specifications is to check its serial number. The serial number is made of 12 digits that can be found either on the back of the watch, on the information menu of the Apple Watch itself (XOXOXOXXXXX), or from the Apple Watch App on your iPhone (look in Watch/General/About). Once you find it, we recommend you enter it on the Apple Website Check Coverage Page. You will know what model you have, if it has built-in cellular capabilities, and if the warranty still covers your device.
Great! Now that you confirmed that your Apple Watch has an embedded sim and can join a cellular network let’s get into how to activate the cellular service.
How to Activate the Apple Watch Cellular Service?
The cellular features will allow to receive calls and call contacts directly from the Apple Watch. In a nutshell, the Apple Watch will behave like a regular phone. It will even become possible to stream music while exercising. It may look like science-fiction, but it is technology at its finest. You may wonder if your Apple Watch will be given a specific local number. It will not. The number used by the Apple Watch will be the same phone number as the iPhone to which the watch is paired.
Of course, as you will do with your smartphone, you will need a cellular carrier. The process is easy. Just open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap cellular, and follow the instructions provided by your provider to enter the relevant carrier settings.
As for the price, carriers seem to have reached some tacit agreement, and you should expect to pay at least $10 per month when adding a cellular Apple Watch to an existing cellular plan.
Is it worth it? Well, I cannot answer this question. It will depend on how you value the possibility of sending messages or answering a call without having to bring your iPhone with you. Ladies may appreciate the possibility of still being connected when wearing a cocktail dress, and athletes may like the idea of being safe without having to squeeze their phones in their pockets.
To Wrap Up
The Apple Watch is widely recognized as one of the best smartwatches money can buy. However, Apple created this market from scratch. Without the need for a plastic SIM card, the Apple Watch Series leverages eSIM cards to bring a cellular connection to the ultimate lifestyle device.
An embedded sim card comes at a price, but the benefits of not having to carry your phone with you at all times far outweigh the additional investment. But, of course, you will also need the monthly fee to be added to your existing plan.
With its digital eSIM built-in technology, the Apple Watch goes one step further in the direction of becoming the device we dreamed of.