Are Apple Watches Locked to a Carrier? Know Before You Buy
No, Apple Watches are not locked to a specific carrier, allowing users the freedom to switch between carriers as needed.
If you’re interested in setting up an Apple Watch with cellular service, it is important to know whether or not Apple Watches are locked to a carrier.
The last thing you want is to have a watch that’s not compatible with your cell provider.
This article will answer this question in detail, and provide you with all the information you need about Apple Watch carrier compatibility.
Are Apple Watches Locked to a Carrier?
Apple Watches are not locked to a carrier, giving users the flexibility to choose their preferred service provider.
This also makes it easy for those looking to sell their Apple Watch.
While GPS-only models do not require carrier support, GPS + Cellular models need a compatible carrier for cellular functionality.
It’s important to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility with the Apple Watch before deciding between the cellular vs GPS model.
Apple Watch Carrier Compatibility List
Although Apple Watches aren’t carrier locked, they still need to be compatible with your carrier’s network.
Compatibility is determined by the carrier’s network frequencies and the Apple Watch model you have.
Here is a list of all providers that can be used on your Apple Watch:
- Appalachian Wireless
- AT&T Supports Family Setup
- C Spire Supports Family Setup
- Carolina West Wireless
- Cellcom Wisconsin
- Consumer Cellular
- Nex-Tech Wireless
- Spectrum Mobile
- T-Mobile USA Supports Family Setup
- US Cellular Supports Family Setup
- Verizon Wireless Supports Family Setup
- Xfinity Mobile
Apple Watch International Carrier Compatibility: Can I use My Apple Watch in Another Country?
You can use your Apple Watch internationally with supported carriers. However, some factors need consideration.
First, make sure your device is compatible with the local network frequencies in the country you’re visiting.
Second, check if your home carrier has international roaming agreements in place with carriers in your destination country.
This will help you avoid unexpected charges while using your Apple Watch abroad. It’s recommended to research and plan accordingly before traveling to ensure a smooth experience.
Tip! Call your cellphone provider to make sure your plan is compatible in other countries.
How to Remove Carrier From Apple Watch
To remove the existing carrier from your Apple Watch and switch to a new provider or use your watch without cellular connectivity, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone.
- Go to the “My Watch” tab located at the bottom of the screen.
- Scroll down and tap on the “Cellular” option.
- Under the list of plans, find the carrier plan you wish to remove and tap the “i” icon next to it.
- Tap on “Remove [Carrier] Plan.”
- Confirm the action by tapping “Remove” again when prompted.
After completing these steps, your Apple Watch will be disconnected from the previous carrier, and you can proceed to set up a new carrier plan or use your watch without cellular connectivity.
How to Switch Apple Watch Carriers
To switch carriers on your Apple Watch, follow these simple steps:
Begin by removing the existing carrier plan from your device, as described above.
Next, reach out to your new carrier and inquire about setting up a new plan specifically for your Apple Watch.
They will provide you with the necessary instructions to activate the eSIM on your device.
Once activated, your Apple Watch will be connected to the new carrier, and you can enjoy you new cell service.
Apple Watch eSIM Technology Explained
What is an Apple Watch eSIM? Cellular Apple Watches utilize eSIM technology, which means they have an embedded electronic SIM card rather than a physical one.
This technology simplifies the process of switching carriers or activating your watch, as there is no need to insert or replace a physical SIM card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Apple Watch be used with any carrier?
Apple Watches can be used with any compatible carrier, but you should check with your provider to ensure compatibility.
Can an Apple Watch be blacklisted?
Yes, an Apple Watch can be blacklisted if it’s reported lost or stolen. The owner or the carrier can report the device, and once blacklisted, the watch will no longer be able to connect to cellular networks, rendering its cellular capabilities useless.
Is an Apple Watch tied to a network?
Apple Watches are not tied to specific networks, but you should verify compatibility with your carrier’s network before use.
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Ken is a Data Analyst in the Healthcare industry and the owner and sole contributor to The Wearable Guy.