Apple had unveiled it's Watch 3 along with the launch of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus last September. It featured two variants — a GPS-only equipped model and an LTE model that could also make calls. The LTE model utilises an eSIM — a feature that wasn't ready for use in the Indian market. Due to the network regulatory policies in India and no support for eSIM, Apple had decided to release only the GPS variant of the Watch 3 in the country.
Fast forward to today; Apple has released the Watch 3 LTE variant in India in partnership with 4G network providers. Since the watch supports LTE networks only, the company would be selling them in partnership with India’s prominent LTE network providers — Jio and Airtel. Both the networks are offering pre-bookings on their respective websites for consumers from May 4 and will be available from May 11, 2018.
Similar to the GPS variant, the GPS + Cellular enabled Watch 3 features a 1.65-inch OLED Retina display with multi-touch functionality. The watch runs on a custom dual-core processor, new wireless chip for LTE connectivity and 16GB of onboard storage. It’s water resistant up to 50 metres as well.
The most prominent feature of the LTE-enabled Watch Series 3 is the benefit of leaving your iPhone behind while you can go for a jog or a run. The Watch’s eSIM allows users to make calls, use the Internet and accessing apps. However, the only major issue with the LTE model is the reduced battery life.
As for the data tariffs, Airtel hadn’t specified any detail but offers a special introductory cellular trial. Reliance Jio is terming this new service as “Jio Everywhere Connect”, under which it confirmed that it won’t charge any extra charges for those users owning an iPhone with a Jio connection, i.e. the same number would be valid on both the phone and the watch.
To activate the services on both the carriers, users need to be on the latest iOS 11.3 update on their iPhones (iPhone 6s and above) and WatchOS 4.3 update. Furthermore, users also need to go to Settings on iPhone > General > About and follow the prompt to update to the latest carrier settings.
There isn’t any official confirmation on the pricing yet, but the Watch Series 3 LTE variant could be priced starting at Rs 39,000.