Apple Watch Series 3 Causing LTE Problems In China

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Read on to learn about the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE problems, which caused the Chinese carrier to “cut-off” smartwatch’s cellular capabilities.

Just one week after Apple Watch Series 3 launched in September, the cellular service of this smartwatch has become unavailable to carrier plan subscribers in China. Apparently, the service was disabled without an explanation. The Wall Street Journal published a report today which talks about the LTE issues that Apple Watch has faced in China. Moreover, the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE problems are likely to persist for a couple of months.

When Apple Watch Series 3 launched in China, China Unicom, carrier, enabled the support for Apple’s new smartwatch. However, on September 28, which is almost one week after the launch, China Unicom disabled the new LTE subscriptions. Fortunately, users who signed up for this plan before September 28, weren’t affected by this decision. However, those who are trying to sign up for LTE can’t do it on their Apple Watch Series 3. Unicom made an announcement on its website, that the feature is no longer available, and that the cellular capabilities were available only on “a trial basis”. Sadly, the company didn’t say when and if the cellular support will be available again.

“ But in China, the feature was abruptly cut off for new subscribers, without explanation, after a brief availability with one telecom company.

Industry analysts say the suspension likely stemmed from Chinese government security concerns to do with tracking users of the device, which uses different technology than standard mobile phones.”

 If you take a look at the Apple Watch Series 3 cellular support website, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom mobile carriers say that the cellular support is “coming later this year.” Back when Apple Watch Series 3 was launching, China Unicom said “Cellular service available only for mobile lines opened in Guandong, Henan, Hunan, Shanghai, and Tianjin.”

Different industry analysts cited “security concerns,” which has to do with Apple Watch utilizing different technology compared to the standard smart gadgets which involves tracking those who wear Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch.

Analysts think that the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE problems are connected to the country’s user identification system. Similarly to other countries, when someone purchases a smartphone in China, they are provided with a SIM card registered under user’s name with a network carrier. The practice with Apple’s smartwatch is different. The eSIM card put into the smartwatch is not provided by China’s carriers, but, instead, by Apple.

“The benefit of a device carrying an eSIM is that, with software, users can choose a telecom operator and a communications plan. But in China, that new system raises the question of how carriers and regulators can track the device user’s identity. “

“The eSIM (system) isn’t mature enough yet in China,” one analyst said. “The government still needs to figure out how they can control the eSIM.”

Reportedly, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is working on figuring out a way how to fix this issue. Unfortunately, analysts believe that this could take some months.

The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE problems are the latest issue faced by Apple in this country. If you remember, last year the company suffered the shutdown of the iBooks and iTunes stores, as a result of the controversial independent movie. During the summer, Apple removed the majority of VPN apps from the App Store in China, forced by the Government.

What do you think about the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE problems? Tell us in the comments!


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