LTE Series 3 Apple Watch cut off from networks in China, government concerns likely to bla...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited October 2017
Purchasers of the Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE in China at present have no wireless network connectivity options, with the lone carrier possibly forced by the government to cease service.




A report on Thursday from the Wall Street Journal notes that LTE connectivity was cut off on Sept. 28 after brief availability from China Unicom. While not yet confirmed, unnamed industry analysts cited by the report claim that the suspension is probably from governmental concerns about not being able to track and confirm users of the device.

Apple issued a brief statement confirming the situation, and referring customers to China Unicom. Neither China Unicom, nor Chinese regulators have made any statement on the matter.

The issue may stem from the eSIM in the Apple Watch. Devices like the iPhone have state-owned telecom company-issued SIM cards -- and the eSIM is embedded in the device by Apple.

"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."

The LTE version of the Apple Watch had only a trial certificate to operate on the Chinese LTE network. An analyst who asked not to be identified expects that Ministry of Industry and Information Technology may take months to figure out how the government will deal with the eSIM, and issue a formal certificate for operation.

In 2015, Apple and Samsung were working with some of the largest carriers in the world on eSIM technology -- including China Unicom. The technology is related to, but not identical to the Apple SIM technology in the iPad used by companies like GigSky, to allow users to easily buy temporary, contract-free data plans while traveling internationally.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    The sheepleness over there is simply mind-boggling. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    The sheepleness over there is simply mind-boggling. 
    Believe me, not everyone in China agrees with their government.
    lkruppjbdragonRacerhomieXwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    Pretty sure the government has tanks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,332member
    How long will we in the U.S. be able to keep the power hungry government from doing the same thing? We meekly (sheepleness) accepted the TSA and Homeland Security out of fear. I recently found out about Real ID. Real ID is a federally mandated program that states must comply with when issuing drivers licenses or state ID cards. Starting in 2018 the TSA will no longer accept non Real ID compliant state IDs and drivers licenses as a valid photo ID for domestic travel. Real ID compliant IDs provide Homeland Security/TSA with much more additional personal information about you. Real ID is more than just an ID card. Currently four states are refusing to comply and their citizens will be unable to board a domestic flight unless they also have their passport with them. Bottom line is that citizens of this country can no longer travel freely (by airplane) without the government know exactly who you are and where you are going inside the country. How long until Real ID is mandated for all forms of commercial travel?
    1STnTENDERBITSSoliStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 37
    mubailimubaili Posts: 449member
    sometimes you think government of US is amateur, but sometimes you discovered China government is just a bunch of moron and retard.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Why waste time and effort in China?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Why waste time and effort in China?
    Money.  Lots and lots of money.  It's why Apple's in business, to make money.  Just like all the other for profit companies.
    gatorguySpamSandwichjbdragonRacerhomieXwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    lkrupp said:
    How long will we in the U.S. be able to keep the power hungry government from doing the same thing? We meekly (sheepleness) accepted the TSA and Homeland Security out of fear. I recently found out about Real ID. Real ID is a federally mandated program that states must comply with when issuing drivers licenses or state ID cards. Starting in 2018 the TSA will no longer accept non Real ID compliant state IDs and drivers licenses as a valid photo ID for domestic travel. Real ID compliant IDs provide Homeland Security/TSA with much more additional personal information about you. Real ID is more than just an ID card. Currently four states are refusing to comply and their citizens will be unable to board a domestic flight unless they also have their passport with them. Bottom line is that citizens of this country can no longer travel freely (by airplane) without the government know exactly who you are and where you are going inside the country. How long until Real ID is mandated for all forms of commercial travel?
    Ya gotta stop reading the right wing/Russian propaganda...  It's rotting your brain.  
    ....  It's like being the only one riding a see-saw.   A bit lopsided.   Actually, one-sided.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    LOL...  It's not just China:

    I'm blocked right here in the U.S.
    Due to some family issues I'm locked into using Consumer Cellular.   When I call them and ask them if they support the Apple Watch LTE they have no idea what I'm talking about.  When I press the question, they tell me to buy one and stick in one of their SIM Cards to see if it will work...   (Heavy Sigh...)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 37
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    65026502 Posts: 379member
    Why waste time and effort in China?
    Money.  Lots and lots of money.  It's why Apple's in business, to make money.  Just like all the other for profit companies.
    Except Chinese consumers are turning more and more to domestic tech companies and away from Apple and western companies.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    6502 said:
    Why waste time and effort in China?
    Money.  Lots and lots of money.  It's why Apple's in business, to make money.  Just like all the other for profit companies.
    Except Chinese consumers are turning more and more to domestic tech companies and away from Apple and western companies.
    Not quite. The American ideal and American products still have quite a bit of cachet in China.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 13 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,573moderator
    tzeshan said:
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
    I agree.  The Watch cannot be setup without being paired with an iPhone, and so the information that exists in the iPhone’s government-sanctioned SIM could presumably be forwarded to the Watch at the time the Watch is paired.  And then that information could be sent to the telecom company as it is from the iPhone, each time a call or connection is made from the Watch.  At least I think that would be one way this could be resolved.
    edited October 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 37
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    tzeshan said:
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
    You can't just buy a Apple Watch and start using it. You still need a iPhone to do a number of things on it. The Apple Watch is still linked to your iPhone service account. It's using the SAME phone number. I'm not sure if they don't seem to understand this? China should still know who the user is.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    tzeshan said:
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
    I agree.  The Watch cannot be setup without being paired with an iPhone, and so the information that exists in the iPhone’s government-sanctioned SIM could presumably be forwarded to the Watch at the time the Watch is paired.  And then that information could be sent to the telecom company as it is from the iPhone, each time a call or connection is made from the Watch.  At least I think that would be one way this could be resolved.
    I think the Chinese regulators are primarily interested to track the location of callers. There is a similar issue in US.  I don't know whether it is solved.  Suppose you are jogging with AW3 without the iPhone.  Suddenly you have a heartache. You call 911.  How does 911 know you are calling from the iPhone or the AW3?
  • Reply 16 of 37
    robjnrobjn Posts: 266member
    The “cut off from” networks headline is inaccurate and sensationalized clickbait.

    Existing users have not (at least yet) been cut off. The network providers have stopped offering Apple Watch service to new customer activation requests.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    I hate chinese govt. Man why they have to do this most Apple inventory is manufactured and assembled in China.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    tzeshan said:
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
    ... LOL...  and the U.S. doesn't?
  • Reply 19 of 37
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    tzeshan said:
    tzeshan said:
    I think the issue is how the Chinese regulators can track individuals making phone calls. The AW3 can be separate from the iPhone. The solution is on the telecomm company. As this is a new feature innovated by Apple, the solution should be just an update of software of the telecomm company.
    I agree.  The Watch cannot be setup without being paired with an iPhone, and so the information that exists in the iPhone’s government-sanctioned SIM could presumably be forwarded to the Watch at the time the Watch is paired.  And then that information could be sent to the telecom company as it is from the iPhone, each time a call or connection is made from the Watch.  At least I think that would be one way this could be resolved.
    I think the Chinese regulators are primarily interested to track the location of callers. There is a similar issue in US.  I don't know whether it is solved.  Suppose you are jogging with AW3 without the iPhone.  Suddenly you have a heartache. You call 911.  How does 911 know you are calling from the iPhone or the AW3?
    "How does 911 know you are calling from the iPhone or the AW3?"
    ... Why would they care?
  • Reply 20 of 37
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    tzeshan said:

    How does 911 know you are calling from the iPhone or the AW3?
    If the calling device has GPS, the location is sent to 911 dispatch immediately by the software running on the device. The dispatch center doesn't have to do anything. It is automatically sent by the device. In the case that the iPhone is at home and you call with the watch while on a jog, the location of the watch is what is sent.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
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