Apple Watch LTE will be a game changer

“Confirming speculation from a few months back, a Bloomberg report says Apple Watch will finally grow up,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “A new model will be equipped with its own LTE radio, making the product independent of the iPhone. Developer, Jeffrey Grossman also recently discovered code that suggests a SIM inside the watch.”

“Liberating the device from the phone will transform it from being an optional accessory/fitness tracker into a truly independent solution that may provide all that some people need from a connected device,” Evans writes. ” I know there is a tendency to see everything through the prism of iPhone, but I say the truth is that connected intelligence will inevitably proliferate and smartphones will become just one of a range of ways to stay online. There is life after iPhone.”

Evans writes, “In some situations, it will be all you need: at the beach, climbing a mountain, fixing industrial equipment, on the road for client calls, or providing emergency assistance – any situation in which you need to use both hands while remaining connected.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The display size will be the limiting factor. Being able to use Siri via AirPods with an LTE-capable Apple Watch will alleviate some of that, but, until Apple Glasses appear, we’ll still want iPhones for their displays.


  1. It comes down to social norms. Right now, I love my watch because it makes me such a better digital age citizen. My phone never makes a noise now, not for a text or for a call. I bother no one. When it comes to features like using the watch to actually take a call, it completely depends for me on my circumstances at the time whether I do or not. Only one time ever have I done so in public . . . .because my hands were full at a convenience store and it was an important call but also one that would be over in five seconds. I rightfully endured Dick Tracy jokes from fellow customers for a minute. Bottom line is that social norms will have to change for this sort of communication to become publicly acceptable — and I’m kind of cheering for it not to be. People can already be annoying enough with their one-sided phone convos! But in certain circumstances, it’ll be a MASSIVE game changer. I second the beach and certain work situations. Time will tell what happens with respect to what becomes “acceptable.”

  2. Well said midwestmac.

    I also think Apple Watch + AirPods will be “yuge”! (Trump jokes aside, I really think it will be a big deal.)

    I already use my AirPods for almost all of my phone calls on my iPhone. They are incredibly good, and also much more convenient than holding a phone up to your head. An Apple Watch with LTE + AirPods will be all that many people will need for basic stuff and phone calls.

  3. I often see the complaint that AirPods can’t be easily controlled (blaming siri) but this is a non issue for me. My apple Watch easily facilitates changing volume or skipping to the next track. (I wish I could control volume with the digital crown when my AirPods are active) What people often miss is how well Apple products complement each-other. I understand that not everyone has or wants an Apple Watch. Others may prefer android. Sadly these simple pleasures are only known by those of us with a complete Apple eco system.

    I would welcome an Apple Watch not tethered to an iPhone. Personally, I’m ready to leave it behind. The screen size is unimportant for me.

  4. There is no way I’d want to have only my Apple Watch as a means of being connected. It’s just not useful enough on it’s own. Not a fault of the device, just that it’s too small a screen. Even if I’m out hiking I want my phone because it’s my camera.

    1. Clearly then you haven’t used one. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it and see all the useful stuff it CAN do. I wish people would not speak on behalf of a device and an experience with that device while essentially being ignorant of same.

      1. Did you even read what he wrote? The Apple Watch has too small of a screen and lacks a camera, so it isn’t an iPhone replacement FOR HIM. Your mileage may vary.

        Please be more circumspect before calling others ignorant.

      2. I have used one, I’m wearing one right now. I use my phone constantly throughout the day for work and personal use and I cannot do those things on my Apple Watch. It’s nice for the health related things and for notifications, but frankly if you were getting swamped with notifications on your phone then having them on your wrist doesn’t help, you need to look at what notifications you’re received.
        Social Media is a waste of time on the Apple Watch as is email, I can’t take or organise/edit photos. Properly planning journeys and note taking can’t be done.
        It’s a wonderful accessory for my phone, my phone can replace many of the functions of a tablet/mac when on the go, but as a standalone device I’d be lost if all I had was my Apple Watch. It’d be almost as if I didn’t have it. Data connection or not I just couldn’t do enough with it that I’d not bother carrying my phone.

  5. Device-independent connectivity.

    Imagine having just your Apple Watch and an iPad. Or the Watch and an iPod touch, if you prefer the iPhone form factor. Or the Watch and a pair of Apple AR glasses and your MacBook.

    Always having cellular connectivity through the ever-on-your-wrist-present Apple Watch and thus never having to worry about it.

  6. Assuming . . . you like wearing a watch. I don’t personally care for wearables of any kind, so, no, for me it isn’t. I know a great many people feel similarly.

  7. If Apple places an LTE radio into an Apple watch, are you going to wind up with yet another number for every Apple watch at some extra cost.. if so, who wants to spend another $10-15-20 a month so your Apple watch can chat it up?

    1. That’s a good point I think. But quite clearly there will be a business drawn up for an era when all the things in your house, your family, your car, all need connectivity. There will inevitably be a move toward a multi end point universal coverage deal.

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