Apple working on fix for Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) connectivity issue

“The main selling point of Apple’s new version of its Watch is that the device can connect independently to cellular networks, making calls and running navigation on its own without being tethered to the iPhone,” Hayley Tsukayama reports for The Washington Post. “But on Wednesday Apple acknowledged that this centerpiece feature isn’t working as intended.”

“The Watch is supposed to switch seamlessly between WiFi and cellular networks,” Tsukayama reports. “In a statement, Apple said that the problems arise when the Watch tries to connect to certain WiFi networks. ‘We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated WiFi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release.'”

“‘Unauthenticated WiFi networks without connectivity’ refers to a very particular — but not uncommon — type of connection. Networks in places such as Starbucks or in airports, for example, often automatically connect to devices, particularly if the device has connected to the network before. But they also often ask users to take an extra step, such as accepting terms and conditions, before they actually connect. Those dialogues don’t appear on the Apple Watch, which then gets stuck thinking it has joined a familiar network when it hasn’t,” Tsukayama reports. “It’s rare for Apple to ship even its early reviewers a product with a notable problem. There was a similar snag with the September 2012 launch of Apple Maps, which placed some landmarks in odd places and made others appear as if they were melting.”

“A problem connecting to cellular networks would be a blow to an important Apple product and undercut the main reason for buying the $399 version of the Watch that connects to LTE and carries its own data plan costs. Yet Apple’s explanation indicates that connecting to cellular networks isn’t the problem — just the device’s confusion about when it should stay off WiFi,” Tsukayama reports. “It’s not clear when the fix be released. The new Watch is still set to go on sale Friday.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mapsification. [maps-eh-fi-kay-shuh n]


The act of shooting oneself in the foot by overlooking obvious issues, often due to inferior QC, limited beta testing, a woeful lack of attention to detail, or, sometimes, rushing a product to market before it is ready (see: Newtonization) and then shipping the defective product to either widely-read reviewers or to consumers themselves, thereby tainting the product for a significant period of time (again, see: Newtonization).

Recent examples include Apple Maps and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular).

In well-managed companies, this is a rare occurrence as the time and money spent developing products is oftentimes extremely lengthy and valuable and both the product’s and the company’s reputation can be significantly harmed due to such blatant carelessness. In well-managed companies, the person(s) responsible for shipping defective wares to reviewers and/or consumers often face severe consequences, including termination. In other companies, nothing much, if anything, happens and the careless ineptitude spreads throughout the company, continuing to infect subsequent products and services until the company’s poor reputation is cemented and its products and services are therefore rightfully eschewed by customers and the company fades from relevance (see: Microsoft).

See also: To Mapsify, Mapsified.


To unnecessary hamstring a product or service by damaging its reputation in widespread fashion due to incompetence arising from a lack of attention to detail:

The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) was mapsified due to Apple’s lack of attention to detail.
In order to mapsify the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), Apple inexplicably overlooked an obvious connectivity issue and then shipped defective units to major reviewers.

As we wrote yesterday as the reviews were breaking:

This is a stupid, self-inflicted wound.

This simple bug (trying to connect to captive networks and having no means to do so) should have been caught and fixed months ago, not shipped out to major reviewers.

Now, you’ve got mainstream reporters – [we are not criticizing the reviewers, we’re talking about non-tech reporters misreporting what has happened and blowing it all out of proportion] – who can’t identify their asses from their elbows much less Wi-Fi from LTE rushing to file “reports” on “Apple Watch connectivity flaws.”

[For a mere three examples, see:
• Apple Watch’s newest feature is a failureStuff, reprint of above WP article with a new headline, September 21, 2017
• Apple’s New Watch Goes on Sale With a Glitch; Its touted new feature, cellular connectivity, doesn’t work very well
Apple Watch 3 LTE has issues with cellular connectivity, admits company]

Apple Watch Series 3 deserved better. Instead, Tim Cook’s Apple “Mapsified” it.

When you pride yourself on your attention to detail and like to crow about it incessantly, it helps, you know, to actually pay attention to the details.

Now we know why Apple gave the cellular Apple Watch Series 3 a scarlet l̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ dot on its Digital Crown.

Apple acknowledges cellular connectivity problem in new Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) – September 20, 2017
Apple stock falls after company admits issues with Apple Watch connectivity – September 20, 2017
Some reviewers’ Apple Watch Series 3 ‘LTE issues’ due to easily-fixable Wi-Fi bug – September 20, 2017
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. If Apple can push out a fix rapidly, there will not be a long lasting stigma associated with the watch as there was with maps, which took a long long time to improve to the point that people wanted to use it. There won’t be those freaky screen shots documenting the demented distortions in the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. that fried the image of failure into people’s brains.

  2. If you are an Apple investor, this is a shitstorm. If like me, you just want the Watch, not so much. I expect that Apple will have an update pretty quickly to correct this problem.

    1. The watch isn’t even live yet. Tomorrow will be the first time the public gets to use it. This isn’t a disaster. It’s actually a non issue at this moment since nobody actually has one aside from a few tech media folks. There will be a fix by next week.

  3. I don’t think there is any stopping the Apple Watch train. It’s become more popular with more people wearing it. Wearables are inevitable. Besides, most people haven’t even heard this news. Most people who watch news are watching the political stuff.

  4. Apple has had WiFi and cellular problems for many years (always?). Even today, I continue to have problems with Notes syncing. This seems to be wholly related to my iPhone changing networks; especially when switching between cellular and WiFi, but also when the device should have been only using cellular. I end up with duplicate notes and multiple incomplete, that is partial copies, of the same note on iPhone and iPad, but not on the iMac. I think this is related to cellular/WiFi connectivity/switching issues, but can’t prove it.

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