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The Apple Watch 3’s LTE only works in your home country

The big new feature of the Apple Watch 3 is LTE, letting you use data and take calls without your iPhone, but while you can roam internationally with your phone, you apparently won’t be able to with the Watch 3.

A Reddit user asked Apple support about roaming and was reportedly told exactly that, so for example a European Apple Watch 3 won’t work with a US carrier and vice versa.

But worse than that, at least for those in Europe, the Apple Watch 3 also won’t let you roam across countries in the European Union (EU), despite free EU roaming now being a requirement for mobile networks. It will only work on your home network.

This might be a hardware limitation, though Neowin points out that the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, which uses a similar eSIM to enable data, does allow you to roam and switch network when abroad.

Always read the small print

Either way, while Apple hasn’t exactly advertised this limitation, it does say in the small print on Apple’s Watch 3 store page that “roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area.”

This probably won’t be a deal-breaker for most users, but given the $399/£399/AU$559 cost of the LTE-enabled Watch it’s worth knowing.

  • The iPhone X was announced alongside the Watch 3