One of the major selling points of the Apple Watch Series 3, which was unveiled alongside the iPhone X, is that one of its models comes with 4G LTE capabilities, but the feature is apparently not working properly.
With the ability of the new Apple Watch to be used even without being paired to an iPhone is in jeopardy, some customers may be thinking twice about buying the device — even if the feature eventually gets fixed.
Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Connectivity Problem
In a review of the new Apple Watch by The Verge, the device displayed connectivity issues. It appears that the smartwatch was trying to connect to unknown Wi-Fi networks instead of using its cellular connection while it was not paired with an iPhone.
Apple replaced the review unit, but the problem stayed. The Apple Watch defaults to using Wi-Fi connections instead of its cellular connection, similar to the iPhone. However, users could not formally connect to a Wi-Fi network due to the limitations of the Apple Watch, so the device is connected but it is not able to receive data.
The company eventually acknowledged the issue through an official statement.
"We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular," a spokesperson for Apple wrote, adding that a fix is being prepared in an upcoming patch.
Fortunately, there is a workaround to the problem, though it is a bit of a hassle. Users can delete the Wi-Fi networks that the Apple Watch keeps trying to connect to on their iPhone or Mac so that the device will not attempt to switch to a Wi-Fi connection.
Will You Buy The Apple Watch Series 3?
LTE connectivity is arguably the biggest addition to the Apple Watch Series 3 compared to the Apple Watch Series 2. For customers who were looking forward to buying the device due to this feature, waiting for the fix to be rolled out might be a good plan, as Apple has not specified a release date for the patch.
The trouble that the Apple Watch Series 3 is experiencing, however, raises many other questions, particularly the reason behind the issue.
A report by Business Insider questioned whether Apple has lost sight of its principle of figuring out what people want to do, and then providing technology to make it possible. The Apple Watch Series 3 can be used even without an iPhone around, but how often does that happen? Do customers really need that feature, when everything that can be done on the Apple Watch could just as well be done on the iPhone?
Apple should get its fix out for the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE reliability issues as soon as it can, but that might not be enough to solve the device's biggest problem.