Despite cellular capabilities, next-gen Apple Watch unlikely to support phone calls

Although several recent reports have suggested that the next-generation Apple Watch will be adding cellular capabilities, a new note from reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that it’s unlikely that the new device will support direct cellular phone calls as Apple’s priority will be to improve the “user experience of data transmission.” Kuo’s note, however, suggests that support for traditional phone calls is likely still on the horizon, simply saying that the Apple Watch “probably” won’t provide the support “this year” but leaving the possibility open for future models.

Despite the support for traditional cellular phone calls, it remains a likely possibility that the next-generation Apple Watch will still support FaceTime audio calls over the cellular network, since even current-generation models provide this capability directly over Wi-Fi, even without a paired iPhone nearby.

Kuo also added that due to space constraints, the LTE Apple Watch will likely use an eSIM instead of a physical SIM slot, and be configured to share the same phone number as the user’s paired iPhone. However, Kuo wanted that this move could also limit LTE connectivity to specific countries and markets due to a lack of worldwide carrier support for the eSIM and shared number technology. [via MacRumors]


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.