Are Apple Watches Carrier Locked?




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In 2022 Apple released the 8th generation Apple Watch, just under seven years since the original model was introduced. In the time between, many Apple Watches have been released, with different price tags and capabilities. 

Are Apple Watches carries locked?

Apple Watches are not locked to a specific carrier and can be added to a cellular plan with any reputable network provider. However, Apple Watches are regional devices and are set up to work in a specific part of the world, such as the U.S, Europe, Asia, and so on. 

Many early Apple Watch models only provide GPS features, such as tracking your steps or providing you with directions. More advanced Apple Watches can be connected to your iPhone, significantly expanding their capabilities.

In this article, we’ll examine whether Apple Watches are carrier locked and explore the other security features. 

apple watch phone

Are Apple Watches Carrier Locked?

It’s very common for smartphones to be locked to a particular carrier. This can be frustrating if you buy a phone and then find that you need to go through the process of trying to get it unlocked so that you can use it with your preferred carrier. 

As a result, it’s understandable that Apple Watch users are also concerned about finding that their device is limited to being used on a specific network. Thankfully, unlike smartphones, Apple Watches are never carrier locked. 

Carriers have special agreements with phone manufacturers to lock a certain number of handsets to their network so that they can be offered as part of special deals and to encourage users to use their service. 

The phones can usually be unlocked, but the owner must go through a slow process of contacting the carrier and going through any steps to release the device from its exclusivity to their network. This can be particularly frustrating if you buy the device second-hand, as you may need the original owner to unlock it. 

Apple Watch users don’t have this problem because Apple doesn’t make any exclusivity deals with network carriers. Therefore, every model that includes cellular capabilities can be used with the vast majority, if not all, carriers. 

It is worth noting, however, that Apple Watches are often regionally locked. Rather than being locked to a particular carrier, the devices are designed only to be used in specific regions. 

This means that if you buy an Apple Watch in California, you won’t be able to send it to a relative in India as a gift. The watch will be locked to the USA and cannot be used in any other region. 

It’s a good idea to check the specifics of the regional limitations of an Apple Watch before you purchase it. This will prevent you from getting one that cannot be used in the country where you intend to use the device. 

Regional locks only apply to Apple Watch GPS + Cellular models. The GPS-only models can be used in any region or country as they don’t require adding to a mobile data plan to perform online functions. 

Is Apple Watch 7 Carrier Locked?

The Apple Watch 7 is not locked to a specific carrier or any other model. You should not see carriers advertising a locked Apple Watch unless they refer to a regional lock placed on the device. 

Unlike iPhones, the Apple Watch 7 cannot be locked to a certain carrier. When setting the watch up with your iPhone, you need to contact your existing carrier to add it to your data plan. 

Most carriers charge $10 per month to add an Apple Watch 7 to the existing plan used for your iPhone. Some may offer deals to customers in exceptional circumstances, but this is generally the monthly cost.  

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new Apple Watch for yourself or as a gift for another person and you’re concerned that it won’t be usable on a certain cellular network, contact the carrier to double-check. All major carriers support adding Apple Watches to data plans, as they make a lot of money for the companies!

The Apple Watch 7 may be limited to a specific geographical location, so if you intend to use it in another country, it’s worth getting confirmation from the seller on where the device can be used. This will help you to avoid any disappointment. 

The built-in eSIM of the Apple Watch 7 can be connected to your existing data contract used for the sim card inside your iPhone. 

All you need to do when you receive the Apple Watch 7 is connect it to your iPhone, then contact your carrier and explain that you want to add the device to your plan. They will help you to get this set up, and you’ll be using the cellular features of the smartwatch in no time. 

How Do I Know If an Apple Watch is Unlocked?

If you’re wondering how to figure out whether your Apple Watch is unlocked, the good news is you don’t need to do anything. All Apple Watches are unlocked, so you can go ahead and use them with any carrier. 

The only time an Apple Watch could be seen as locked to a particular network is when you’ve added it to your monthly plan. While you are still paying to have the watch as part of your mobile data contract, you won’t be able to use it with another network provider. 

However, as soon as you notify the carrier that you don’t want to pay for the addition of the Apple Watch, they will remove it from your contract, and you can then add it to another plan with another network provider if you wish. 

Carriers are not able to lock Apple Watches to their network like they do with some smartphones. Therefore, you should never see an Appel Watch advertised as only usable with a particular carrier.

Apple Watches can be used with any carrier providing they facilitate adding the device to your existing contract for your iPhone. It cannot be used as a standalone device as the watch must be connected to the iPhone to work properly. 

If your Apple Watch isn’t connected to an iPhone, its functionality will be limited, and the cellular capabilities won’t be available. 

Can You Use a Verizon Apple Watch With AT+T?

Verizon and AT+T are two of the most popular network carriers in the U.S. They are used by millions of iPhone and Apple Watch users. 

You can use your Apple Watch with any carrier as they are not locked to a specific network. The watch is not associated with Verizon – it has simply been registered as part of the data plan Verizon provides for your iPhone. 

If you’ve previously used your Apple Watch on the Verizon network, you can switch it to AT+T without issues. To do this, you simply need to contact Verizon to remove the Apple Watch from that plan, then contact AT+T to add it to your contract. 

Apple Watches are unlike smartphones in that they are not locked to a carrier, so you can easily switch between different networks if you change the provider you use for your iPhone. 

Using the Apple Watch on a different network than your iPhone is impossible. Whichever carrier you use for your iPhone has to be the one you use with your Apple Watch, as the two devices use the same data plan and are connected to the same phone number. 

If you’re curious about knowing the costs for different data carrier networks, watch the YouTube video below:

Related Questions

Can you switch the Apple Watch between carriers? 

The eSIM installed in cellular Apple Watches links up with the SIM card installed in your iPhone. Therefore, you can switch to another carrier by simply changing the network provider you use for the SIM card installed in your iPhone. 

Can you use a cellular Apple Watch without a data plan? 

Using an Apple Watch’s cellular aspects is impossible without setting up a data plan with your provider. The current carrier you use for your iPhone contract must be notified so that they can add the watch to your plan, and then you can access the cellular features. 

What happens if you remove the cellular plan from Apple Watch?

If you contact your data carrier and remove your Apple Watch from your data plan, you will get until the end of the current billing period; then the cellular features will stop working. 

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