Cellular Apple Watch

From The Apple Wiki

In September 2017, Apple announced Apple Watch Series 3, available in two models: cellular Apple Watches being marketed as GPS+Cellular, and Watches lacking cellular capabilities marketed as GPS.[1] Until August 2020, all Apple Watches required, during initial setup, that the owner have an iPhone to complete the setup of the Watch.[2]

Starting September 2020, Apple introduced an exception that allows cellular models (GPS+cellular models) to be purchased and used by someone who doesn't own an iPhone. The Watch owner must be part of a Family Group, and their family manager must own an iPhone. Wi-Fi watches (GPS models) are not eligible to be set up for a family member, and some apps are disabled on a family setup watch.[3]

If the watch is to be used for offline-only/Wi-Fi only purposes, then the family iPhone does not need to have an active carrier plan. Apple Watch Series 9 and newer support offline Siri.

In most countries, setting up a cellular plan on a watch requires that the Watch carrier be the same as the family iPhone carrier. The countries where Apple does not require watches to be "carrier paired" are: US, UK, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. In these countries, the watch can have not only its own phone number, but also its own independent cellular plan directly with Truphone (available in six countries), Telekom (in Germany), or Sunrise or Swisscom (in Switzerland).

Stand alone cellwatches

The following models are capable of "family setup" since September 2020, provided the model is GPS+cellular (GPS-only models are not permitted to use family setup):

Note that international emergency calling is not available on Series 4.

Year Model Initial price
AOD ECG Keyboard
2018 Series 4 40mm: $499
44mm: $529
2019 Series 5 40mm: $499
44mm: $529
Yes Yes
2020 Series 6 40mm: $499
44mm: $529
Yes Yes
SE 40mm: $329
44mm: $359
2021 Series 7 41mm: $499
45mm: $529
Yes Yes Yes
2022 Series 8 41mm: $499
45mm: $529
Yes Yes Yes
Ultra 49mm: $799 Yes Yes Yes
SE 2 40mm: $299
44mm: $329
2023 Series 9 41mm: $499
45mm: $529
Yes Yes Yes
Ultra 2 49mm: $799 Yes Yes Yes

Cellular plans for standalone cellwatches


Truphone was selected by Apple as the first multi-country carrier to offer cellular plans for standalone Apple Watches. Truphone offers this service in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Australia (family iPhone must also be on Truphone)

Local Carriers

Bold indicates that the carrier allows the watch on their network even if the associated iPhone is not on that carrier.[4]


  • Canada: Bell, Telus
  • United States: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, US Cellular, C Spire


  • United Kingdom: EE
  • Norway: Telia
  • Germany: Telekom
  • Switzerland: Sunrise, Swisscom
  • Spain: Movistar

Asia and Middle East

  • Bahrain: Batelco
  • Japan: au
  • Thailand: AIS, dtac, TrueMove
  • Singapore: Starhub
  • Taiwan: Chungwa, Taiwan Mobile, FarEasTone
  • Hong Kong: 1O1O, csl, SmarTone
  • China: China Unicom, China Telecom (in 7 cities)


  1. ^ Archived version of apple.com/watch/compare from October 2017
  2. ^ "Apple has restricted their smartwatch users to using the same mobile service they have in their iPhones... The Family Setup service also prevents users from using a standard eSIM QR code" https://www.esim.net/helpdesk/samsung-beat-apple-in-the-race-to-introduce-standard-esim-services-on-smartwatches/
  3. ^ https://support.apple.com/en-us/109036#:~:text=apps%20are%20not
  4. ^ https://www.apple.com/watch/cellular/#table-family-setup