Are Apple Watches Carrier Locked?

Robert Turner By Robert Turner
9 Min Read
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Alright, my friends who love their smartphones! 📱 So, you’re thinking about joining the smartwatch crew? Cool! You might be scratching your head and thinking, “Hey, can I use any phone company with an Apple Watch?” We’ve all been there, wondering if our gadgets are tied to one company, just like our phones. Let’s break it down.If you’re getting a brand new Apple Watch straight from the store, guess what? You’re in luck! 🎉 It doesn’t tie you down to one phone company. But, and this is a big BUT, if you’re thinking of getting a second-hand one, be a little careful. It might be tied to a specific company.

Some Apple Watches can make calls and use the internet without your phone nearby. These are the cellular versions. Others only use GPS. Now, if you’re going for the cellular ones, remember: they’re kind of like world travelers. They know their region, but not always the whole world. The GPS-only ones? No worries there! They’re chill and go with the flow, no matter the phone company.

Okay, here’s a cool fact: if you want your Apple Watch to hop onto those fancy LTE networks (which means super-fast internet, by the way), it needs to be best friends with your iPhone. 📱⌚ They need to be with the same phone company. But, here’s the fun part: if you’re the type who loves choices, the Apple Watch can remember up to five phone plans. So, you’re not totally stuck.
Money talk! 💰 Phone companies might ask you for a bit extra each month to add your Apple Watch. Sometimes it’s just a tiny amount, like $5. Other times? It might be as much as $20. Oh, and watch out for those sneaky one-time fees when you first join. So, before diving in and getting that shiny Apple Watch, take a moment. Do a bit of detective work and find out how much it’ll cost you with your phone company.

Are Apple Watches carrier locked?

So, you’re curious if Apple Watches are stuck with just one phone company, right? Well, good news! They’re not. But, there’s a tiny detail to remember: those fancy Apple Watches that can call or surf the web on their own (we call them LTE-enabled) work best when they’re pals with iPhones from the same phone company. But, if you’ve got the Apple Watch that just uses Wi-Fi or GPS (and is a bit friendlier on the wallet), it’s not picky at all.

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You might be thinking, “But what if I get an Apple Watch from someone else? Can I change its phone company?” Or maybe, “What does ‘locked’ and ‘unlocked’ even mean?” Don’t worry, we’re diving into that next!

What is an unlocked carrier for an Apple Watch?

Let’s chat about what “unlocked” means. Think of it like this: an unlocked Apple Watch is like a free bird, not tied to any specific phone company. So, even if your iPhone is buddies with Verizon, your Apple Watch doesn’t have to join the same team, unless you want it to be super-connected with 4G LTE.

What if my Apple Watch is GPS-only?

Got an Apple Watch that’s all about Wi-Fi and GPS? Awesome! This one’s a breeze to use. Want to connect it to Wi-Fi? Let’s walk through it step by step:

Connecting Your Apple Watch to Wi-Fi:

  1. On your Apple Watch, tap on the little gear icon (that’s the Settings app).
  2. Inside Settings, you’ll see “Wi-Fi.” Tap on that.
  3. Your watch is super-smart! It’ll look around for Wi-Fi networks close by.
  4. See the Wi-Fi you want? Tap its name.
  5. If it asks, type in the password. You can use the cool Apple Watch way of writing called “Scribble” or tap-tap on the keyboard.
  6. Now, just tap “Join,” and voila! You’re connected.

Getting Around with GPS on Your Apple Watch:

Ready to explore? Here’s how:

  1. Find the Maps app on your Apple Watch and open it.
  2. Tap “Location” and then find and tap the place you want to go.
  3. Scroll down until you see “Directions.”
  4. Pick how you want to get there: walking, driving, bus, or bike.
  5. Tap a route, and off you go! Just follow the steps, and you’ll be there in no time.
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Remove a Carrier From Your Apple Watch and iPhone

So, you’re looking to break up with your phone company on your iPhone and Apple Watch? No worries. Apple’s got your back! They made it pretty simple. Here’s your step-by-step guide:

  1. Start by grabbing your iPhone and tapping on that Apple Watch App.
  2. Inside, you’ll see “My Watch.” Tap on it, then look for “Cellular.” Give that a tap too.
  3. Now, you should see an “i” (it’s the info button). Click on it.
  4. Here comes the fun part. You’ll see two choices: “Manage Carrier Account” and “Remove Carrier Plan.” We want the second one, so go ahead and tap “Remove Carrier.”
  5. Just a heads up: if you’re really going for a full breakup and unpairing, you’ll need to give your carrier a call to cancel that cellular subscription.

Erase and Unpair from Apple Watch

Maybe you just want to reset things and start fresh. Or perhaps it’s time to give your Apple Watch some space. Either way, here’s how you unpair:

Steps to Unpair and Start Over:

  1. Get your iPhone and Apple Watch close. Like, really close. Think of it as them having a final chat.
  2. On your iPhone, find the Watch app and tap to open it. Inside, you’ll see “My Watch.” Tap on it. Then, look for “All Watches” and give that a click.
  3. Ready to unpair? Find the “Info” button, tap it, and then select “Unpair.”
  4. Here’s a choice: if you think you’ll NEVER EVER pair them again, there’s an “Erase All” option. Clicking this will forget everything, including the cellular plan.
  5. Hit “Confirm” to make it official. One last step: you’ll need to type in your Apple ID and password. This is just Apple’s way of double-checking it’s really you.

Closing Thoughts

Okay, so here’s the scoop! The cool thing about the Apple Watch? It’s not tied down to one phone company. So, if you’ve got one of those super-charged LTE models, you’ve got choices galore for which phone company you want to dance with. And if not? No sweat! With just Wi-Fi and GPS, you’re golden. Plus, you won’t have to toss a few more dollars into your phone bill each month for it.

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The cherry on top? Most phone companies play nice with the Apple Watch’s Family Setup. That means you can get an Apple Watch for your kiddo, and set it up through your iPhone and your phone company. Nifty, right?

So, in a nutshell: Apple Watches give you freedom and flexibility. They’re not bossy about which phone company you need, and that’s a big thumbs up in my book. It’s just one more reason to love these little tech wonders. 🍏⌚🎉

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Apple Watches carrier locked?

No, Apple Watches are not carrier locked. They can be used with any carrier that supports the Apple Watch.

Can I use an Apple Watch with a different carrier than my iPhone?

Yes, you can use an Apple Watch with a different carrier than your iPhone. The Apple Watch has its own cellular connection, so it can be paired with a different carrier than your iPhone.

Can I switch carriers with my Apple Watch?

Yes, you can switch carriers with your Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is not tied to a specific carrier, so you can easily switch carriers by activating your Apple Watch with the new carrier.

Can I use an Apple Watch without a cellular plan?

Yes, you can use an Apple Watch without a cellular plan. The Apple Watch can still perform many functions, such as tracking fitness, receiving notifications, and making calls via Wi-Fi, even without a cellular plan.

Do I need a specific model of Apple Watch for a certain carrier?

No, you do not need a specific model of Apple Watch for a certain carrier. All Apple Watch models are compatible with major carriers, so you can choose any model you prefer and use it with your desired carrier.

Can I unlock a carrier-locked Apple Watch?

No, carrier unlocking is not available for Apple Watches. However, since Apple Watches are generally not carrier locked, this should not be a concern for most users.
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Meet Robert, a seasoned tech blogger and copywriting maestro. With an innate passion for all things tech, Robert's expertise shines through his exceptional articles on Tech, Android, Windows, Internet, Social Media, Gadgets, and Reviews. His captivating writing style and deep knowledge make him a trusted source for the latest insights in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
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