Friday, 17 November, 2017

China Is Turning Off This Key Feature on Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch China cuts LTE access to Apple Watch Series 3, reputedly over government security concerns
Terence Owen | 19 October, 2017, 19:54

New Apple Watch Series 3 owners who are trying to turn on the device's cellular connectivity are finding they can't, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

"We were informed by China Unicom that the new cellular feature on the Apple Watch Series 3 has been suspended", Apple said in a statement.

Analysts believe China's government intentionally cut users' access to LTE connectivity because it is concerned it won't be able to track who is using an Apple Watch. China's three major carriers are state-owned and require their customers to link their real identity if they wish to use their services. The watch contains a new and tiny version of the SIM card, called embedded SIM, or eSIM. Simply put, eSIM isn't mature enough yet in the country and may not be capable of tracking people's identity.

"The Apple Watch appears to be gaining traction, with interest in the Series 3 around its announcement greater than for the Series 2, in all geographies", UBS analyst Edward Yen wrote.

Roy Moore: Kneeling During National Anthem Is 'Against the Law'
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the National Football League movement of kneeling during the anthem. But the code does not require people to do this, and if it did, the Supreme Court would undoubtedly strike it down.

The benefit of a device carrying an eSIM is that, with software, users can choose a telecom operator and a communications plan. Unfortunately, this type of convenience may not be acceptable in China.

Unicom's website only says that cellular service was initially offered on a "trial basis", but the company is not saying when it would come back for new customers. The feature allows users to connect the Apple Watch to a carrier network and do everything from place calls to send data over the network without needing an iPhone. It's unclear how long the rollout will take, and the shutdown will certainly frustrate Chinese customers who paid for the new Series 3 models but can't use its biggest new feature. The tech giant was forced by the government to remove more than 400 VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, was told to tighten checks on live-streaming apps and Chinese app developers even reported Apple to local antitrust regulators, according to 9To5Mac.

When Apple held its big annual product event in September, one of the most prominent updates was the addition of cellular connectivity for the Apple Watch.

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