Apple Watch Series 3 May Feature an eSim, No Direct Phone Call Support

Revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities wrote in a new report to clients Wednesday that Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE is unlikely to support cellular voice calling at launch as the Cupertino firm is expected to focus on delivering data to users faster.

According to the analyst, the Series 3 with LTE will feature an eSim, which is an embedded SIM card. The idea is to save just a bit more space in the design of the device the card is fit into, but, which started with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. However, Apple still makes a SIM card tray in most of its units because some carriers simply don’t support the eSIM idea just yet.

Kuo believes that Apple may be leaning towards Qualcomm for the baseband chip inside the upcoming wearable, an interesting choice considering the legal battle happening between the two companies. If that is the case, it would mean Apple would not use Intel. The reason for the decision is apparently Qualcomm offers a better lower-power solution at this point.

The most interesting aspect of the upcoming wearable will apparently be that it might not support direct phone call support from the device itself. Kuo believes Apple wants to improve overall user experience with the Apple Watch and making calls from it before it rolls out being able to make phone calls from the Apple Watch without being connected to an iPhone.

“Technologically, while it’s feasible for LTE Apple Watch to support voice service and replace iPhones’ phone function,” he wrote, “we think it must first improve the user experience of data transmission (not via iPhone).” Keep in mind that existing Apple Watch models support making and receiving phone calls over cellular networks, but only when a paired iPhone is nearby.

Is the lack of initial support for direct cellular phone calling on Apple Watch Series 3 going to be a serious deal-killer, do you think? Will users care with FaceTime and third-party VoIP apps like Skype potentially acting as a stand-in for cellular phone calls?

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