Everybody knows about the latest gadgets from Apple, but the main focus as always is on the new iPhone or two of them. The lion’s share of discussion might be the merits of choosing either the iPhone 8 or the premium X model. But there is one other mobile, or rather wearable, device that was introduced in that time: the Apple Watch Series 3. Consumers who did notice this particular gadget were likely drawn to its built-in LTE connectivity, and its ability to share SIM number with a user’s iPhone, practically using the watch to make phone calls.

But just days before the watch starts shipping, the manufacturers have admitted that there seem to be some issues with its connectivity.

Watch connection difficulty

On Wednesday, September 20, Apple issued a statement that they have detected some problems regarding the LTE network connectivity of the Apple Watch Series 3. The spokesperson who broke the news elaborated on the issue: whenever the Watch Series 3 links up with unauthenticated Wi-Fi network, it prevents the wearer from using the eSIM cellular function for using cellular functions. This was bad as it was the main selling point of the watch, which promised to be able to call, text, use Siri and open third-party apps without needing an iPhone on hand.

The problem with LTE connectivity was first noticed by some professional reviewers for tech magazines with the Apple Watch Series 3 units they received for review. What was initially assumed as buggy units grew into a bigger issue when replacement watches also exhibited the same problems. While Apple assures that the connectivity issue is not exactly widespread, they are continuing to monitor the Series 3 units as they become available to consumers.

They did assure the public that their investigation into the problem will lead to a software patch release in the future.

Patch expected

Set to go on the market with a $399 price tag, the Apple Watch Series 3’s LTE connectivity is supposed to make it smart enough to link into the most efficient network at any given moment. It tethers onto the SIM network of the user’s iPhone by default, sharing its phone number.

When the iPhone is not around, the watch will instead try to connect to cellular, accessible by the wearer from their current wireless provider for an average $10 monthly fee. If no cellular connection is found, the watch would then try any Wi-Fi network it has already been linked to before. The LTE issue occurs at this critical juncture.

It is not yet known when Apple might release the software patch for their Watch Series 3’s LTE connectivity problems. It could well be at the same time as the ability of the watch to stream from Apple Music becomes available, or later. The Watch itself will come out on September 22.