Airtel and Reliance Jio, two of India’s most prominent network operators, today announced that they are partnering with Apple to bring the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular connectivity to the country. Apple already sells the GPS variant of the Apple Watch Series 3 in the region.
Both operators will start accepting pre-registrations for the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity from May 4, with in-store availability scheduled to start from May 11.
Customers who pre-book the Apple Watch through Reliance Jio will get priority first-day delivery. Additionally, the operator will allow your iPhone and Apple Watch to use the same Jio number without any additional charges. This will be valid for both its prepaid and postpaid customers. On the other hand, AirTel is only allowing its postpaid Infinity users to enjoy the same number on the Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular variant as their iPhone for free.
There’s no mention of pricing from AirTel, Reliance Jio, or Apple regarding the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular connectivity. Given the prices of the Series 3 with GPS starts from Rs 32,000, the cellular variant will be priced at least a few thousand bucks higher. It also remains to be seen if there will be any launch day offers for the wearable.
It’s important to note that the Apple Watch Series with cellular connectivity only supports 4G/LTE networks. So, if there is no 4G connectivity, the watch will not be able to connect to any network. This is only going to be an issue with AirTel since Reliance Jio’s backend is completely based on 4G.
The Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular connectivity makes use of the eSIM technology to connect to a mobile network. The tech is still new, and thus Apple can only launch the smartwatch in regions where operators are willing to adopt the tech and support cellular connectivity on the wearable.