The Incredible eSIM in the 2017 Apple Watch 3

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The new Australian Apple Watch 3 with an eSIM is going to be released and all the analysts say that’ll happen at the same time as the new iPhone (whatever they’re calling it ) in early September 2017.

apple watch 3

The new Watch will be more convenient to use than ever before. Why ? Because access to the internet will be possible, direct from the device. Users can get online from their watch without even ‘pairing’ it with their iPhone. Whether you are having your workout or left your iPhone for a while, your new Apple Watch will be there to save your day. This new facility could even make us more sociable by encouraging us to leave our phones at home.

The most significant thing about Apple’s new watch is this direct internet access. The new piece of technology which makes it all possible is the ‘eSIM’. Let’s get to know the specifics about the eSIM inside the Apple Watch 3:

Speculation has been around for some time, about the new Apple Watch 3. Few predicted what we now know : that this state of the art innovation would have an eSIM inside. With no SIM, the user experience of getting this watch to work is going to be a little different. The user will have to pick a plan provider and plan option from the watch settings.

It’s nice and compact. The eSIM inside the new Apple Watch 3 is way smaller than the Nano SIM which has been used in Apple’s phones (note, not their watches) previously. Thereby, it appears, Apple appear to be able to maintain the same physical dimensions in this watch as their earlier models. Who knows, perhaps with the electronics size reduction, they maybe making room for more features? It’s worth noting that, other watches, such as LG Sportswatch, needed a bigger chassis to have room for a physical SIM tray (the altertntive to this esIM facility) and for other features to make it readable and functional.

For now, it’s a “Data-Only” Gadget. Apparently, the new Apple Watch will be purely able to access data services through it’s eSIM. That means very limited (indirect) mobile phone features. i.e. users can still use Viber, Skype, and other VoIP apps from the new watch. At this point, we are unsure if the new gadget will support Facetime.

There could be a change of chip manufacturer. The eSIM used in the all-new Apple Watch 3 will have an intel microchip in it. This would mean longer battery life and better gadget performance.

You won’t have to have the eSIM if you don’t want it. Of course, Apple will still release a ‘non eSIM’ for those who just want majority of the old features updated.

So, what kind of phone plan are you going to need ?

As of today, there is still no data plan offers released for the new Apple Watch 3. It’s already difficult for people to estimate their data usage from their mobile phones they have been using for quite a long time. It will be much more difficult to foresee the data usage of a watch that has always been functional when connected to iPhone.

We estimate users will require less than 1GB of data per month to run their LTE connected Apple Watch.

Where did we get our estimated data plan requirement? We assumed that there will be a regular data usage with the Apple Watch. However, considering its small screen size, video watching will not be possible for most. Untilately, most of the data that the user does drawn down will be used for GPS. For that, a good 500MB data per month would be enough to maximize its features.

We suggest you’ll be able to buy a plan with 500MB for between a 5$ to 10$ a month.

The eSIm and the Apple Watch

The inclusion of this eSIM might seem like a small feature. Our analysis disagrees with that. Apple have been pressuring the entire telecommunications ecosystem for the last 5-10 years to get this eSIM implemented. It was no small feat and this is the first mainstream product they’ve released which has one.

We believe that, in the not too distant future, Apple will use this eSIM feature in their line of phones. We also think they will become a phone company themselves, offering ‘Apple Plans’ to their users. They have such a loyal fan base that could be a real money spinner.

Finally, Apple love to create wonderful customer experiences for their customers. The physical SIM was one of the worst customer experiences any industry has had to accept. By including an eSIM in their products, Apple have effectively digitized the connection process. This will have huge ramifications for telcos. Online shopping will become the mainstay of their customer acquisition programme. Retail stores could close in large number. A host of data management and customer experience focused apps will start to appear.

The eSIM seems almost trivial. As small technical advance for a ‘thing that was launched with the iPhone.’ The truth is it’s one of the most significant things Apple have ever done.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted,
Living in Maharashtra, India.
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