Do Apple Watches Have SIM Cards?

You’ve probably seen people answer a phone call using their Apple Watch or reply to a text message straight from the watch itself without having to pick up their phone. So, how does the Apple Watch get this cellular service, and does the Apple Watch device use a sim card as an iPhone does?

Do Apple Watches Have SIM Cards

Apple Watches that are GPS and Cellular compatible have a SIM card that is installed by the manufacturer. It’s different from an iPhone SIM card, however, because it cannot be removed. These SIM cards give the Apple Watch cellular capabilities and must be set up with the user’s cellular phone plan.

To learn more about how these sim cards in your Apple Watch work, continue reading.

How are Apple Watch SIM Cards Different from iPhone SIM Cards?

Your iPhone doesn’t already come with a SIM card, instead, they’re purchased separately and installed after your iPhone has been purchased by you or a staff member who works for your cell phone carrier.

These SIM cards are like small chips that give your phone its cellular service, and Apple Watches that are cellular compatible have a special SIM card, called an eSIM, already installed by the manufacturer.

In order to receive limited cellular service from your Apple Watch that allows you to do things such as answering calls, receiving and viewing texts, and responding to those texts, your phone carrier will need to activate this eSim card after it’s been set up with your phone plan.

Another difference between the Apple Watch SIM card and your iPhone SIM card is that the SIM card in your iPhone can be removed and put into another iPhone. Because your Apple Watch eSIM is built into the watch’s interior microchip, you can’t simply take off the back or insert a pin into your Apple Watch and take out the SIM card.

How Apple Watches Receive Calls and Text Messages

Apple Watches that are compatible with cellular service can receive calls and text messages, and users can answer those calls and messages directly from their watch without having to pick up their phones.

These compatible watches have a built-in microphone and a speaker to listen and speak directly to the caller or listen to and respond to text messages. If your Apple Watch is Bluetooth compatible, you can answer incoming calls on your Apple Watch and speak to them using your Bluetooth earbuds or headphones that have a built-in microphone.

Calls and messages will come through on your watch screen, and from there, you can choose to dismiss or answer the call or message. You can also send a message directly from your Apple Watch, even if it isn’t in response to a message that you recently received.

You can respond to messages or send out messages by using the quick type keyboard, scribbling out a message, or using the microphone to speak your message and the speech-to-text feature will do the typing for you.

If your Apple Watch is cellular compatible, it will automatically connect to your cellular network once it’s been set up. You can turn this off by opening your Apple Watch’s Control Center and tapping the cellular button.

If it’s connected to cellular, this button will appear green with green dots above indicating how strong the connection is. If it’s not connected, this button will be white. Keep in mind that having cellular turned on for long periods of time can drain your battery more quickly than if you have it turned off.

Do Apple Watches Have SIM Cards

Apple Watches that Aren’t Cellular Compatible

Some Apple Watches don’t have a SIM card installed. Apple Watches that can receive calls and texts are labeled with “GPS + Cellular” on the box packaging or on the back of the watch itself. If it doesn’t have this label, it’s safe to assume that there is no SIM card installed and that it isn’t cellular compatible.

Generally, Apple Watches that are only labeled as GPS Compatible are not cellular compatible. GPS-only Apple Watches are less expensive, have longer battery life, and are generally more lightweight than cellular-compatible Apple Watches, but you’ll need to have your iPhone close to you in order for most of the features to work.

How Do I Put a SIM Card in My Apple Watch?

Whether your Apple Watch is cellular compatible or GPS only, you won’t be able to insert a SIM card into your Apple Watch. Cellular-compatible watches already have a SIM card installed in them, and not all Apple Watches have a slot for you to install a SIM card. Your iPhone will have something like this, but your Apple Watch won’t.

If you want an Apple Watch that has cellular capabilities, you’ll need to check the box or Watch specifications to see if it is cellular compatible. You can also talk to an employee at your cellular carrier that sells Apple products or an employee at your nearest Apple store.

Activating Cellular Service on an Apple Watch

Do Apple Watches Have SIM Cards

In order to receive cellular service, your Apple Watch will act as a separate device on your phone plan (but at a discounted price), and your Apple Watch eSIM card will need to be paired with your iPhone’s SIM card. Your Apple Watch can only be set up with eligible cellular service plans that are operated by a supported carrier.

To set up cellular service on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to do this during the initial setup of your Apple Watch after it’s been purchased by following the steps given on the screen. If you’ve skipped this step so you can do it later, you can set up cellular service to your Apple Watch by using the Apple Watch app.

After you have the app open on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab in the bottom left corner, then tap Cellular. Once you get to the next screen, tap Set Up Cellular. Then, you’ll need to follow the specific instructions on the next page given by your carrier.

If you need assistance, you may need to call your phone carrier or visit your nearest phone carrier store and they can walk you through the process. This process may vary by phone carrier, so Apple store employees may not be much help in setting up the cellular service on your Apple Watch.