After years of missing out, New Zealanders are finally able to take advantage of the cellular Apple Watch after the country's first carrier to offer eSIM support takes the service live.
To date, users in New Zealand were unable to use cellular-capable versions of Apple Watch due to Apple's implementation of wireless network functionality. Specifically, Apple relies on virtual eSIM modules rather than traditional physical SIM cards.
Until now, no carrier in the country supported eSIM cards, meaning Apple Watch owners had to remain tethered to iPhone or known Wi-Fi networks to ferry data and phone calls to the wearable.
Now, as The Herald reports, cellular Apple Watch hardware can be used in New Zealand as local carrier Spark launched support for eSIM alongside Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. Spark launched the new eSIM support with the One Number Wearable Plan, which at the moment only supports the Apple Watch Series 5. According to Spark, more devices will be added in the future.
As such, GPS + Cellular Apple Watch Series 5 is available to purchase in New Zealand for 929 New Zealand dollars, though cellular access comes at a NZ$200 premium over the GPS-only variant.
Cellular data on Apple Watch allows users to make and receive calls, send messages, and stream music without a nearby iPhone. Cellular support also enables free international emergency calling.
The One Number Wearable plan runs $12.99 which gives the Apple Watch unlimited data, though it can be throttled once it goes past 40GB.