Is it worth buying the Apple Watch 3 from US, UK or other countries?


It is a common trend for many to get the latest Apple products from the US or countries like Dubai, China and others to save some money. And many of us may be thinking the same for the Apple’s latest launch in India — Watch 3 Cellular. So, will it be a good choice to get it from outside India? There are two aspects to it — validity of warranty and compatibility with Indian telecom bands (especially to support the new eSIM technology).
Apple took around eight months to launch the Watch 3 Cellular in India and for good reasons. With the launch of Apple Watch 3 Cellular, it is for the first time that Indian telecom operators are thinking about supporting eSIM technology. As of now, only Reliance Jio and Airtel Postpaid are enabling eSIM technology for Watch 3 Cellular support in the country.
Now, as the support for eSIM is finally here in India, should you buy it from countries where it’s cheaper?
Before you think of doing so, here is something you should know. There are three separate models of the Apple Watch 3 Cellular to cater to different LTE and UMTS bands that are available globally. “The three separate models are each tailored to the locale where it is sold. There is no single model that supports roaming worldwide,” according to Apple. Here are the three models available as per telecom bands.
US and Canada variant of Apple Watch 3 Cellular
The Watch 3 Cellular comes in two variants- Model A1860 (for 38mm size) and Model A1861 (for 42mm size). These two models are support telecom operators in United States (AT&T, Sprint Wireless, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless), Canada (Bell, Telus, except Saskatchewan provice) and Puerto Rico (AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA).
So, this variant of the Apple Watch 3 Cellular will not support telecom operators in India. Of course, you can use it with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but mobile data will not work on it. And without mobile data support, there is no point in buying the Cellular version, instead buying the cheaper Watch 3 GPS makes more sense.
What about buying from China?
Apple has dedicated separate models for China itself. The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in Model A1890 (for 38mm sizes) and Model A1892 (for 42mm sizes). Both the models support limited Bands in LTE like 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 39 (TD 1900), 40 (TD 2300) and 41 (TD 2500). Only UMTS 2100 MHz is supported by the Chinese version of Watch 3 Cellular.
With limited telecom Band support, the Chinese models of Apple Watch 3 Cellular will not be supported by Indian telecom operators like Reliance Jio and Airtel Postpaid. So, buying from China too is a big no.
So, from which country you can think of buying the Apple Watch 3 Cellular?
The Apple Watch 3 Cellular Model A1889 (for 38mm sizes) and Model A1891 (for 42mm size) supports telecom operators in 12 countries including India with support for telecom Bands like LTE- 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 5 (850 MHz), 7 (2600 MHz), 8 (900 MHz), 18 (800 MHz), 19 (800 MHz), 20 (800 DD) and 26 (800 MHz) and UMTS- 800 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz and 2100 MHz.
The Indian model of Apple Watch 3 Cellular is compatible in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan and United Kingdom. Alternatively, this means if you buy the Apple Watch 3 Cellular (Model A1889 (for 38mm sizes) and Model A1891 (for 42mm size)) from these countries, it should work in India and support telecom operators like Reliance Jio and Airtel Postpaid.
Before buying, note the international warranty terms in the respective country. According to Apple international warranty terms, “Available service options are dependent on the country in which service is requested and may be restricted to the original country of sale.”
Cost comparison
In India, the Apple Watch 3 Cellular is available for Rs 39,080 (Model A1889, 38mm) and Rs 41,120 (Model A1891, 42mm). Here is what the same models cost in these countries. Prices are as per official Apple store website.
Australia- Starts at A$ 559 which translates to around Rs 28,374.
Denmark- Starts at 3,399 Danish Krone (kr.) or around Rs 36,561
France, Germany- Starts at 449 Euro or around Rs 35, 978
Sweden- Starts at 4495 Swedish Krona or around Rs 34,990
Hong Kong- Starts at 3188 Hong Kong Dollar or around Rs 27,351
Japan- Starts at 45,800 Japanese Yen excluding tax or around Rs 28,177


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