Apple Watch Series 3 plagued by cellular connectivity issues
The latest version of the Apple Watch, which was announced earlier this month, is suffering from connectivity issues relating to its flagship feature, connection to 4G LTE networks without being tethered to an iPhone.
Apple has admitted that the watch can experience problems with 4G signal when it connects to open Wi-Fi networks such as at a hotel or a coffee shop.
A number of reviews thrown up by prominent tech sites, such as the Verge, have been hesitant to recommend the device over the glitch.
The new watch was first introduced last week at an event in California alongside Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone X.
It costs £329 and includes the 4G connectivity as standard, a feature that previous models lacked entirely.
The original model, Apple Watch Series 1, which isn’t waterproof and lacks both GPS and 4G functionality, is also available at a lower price.
Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette said that the company is “investigating a fix for a future software release”.
The Verge review claimed there were connectivity issues with the first device received after which Apple replaced the unit with a second one, but that one proved to be problematic too.
The mixed reviews weighed on Apple shares, which closed down about 1.7 per cent at $156.07.
“Considering that my Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE (both first and second review units) didn’t function like it was supposed to, I can’t recommend buying it — and paying the monthly cell fee — based on promises,” Verge reviewer Lauren Goode wrote.
Battery life was also cited as an issue by some reviewers who said that the drain was considerable while making calls.
Apple claims the device has up to 18 hours of battery life but said the watch would get only one hour on a cellular phone call.
“That review takeaway is a negative but is not a surprise. This is the first generation watch with LTE,” said Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst with Loup Ventures.
Bob O’Donnell, an analyst with Techanlysis Research, said the watch reviews, paired with reviews of the iPhone 8 that were generally positive but described the phone as an incremental improvement on its predecessor, put more pressure on the iPhone X to garner good press before its 3 November launch.