KGI Says No Voice Calling For LTE-Only Apple Watch

16 August 2017

9to5Mac:

The other new development is Kuo expects Apple could omit phone call capabilities from the LTE model of the new Apple Watch. You can already make phone calls from the Apple Watch when it’s paired with a nearby iPhone and there’s no technical limitation with the implementation, but KGI expects Apple may want to improve the “user experience” of data transmission before enabling voice services.

This would be a big letdown. Taking calls in your headphones whilst working out is a major feature for a hypothetical connected watch. Listen to music with AirPods, songs streaming from your wrist, with the comfort of being connected if something urgent happens with work or family.

Moreover, Kuo’s logic for this feature not being present is strange. He says that not including voice service simplifies the internal antenna design, as it doesn’t need to support 3G spectrum, just LTE. It makes sense that Apple would want to be selective in the name of miniaturisation. What I don’t understand is why exclusively using the LTE network means the watch cannot support voice calling at all. Many carriers nowadays run voice and data over the LTE network.

Also, for some time, Apple has offered a remote Handoff feature for phone calls on select carriers. If you are on AT&T, for instance, you can leave your phone at home on WiFi and pickup calls on your iPad and Mac — from anywhere. Cellular or non-cellular, another Apple device can take the call. Why can’t the Watch do this? It surely doesn’t matter what wireless data protocol the underlying hardware is transmitting across.