Apple Watch Series 5 American limited in Brazil

Attention: Apple Watch Series 5 American (still?) Does not work with Brazilian operators [atualizado: reviravolta!]

When we published our article on the compatibility issues of the new iPhones and Apple Watches with the Brazilian 4G, we pointed out that the generation Series 5 of the clock brings a great change in relation to the past years: for the first time, American models have support for bands 3 and 7 used in our country.

Not only that, but although there is a certain variation of bands / frequencies between the models american (A2094 pro 40mm, A2095 pro 44mm) and the Europeans (A2156 pro 40mm, A2157 pro 44mm), for Brazilians this makes little difference since Europeans do not support any additional band used in the national territory (such as 28, 700MHz APT).

That is, technically whatever for Apple to market American or European models in Brazil. Most likely it will bring Europeans, since iPhones already come from there and there is also the advantage that many European countries work with a plug adapter format identical to ours.

Regardless of which models will be approved, we noted in the previous article that it was very likely that Apple started to support the use of Apple Watches Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) in Brazil, since technically this is now possible. Not yet the case, however:

Apple Watch Series 5 American limited in Brazil

THE Victor Elihimas it’s the Lennon Muniz, who traveled with us on different MM Tours, were two who bought Apple Watches Series 5 with cellular connectivity in the United States and unfortunately, upon returning to Brazil, they encountered the message above when trying to add a cell phone plan to their watch.

The Breno Masi, who was with us in France to cover the arrival of the new devices, returned with an Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) from there and is already using it on the Claro network without any problem.

In short, at the moment the American Apple Watches Series 5 are unable to connect to Brazilian cellular networks. But, contrary to what happened in years past, this is not a technical incompatibility; is a limitation imposed by Apple itself on watchOS software. Therefore, the situation may change in the future.

Raising some possibilities:

  1. Apple will purposely limit the use of the American Apple Watches Series 5 in Brazil, because it only intends to send Europeans for approval by Anatel and / or does not plan to offer support for them in the national territory.
  2. Apple is aware of the limitation, but still plans to enable support for American models in Brazil after some type of regulatory approval or even coinciding with the launch of the Series 5 generation in our country.
  3. Apple “forgot” / did not pay attention to the fact that American models for the first time are technically compatible with Brazilian 4G bands and, upon learning of this, will overturn the limitation in a future update of watchOS – who knows already in version 6.1, which entered beta today.

We will have to wait to know what will happen. But for now, our recommendation is that no one buys an Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular connectivity in the U.S. – unless you’re doing it for the type of case material (stainless steel, titanium or ceramic), and not for 4G in itself.

Update Sep 27, 2019 at 14:40

In a turnaround in the case, we found that yes, the American Apple Watches Series 5 with cellular connectivity can now be used on the Claro operator’s network. Nothing from Vivo yet, however.