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Apple Watch Series 3 LTE doesn’t work, and Apple just admitted it

Updated Sep 20th, 2017 9:49AM EDT
apple watch lte issues

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Reviews of Apple’s new LTE-enabled Apple Watch finally hit the web this morning, three days before the official product launch, and there seems to be something of a theme amongst them. If you hadn’t noticed, the new wearable’s signature feature seems to be half-baked at best, with several reviews calling out the spotty LTE connectivity and the gadget’s habit of trying to connect to unauthorized Wi-Fi networks. Now, in a rather unprecedented move, Apple is admitting that the feature isn’t working correctly, and probably won’t when the official launch hits.

As just about every new Watch review reveals, the LTE capability of the wearable works fine… when it works. However, the watch doesn’t handoff its data connection from Wi-Fi to cellular very well, and tries to latch on to other Wi-Fi networks even if they are unauthorized and have zero connectivity.

““We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular,” Apple said in a statement. “We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”

That’s an incredibly vague and unhelpful statement, especially when you consider that the Watch is just days away from release. There’s no details about when this “future” update will hit, but given that Apple isn’t falling all over itself to promise that it’ll be released before the new wearable hits stores, it’s probably safe to assume that it won’t. That’s really, really not good.

Aside from a slight bump in its processor, the new Apple Watch is really riding on a single feature to make it appealing to those considering an upgrade, and that feature is LTE. The company has already rolled out a massive marketing campaign teasing the ability to break free from your phone while keeping your music and important notifications on your wrist, but if the software can’t keep that promise on launch day, Apple is going to have a serious problem on its hands.