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Apple's seventh-generation smartwatch, with optional cellular connectivity, released October 15, 2021.

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Possible to swap LTE antenna from US watch to support UK network?

I have a 45mm Cellular Series 7 watch purchased in the US. It will not connect to my home UK cellular network because the LTE frequencies used in the US are different to those in rest of world.

The US model number is A2477

The Europe model number is A2478

I’m trying to discover what parts differ between these two models and whether it would be feasible to swap the parts (antenna I guess?) to get my watch to use my home cellular network.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?

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Your issue is the modem within the SIP unit. Sadly, it’s not replaceable.

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I thought we solved this problem with smartphones years ago when T-Mo introduced the EIP and we could buy models which are made to work on all carriers easily all of a sudden... Why does the watch have the same issue I had with my Euro V3i I imported to the US in middle school? Our 2G bands worked, but not the 3G bands, as the phone used European 3G. I only had it for Kick (from Liar on the KPM Music Pop, Punk and Emo album since the US versions blocked MP3 ringtones to sell them through carriers). It also didn't have "iTunes" like the US variant someone had in drama class, thankfully.

Apple really needs to make it so you can get a UK version with ALL of the global bands and use it anywhere... I've had LOCKED and UNLOCKED devices on and off over the years before I was 18, and I was always happier with my unlocked phones (even the Euro V3i!) -- now I only buy unlocked. Have country specific models, but have the "global" band set on all of the country specific models. I do not have an issue with the chip variations companies like Samsung do (Ex: "global" EU models have Exynos, my US A42 5G has a Qualcomm processor) but this shouldn't remain an issue!

If I ever bought an iPhone, I would not buy an Apple Watch because of this issue, or I'd get the non-cellular variant and pair it with an unlocked iPhone. Make it globally universal first.


@nick - A phone and a watch are very different! There is just not enough space within the watch to have two or even three modem circuits.

Cellar networks in some ways are like how train rails or power grids became established. It all comes down to some bonehead wanting to be different! In the case of Rail to fear of invasion, Power it a bit more complex as it was ego for the voltage and then it was control! Today its the risks of disruption as our grids are now so large it doesn't take much to bring one down (at least the fear of it). Here's some history on what happened in the past The Great Northeast Blackout


@danj It just comes off as short slighted to me, since we found a way to sell phones unlocked with really solid global support even when imported. People are going to import these or buy them in another country and find out the hard way like the OP had to.

I mean I get it to a point -- Verizon has to be weird or get into a !#^&^$^ contest and be as nonstandard as possible so you have to use their customized version of the device for a good experience. Most carriers use the same bands as everyone else, plus maybe a few unique ones (*ahem* Verizon 5G UW) but it generally isn't a severe issue.

That said, before the merger Sprint devices were always either GSM hard locked or they use such weird bands nothing else uses it. The merger buried the last of the problem children devices. I've always considered Sprint phones Sprint because of how weird they tend to be. AT&T/T-Mo locked phones tend to be similar outside of the subsidy lock. Verizon phones need to sometimes be checked but 99% of the time no big deal. Sprint? Ugh, you're finished especially with pre-2015 hard locked GSM radios.

That said, the waste the merger made with all of the EOL phones T-Mo wants nothing to do with (and I don't blame them with how badly custom some are) with all of these nonstandard phones being taken out back to die is not going to be insignificant from a waste perspective.


@nick - Bands is one factor, the dialog over that channel is like language! Of course you understand もちろんあなたは理解します or Natürlich verstehst du.

Going back to power here in the states we had a war between DC and AC as another example.

It will take years before there is consensus! Just look as how many speak different languages, signaling is no different.


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Graeme Elliott zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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