Apple Watch
The Apple Watch Series 3 is expected to arrive with Apple's eSIM instead of a physical SIM card to enable LTE features. REUTERS/Issei Kato

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that there will be LTE and non-LTE versions of the Apple Watch Series 3. Now, the same analyst says that the LTE Apple Watch might not support phone calls.

Kuo says that the LTE Apple Watch Series 3 will use an eSIM rather than a physical SIM card, as first reported by 9To5Mac. This would be Apple’s way of saving space inside the device to ensure that its size remains compact.

The problem with this is that not all carriers support Apple’s eSIM. This might mean that the LTE-capable Apple Watch might only be supported in select markets. Aside from that, Kuo also said that making phone calls with the LTE Apple Watch might not even be possible at launch.

The analyst believes that Apple is only focusing on using the LTE feature of the new Apple Watch for providing users faster data. Although users won’t be able to make phone calls, they could use FaceTime, Skype or other apps as a viable option for communicating with the device.

Users are already capable of making calls with the Apple Watch, but it will only work when the device is tethered to an iPhone. It’s expected that this feature will still remain on the LTE-capable Apple Watch Series 3 at launch.

Although that may turn off some consumers expecting a phone call feature, Kuo isn’t entirely writing off the possibility that Apple might enable the feature some time in the future. The analyst believes that Apple might want to improve the “user experience” of LTE data transmission first before enabling any phone call features. Apple might enable the phone call feature in the near future via a software update, according to AppleInsider.

Another thing that Kuo pointed out is that the new Apple Watch will come with a Qualcomm modem inside. This completely contradicts Bloomberg’s report from earlier this month claiming that Apple will be using Intel’s modems.

The analyst explained that Apple will use Qualcomm’s modem because Intel’s modem doesn’t have a smaller or lower power solution. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but both Kuo and Bloomberg might be right. Apple might use modems from the two modem suppliers for different models or different markets.

With the Apple Watch Series 3 already highly expected to come with LTE connectivity, this has also resulted to rumors that the upcoming wearable might finally support Android phones. Kuo doesn’t believe that Apple wants to make an Android app for the Apple Watch. He said that it would be difficult for Apple to create the same experience that it can offer with an Apple Watch and iPhone pairing. The Series 3 will remain an iOS-only compatible smartwatch.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is expected to be announced this September alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. Kuo previously predicted that the upcoming LTE-capable smartwatch will be available with 38mm and 42mm casing options. Details regarding pricing haven’t been revealed yet.