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Can You Put an Apple Watch on Prepaid?

As an Apple Watch owner, I was frustrated when I found out that I couldn’t use it on a prepaid plan. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share what I found out and the solutions I discovered to make sure that I can use my Apple Watch on a prepaid plan. In this blog post, I will be discussing the different ways you can put an Apple Watch on prepaid and the pros and cons of each solution. I hope that this information will help other Apple Watch owners who have the same issue.

To put it briefly, you can’t get a standalone prepaid plan for an Apple Watch because mobile services usually don’t support watches. You can, however, add your Apple Watch to the current plan on your iPhone.

Steps to Set Up Cellular on an Apple Watch
1. Make sure to purchase a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch model.
2. Check the compatible carriers and countries for your Apple Watch.
3. If using a corporate plan, contact your carrier or employer for further instructions.
4. Coordinate with your service provider to see if plan upgrades or additional fees are required.

What Are the Requirements and Limitations?

If you’re planning on adding an Apple Watch to your current prepaid or postpaid plan, here’s a list of compatible models and carriers that you should know.

Compatible Models

These are the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch models available:

  • Series 3
  • Series 4
  • Series 5
  • SE
  • Series 6
  • Series 7

The company, however, has stopped producing cellular versions of the Apple Watch Series 3 since 2020. This is why it may be necessary to specify that you want a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch when making a purchase.

Supported Carriers

Depending on the location and Apple Watch model, users have different options for carrier service providers.

That said, you may have to coordinate with your carrier if your current plan supports Apple Watches. They’d also be the proper authority to ask about possible plan upgrades and related fees if you want to add an Apple Watch to your plan.

Supported Countries

Not all regions can enjoy some of the watchOS features. Before purchasing, you may verify with Apple’s feature availability page to see if it’s available in your country or language.

How to Add Your Apple Watch to Your Current Plan

Once you’ve cleared the model compatibility, eligible plans, and carriers mentioned above, check for the latest software updates. Make sure that your iPhone’s carrier settings are updated as well.

For corporate plans, contact your carrier or employer. This is to ensure that everything works smoothly when setting up the cellular plan on your Apple Watch.

To set up cellular service on an Apple Watch, simply follow these steps:

  1. Open Apple Watch on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Cellular under the My Watch tab.
  3. Select Set Up Cellular.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions, and coordinate with your service provider if needed.

The Family Setup

The Family Setup is an innovation of the Apple company where a family member can use an Apple Watch even if they don’t have their own iPhone. However, it requires a companion iPhone where you can manage their downloads and other watch functions.

Although a prepaid or postpaid plan isn’t necessary to use the Family Setup, it may be required to access some apps or features.

Family Setup Requirements and Specifications

The paired watch and the companion iPhone can send messages back and forth, share locations, and make calls. This is ideal for parents who want to monitor their kids when they’re away without the need for a phone. 

Here are the specifications for the Family Setup:

  • Apple Watch must be a Series 4 or later model (watchOS 7 or newer version)
  • The companion phone must be an iPhone 6 or later model (iOS 14 or newer version)

How to Configure Family Setup

Read more: Can you use Apple Watch on Google Fi?

When using a pre-loved Apple Watch, you’ll need to unpair and reset it first. Then, you may proceed with the configuration.

Here’s the procedure for setting up a family member’s watch with its companion iPhone:

  1. Have the child or family member put on the Apple Watch and turn it on.
  2. Hold the watch and the phone close until the phone detects it. You’ll get a prompt to set up the Apple Watch using the companion iPhone.
  3. If the message doesn’t appear, open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to All Watches, and select Pair New Watch.
  4. Select Set Up for a Family Member.
  5. Tap Continue.
  6. Center the watch on the iPhone’s camera when instructed to.
  7. You will be notified if the devices are successfully paired.
  8. Select Agree if you find everything in order on the Terms and Conditions.
  9. Set a passcode of your choice.
  10. Pick a family member to assign to the Apple Watch. Add New Family Member if necessary. 
  11. Provide the Apple ID and other data when asked.
  12. Tap Next.

Alternatively, you can pair the family member’s Apple Watch and your iPhone by choosing to Pair Apple Watch Manually, and following the on-screen instructions that follow.

If you’re having issues with Family Setup, contact Apple Support.


Read more: Do you need a screen protector for Apple Watch?

So, can you put an Apple Watch on prepaid? With Family Setup, yes, you can. You may even choose a different carrier for the watch. Otherwise, you can add your Apple Watch to your current plan for an additional cost, depending on your service provider.

So, when spending your hard-earned money, especially on gadgets and cellular plans, it’s best to get a roundup of the requirements and conditions. Make sure that everything is compatible and will work smoothly together.