The Apple Watch uses an iPhone for network connectivity (WiFi) and GPS, and reportedly will have some basic capabilities when you don't have an iPhone nearby. But, what if you don't have and don't plan on getting an iPhone? Can you get internet from any WiFi source? Or from a non-apple Bluetooth tether?

It looks like an interesting product, but I have no interest in getting an iPhone and am concerned that the Apple Watch might be tied so closely to the Apple eco-system that it isn't worthwhile to get.

(Also, looks like somebody needs to create a new "Watch" tag?)

  • Now that the Apple Watch has been released, this question can be answered. And the answer is "You cannot use the Apple Watch without an iPhone, at all. You cannot activate the watch without an iPhone. If you activate the watch with an iPhone but then no longer have the iPhone, you can receive messages and use Siri May 11 '15 at 21:13

It's hard to say, considering we don't have access to any material on it other than the website and the keynote. It's likely you've already reviewed all public material on the device.

To quote the bottom of the WATCH page, emphasis added:

Features are subject to change and may not be available in all regions or all languages. Requires iPhone 5 or later.

I bet the watch can't even be activated without an iPhone. Due to power requirements of Wifi, I doubt the device will carry an 802.11 radio, preferring to get it's data through the phone.

(This answer is entirely speculation and may be invalidated as we learn more about the device.)


The Apple Watch is meant to be connected to an iPhone, but it also does some things stand-alone based on what is known so far:

  • track activity and fitness,

  • make payments using Apple Pay,

  • and play music that's been downloaded to the watch.

Yes, the Apple Watch will sync playlists, although how much dedicated storage it'll have isn't known.

So if you want it for the features above then yes.

If you do not plan to get a iPhone ever, then NO.

  • 1
    I'm skeptical of claims that it can use Apple Pay without a connection to the phone, because as far as I know, the phone won't transmit information required to create the one-time payment tokens. Is there a source for that?
    – wjl
    Sep 12 '14 at 1:31

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