My 80 y.o. mother will not use a smartphone, however, I would like to give her a cellular (T-mobile service) Apple Watch, because it sports the fall sensor, that automatically calls EMS / designated contact.

Although could configure the Apple Watch with an un-simmed iPhone: Is it possible to provision an A-Watch so that it has its own phone number and not share it with an iPhone? She has a flip-phone (Tracphone) that she is comfortable with and I am certain she will switch to any smartphone.

1 Answer 1


My suggestion: Buy a cheap refurbished iPhone, bond the watch to it, then put the phone in a drawer. The LTE Apple Watch doesn’t need the iPhone to be on or nearby if it’s a Series 4 or later. It is NOT possible to set up an Apple Watch on a number that s completely separate from its iPhone bond mate.

BTW, she can make calls from the Apple Watch without the iPhone involved, but it has to be bonded to an iPhone.

I’m betting you know somebody who has an iPhone 6/7 with a shattered screen or bad battery.

  • Would an iphone 5 do the job?
    – gatorback
    Mar 24, 2019 at 4:50
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    @gatorback You'll need at least an iPhone 6 or later for cellular Apple Watch to work.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Mar 24, 2019 at 6:45
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    And if you’re wondering whether it’s worth it...my Watch has been partially responsible for saving my life twice...called EMT after a stroke. If you love someone, you’ll make sure they’re wearing a properly configured Apple Watch. ---moved here because ankiiiiiiii complained... Mar 25, 2019 at 19:32
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    BTW, I was 45 and in the best shape of my life when I had a stroke at home and was unable to do anything other than lie on the stairs, halfway up, unable to get my legs to function, until my best friend came over with the EMT's and they took me out on a stretcher. It wasn't even a contingency I had planned for. I was diagnosed with "moya moya" disease. You just don't know when you would need something like fall detection. To misquote Beyonce and Sting, If you love 'em, then you better put a Watch on it. Mar 25, 2019 at 19:41

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