Apropos of the recent news that the Apple Watch ECG feature is limited by region where the device was originally sold (that you can’t circumvent via a regional setting in software), I thought it’d be interesting to put together a list of other features limited to region that aren’t necessarily tied to being an altogether different models, but via software.
Apple has been recording original country of purchase long before ACL granted us at least two years of warranty to devices sold in Australia, but what other features have we been missing out on?
- Apple Watch Series 4 - ECG feature limited to the US (for now)
- iPhone 7, 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 - Suica contactless payments when purchased in Japan (and as of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or later, or Apple Watch Series 3 or later, can now be added to any device?)
- all iPhones since the 3GS in 2009 - compulsory shutter sound every time you take a photo in Japan and South Korea
- all iPhones, iPads, and iPods since about 2009 - EU volume limit, although interestingly, I don’t believe this is a thing for devices without a headphone jack - possibly due to not being able to reliably limit volume output via Bluetooth?
I considered adding the iPhone XS/XS Max’s distinction of having two physical SIM card slots if you buy one from China, but seeing as that’s a physical difference (and probably a different SKU), I’m not including it.
Have I missed any region-locked features?