If you’ve been following the news off late, the story around Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing in Istanbul has generated a lot of buzz. The latest development in the story comes from Turkish newspaper Sabah which reported that Khashoggi turned on the voice recording feature on his Apple Watch before he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The report (via CNN) further claims that audio clips of his “interrogation, torture and killing were recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud.” Now, a photo of Khashoggi from May this year, when he was speaking at the Al Sharq Forum, clearly shows him wearing an Apple Watch. Further, the photo shows a red mark on the device, meaning it’s a third-gen model with LTE data connection. But then there is an interesting twist in the tale.
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According to details mentioned on Apple website, Apple Watch in Turkey does not support cellular connection. This is because the operators don’t support eSIM or the network bands that Apple Watch runs on. Also, one of the pages say that it “isn’t possible for Apple Watch to roam outside a user’s carrier network coverage area.” CNN further carried out tests to confirm that if a user with data plan from another country uses Apple Watch in Turkey, it will not work.
Unlike iPhones that support all global cellular bands, Apple Watch model is only compatible with select bands. However, if an Apple Watch is connected to an iPhone using previously joined Wi-Fi or using Bluetooth, “all the features of your Apple Watch, even if cellular isn’t available,” can use used, Apple website states. One of these features include third-party apps that can record audio on Apple Watch.
Theoretically, even without a data connection, if Khashoggi was wearing his Apple Watch, he could have been able to transmit audio to his iPhone using Bluetooth. However, technology and security experts say that due to short range of transmission, it is impossible to transmit audio from his Apple Watch to iPhone inside the Saudi consulate to his fiancée who was sitting outside.