Have you noticed that iPhone XS and iPhone XR have proper tech spec pages and Apple Watch Series 4 does not? There are lots of pretty pictures though. Apple is not hiding anything but there are some unflattering comparisons: Apple Watch Series 4 does not have Express Cards with power reserve. Why not? The simple answer: A12 Bionic powered NFC. Apple Watch 4 doesn’t have it.
A12 Bionic looks amazing and I really look forward to testing Apple Pay Suica Express Card with power reserve performance on iPhone XS. Apple Watch 4 looks amazing too but there was no way the stellar Apple Chip design team could squeeze the A12 Secure Enclave power reserve features into the Apple Watch S-Series constraints. At least not yet.
Express Cards with power reserve and bulletproofed Apple Pay Suica would be lovely to have on Apple Watch but it is a very different device than iPhone with a very different battery use profile. A dead battery ‘call security so I can get back into the college dorm’ scenario is less likely with Student ID Cards on Apple Watch than it is with iPhone. A dead iPhone battery is the bigger concern. It’s a good reason for iPhone getting Express Cards with power reserve first.
‘The ID card works without the power on’ is a great sales pitch for iPhone XS even though Express Cards are just so much more natural on Apple Watch. I wonder how many college kids will use it to get mom and dad to pop for both devices?