By now you have probably heard of the disturbing mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. A Washington Post columnist, he was seen on video entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey but apparently never left, with the prevailing theory being that he was murdered while inside.
The Saudi Arabian government has denied killing Khashoggi, though the Turkish government claims to have evidence saying they did, in fact, murder the journalist. What, exactly, they have has not been announced, nor has any kind of proof been released to the public.
The accusations are still flying around, of course, and the investigation into the matter is ongoing.
One interesting thing to come out of it all was a theory that Khashoggi’s Apple Watch could help solve the mystery. The thought was that it recorded everything that went down in the consulate, located in Istanbul.
That would sure be something…if it actually happened
As the story goes, the people who attacked Kashoggi noticed the watch and, upon failing to guess his passcode, used his fingerprint to unlock it before deleting its files. That would not necessarily prevent information from being discovered, though, as it could have already been sent from his watch to his phone and then, to the cloud.
There are many problems with this concept, first among them that the Apple Watch does not use Apple’s Touch ID. Therefore, one would not be able to get into it with a fingerprint — unless they also had the phone the watch was paired with. They did not, as the phone was outside with his fiancee.
Now, that fact itself would not guarantee the story being completely false. However, that certainly calls its validity into question.
Other flaws may include the watch not coming with a recording feature, although there are apps that will provide one. However in fairness, it is not that unreasonable to assume a journalist would have downloaded one and then have it turned on and recording before entering the a place like the consulate.
Yet, even if he had done that, it would likely need to be manually stopped before any recording could be uploaded somewhere else. The watch also would have needed a Bluetooth connection to his phone, which was again outside with Khashoggi’s fiancee.
Given the limited range for Bluetooth to connect, it seems unlikely that connection could have been made.
But if it was an Apple Watch 3 it could have its own cellular connection
Indeed, the Apple Watch 3 is capable of having its own cellular connection with an additional network plan, but there is one problem when pointing to that as a way in which the watch could have uploaded everything on its own.
A permanent resident of the United States, it is also reasonable to believe Khashoggi had such a plan for his watch. But that would not have helped him in Turkey, since there is no roaming with a cellular Apple Watch.
In other words, even if his Apple Watch 3 had a wireless data plan, it would not have worked in the consulate. So, without an iPhone to pair to, the odds of it being able to transmit any kind of data are very, very remote.
The Apple Watch theory is unlikely, but not impossible
Despite all of that, there are certainly ways in which an Apple Watch could have provided the evidence the Turkish government is claiming to have. Maybe they hacked into his and turned it into a recording device, or perhaps Kharshoggi took every single necessary step in order to make his watch into one.
But those are a lot of ifs, and chances are better that if the Turkish government does indeed have evidence linking Saudi Arabia to Khashoggi’s disappearance and presumed murder, it did not come from his Apple Watch.
Instead, it is more plausible to believe that they had some other recording devices inside the consulate. That is something the Turkish government would understandably want to keep quiet, which is why the Apple Watch may have been presented as a red herring, so to speak.