Apple Watch Series 3 Costs More Than $10/Month on Most Carriers, Can't Be Reactivated Without Fees

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    When the Apple Watch Series 3 first launched, carriers in the United States and other countries where the LTE version of the device is available offered three free months of service and waived activation fees.

    That fee-free grace period is coming to an end, and customers are getting their first bills that include the $10 per month service charge.

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    If you have an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE functionality, you've probably already learned that $10 is not all it's going to cost per month. On carriers like AT&T and Verizon, there are additional service charges and fees, which means it's not $10 per month for an Apple Watch, it's more like $12-$14.

    On Verizon in California, for example, there's an additional $1.55 in fees on top of the $10 per month charge.

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    On AT&T in North Carolina, fees and surcharges add an additional $4.39 to the $10 per month charge, bringing the total to almost $15 per month for an Apple Watch. In some states, these fees on Verizon and AT&T are even higher.

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    If you're planning to avoid fees by deactivating service and activating again when it's needed, that may not be the best plan of action. As Macworld's Michael Simon points out, line activation fees that come with reactivation can be hefty.

    Though the Apple Watch Series 3 is linked to the cellular number of the iPhone on a given carrier, it requires adding an additional line to a cellular service account. When you cancel and re-add a line, there's an activation fee involved. On Verizon, for example, if you deactivate the Apple Watch Series 3 and then want to activate it again at a later date, there's a $25 charge. Suspending service doesn't work, as it requires a $10/month fee, aside from a one-time 30 day free suspension on Verizon. From Macworld:
    Like Verizon, AT&T charges $25, while Sprint charges $30. T-Mobile no longer charges activation fees, so it may be more affordable to cancel and reinstate service if you're a T-Mobile subscriber.

    On AT&T and Verizon, though, that $25 re-activation fee is the cost of two months of service, or close to it, when taxes and fees are included, meaning it's not really worthwhile to start and stop service if you're going to do it more than once or twice a year.

    Macworld was also told that if he stopped and started service he could run into problems when attempting to reactivate the watch, but it's not entirely clear why.

    With the three-month grace period, most Apple Watch owners have likely learned whether or not the $10-$15 per month fees are worth the freedom of an always-on wrist-worn cellular connection. Neither Apple nor the carriers in the United States were fully upfront about the additional service fees and taxes and the hassle involved with deactivation/reactivation, though, so there are bound to be some users who will feel tricked when the first full Series 3 bill comes in.

    Article Link: Apple Watch Series 3 Costs More Than $10/Month on Most Carriers, Can't Be Reactivated Without Fees
     
  2. BlargKing macrumors 6502

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  3. indychris macrumors 6502

    indychris

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  4. stygs macrumors newbie

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    If ever there was a case for an Apple MVNO, I'd think this is it.
     
  5. tardman91 macrumors 65816

    tardman91

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    Just another way for carriers to screw customers.
     
  6. jlseattle macrumors 6502

    jlseattle

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    There will be a point where you will be able to have any device on your wireless plan like you would your wifi unit. Right now we're in the mid-nighties as far as charging for every single different setup. Kind of like how we used to be charged by minute of talking long distance.
     
  7. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

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    So you can make test phone calls when pretending to paddle board while battling not falling over in front of millions of people watching.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Because key Apple partners need Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money!
     
  9. KazKam macrumors 6502

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    I was really exited about getting my son an AW3-LTE until I found out what the carriers were charging, or charging at all.

    It's complete and unadulterated highway robbery... it's the SAME number and the SAME data plan you're already paying for. What the hell is it costing them?!
     
  10. TheRealTVGuy macrumors 6502a

    TheRealTVGuy

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    I can’t say for sure, but I know it works great when I’m in the middle of the lake on my Jetski!
     
  11. techiegirl macrumors 6502a

    techiegirl

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    We activated for one month and decided it wasn’t worth it, so we cancelled.
     
  12. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

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    Thanks for reminding me my T-Mobile trial is over. I used the feature literally once, when I first activated it just to try it.

    The problem is the number of times where I will go somewhere without my phone is pretty close to zero. Running is about the only real use case, and I'm not going to pay $10 a month for that.
     
  13. ck2875 macrumors 6502a

    ck2875

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    LOL at the the 25$ reactivation fee, considering you're attempting to pay them more money to access data you've already paid for since it's tied to your existing phone number. At that point I would just tell them to F off and keep my money.
     
  14. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    So basically its something you use at a party to show off and then never again because its far easier to just make a call on the phone rather then talking to your wrist like some sort of spy movie.
     
  15. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

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    With the AT&T example posted, $2.89 of the total fees is nothing more than the company charging the customer what the state and feds are charging them. As a customer of Verizon, I am not opposed to paying a small fee, not to mention the state and gubmint taxes. I dislike all the extra fees that AT&T, Verizon and the like through in, as if they are thrust upon them and they have no choice.

    I am counting on my fellow watch buyers to let the carrier hear about their disdain for the fee gouging. With enough pressure, I think the big carriers will come down in price.
     
  16. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    The extra profits from all the people that have to have this watch... and will pay anyway.
     
  17. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    Its a shame Apple seems more and more profit driven as time goes on.
     
  18. cale508 macrumors 6502

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  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Everyone who thought that cellular access on their Apple Watch was going to be free, raise your hand.

    I count none. What a surprise. Maybe tethering it to your iPhone wasn't such a bad idea after all.
     
  20. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

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    Still amazes me how they pulled that off.
     
  21. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    The same kind of reasons that many people like buying Apple products. Some appreciate the new technology and others continue to yell 'get off my lawn.'
     
  22. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    Seems like an incredibly niche use.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 18, 2017 ---
    Its not really new though. You've been able to buy wristwatches with Android and a cellular modem in them off ebay for years now.
     
  23. enrincon89 macrumors regular

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    I don’t think it’s the same number.
     
  24. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    Aren’t these kind of charges pretty standard in the US? By that I mean if you add an iPad to your account, you get these type of charges?

    I’m not sure this is an issue with Watch plans, and more a symptom of the overall mobile network charging scheme that exists in the US.

    For comparison, the service is £5 including taxes in the U.K. after 6 months free. Even that is too high to be honest, it should be included in your mobile contract for free (and just use part of your data allowance)
     
  25. Auhim macrumors newbie

    Auhim

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    Real world answer: People who run long distances and don't want to carry their (increasingly larger) smartphones with them, but must have a method of communication with them for safety reasons.

    For example, I run multiple marathons a year and am training year round. I go on long runs all the time. I also live in the middle of a very large non-pedestrian-focused city with a lot of drivers who are generally oblivious to pedestrians, and have had several close calls over the years. Additionally, I'm an asthmatic and while problems are rare–there's always the threat of something bad happening. I have to have a way to call in case of an emergency. For people like me having a watch that can do emergency calls (or allow you to receive messages while you're on a 3+ hour run just in case someone else is having an emergency worth cutting your run short for) without having to carry a large device with you is very appealing.

    Edit: Clearly this isn't a need that isn't covered by a phone. It is, however, a substantial quality of life improvement for some.
     

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