The $10/month LTE cost

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
I have AT&T but the situation seems to be the same with other US carriers.

I think the fee for the Apple Watch is excessive. I pay $10 for my iPad, and I think that is reasonable given the types of things people do with their tablets. But the same price for a watch?

Anyway, I had 2 Series 3 watches last year and discussed situation with AT&T. They tried looking at plan options for my overall service to reduce the price so I would not see any significant increase for the watches. Problem is I have an excellent grandfathered plan and changing to any current plan would cost significantly more, so that wasn't an option. The only thing they could do was to waive the activation fee and give me 3 months service for free. I think that is pretty standard.

I'm going to try with again with my Series 4 watches, but I suspect it will be the same situation. They say they never have promotions for wearables, like reducing the price or a bundle for more than one watch.

If this is exactly the same situation with other carriers, it seems like some sort of price fixing. Question is if anyone has ideas or experience on options besides just using the watch with the iPhone and avoiding the cost all together?
 
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Deguello

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
912
482
Texas
I'd be much happier if the price were about half, particularly given what I think would be typical usage relative to an iPad. That said, I just worked out this morning and was able to leave my phone at home while knowing that my daughters or my SO in the hospital could still contact me and it was nice. Really nice.
 

DDustiNN

macrumors 68010
Jan 27, 2011
2,002
879
I'd be much happier if the price were about half, particularly given what I think would be typical usage relative to an iPad. That said, I just worked out this morning and was able to leave my phone at home while knowing that my daughters or my SO in the hospital could still contact me and it was nice. Really nice.
That’s really the only thing I’m considering. I always have my phone with me everywhere I go. But pairing my watch to some wireless earbuds and streaming music while at the gym, not needing to have my heavy phone in my pocket... that’s the best scenario I’d use it in.
 
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airjay75

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2014
199
162
You’ll be looking at closer to $15 per month with taxes and fees - unlike iPad access, you have to pay all of the fees associated with an actual phone line because of the phone service on your watch. I activated my S3 las year for a few months but ultimately decided to cancel. I just got my S4 and just decided to try it out again with the cell service on it - with the addition of podcasts and Audible to the AW, I might finally find it worth it. We’ll see.
 

Deguello

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
912
482
Texas
That’s really the only thing I’m considering. I always have my phone with me everywhere I go. But pairing my watch to some wireless earbuds and streaming music while at the gym, not needing to have my heavy phone in my pocket... that’s the best scenario I’d use it in.
Agreed. And, really, that's about the only scenario that makes sense for me. But it makes so much sense it's probably enough to justify LTE for me.

I synced a playlist, paired some earbuds, left the phone at home and didn't have to worry about strapping it or having it bounce in my pocket. It was really nice for cardio. And I hated taking my phone to the gym and being paranoid that it would fall out of my pocket while I was lifting, or get stepped on, or get knocked off a machine.

I think that's going to be worth $10 plus fees a month to me.
 

KrisLord

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2008
1,552
1,093
Northumberland, UK
I’m guessing your Australia price also includes taxes?

The US ones don’t, and they often have local taxes to fund 911 services added on a per line basis rather than paying out of general taxation.

In the UK it’s £5 and that includes tax at 20%.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
I've always used Apple Music with songs stored locally. It does take storage and require pre-planning, but the playback was typically smoother without intermittent pauses. Also with the watch, using a playlist reduced having to interact with the watch while doing other things. This probably varies quite a bit depending on cellular coverage, but for those who stream Apple Music to the watch, is the result generally good?
 

supertomtom

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2007
581
533
Gold Coast, Australia
I’m guessing your Australia price also includes taxes?

The US ones don’t, and they often have local taxes to fund 911 services added on a per line basis rather than paying out of general taxation.

In the UK it’s £5 and that includes tax at 20%.
Yeah, the $5AUD/month is with tax included.


I’m loving the LTE. Went to the gym without my phone for the first time, left it at home on purpose. Was able to use my watch to stream Apple Music, track fitness, and also send the occasional SMS untethered. Loving the convenience.
 
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TScottTX

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2016
48
65
DFW TX
Lets see... With my $10 a month plan I can make and receive phone calls, make and receive text messages, receive notifications of possible important events - smoke detectors, motion events at my front door and outside cameras, calendar events, reminders, etc., open and close my garage door and check status, turn my alarm system on or off and check status, play a round of golf always knowing my position on the course, etc., etc., etc. all while leaving my iPhone at home or in the car. For me it's a no-brainer and honestly a deal at $10 a month! Don't want to spend $10 a month? - carry your iPhone around with you and get the same info via Bluetooth for "free". Would I like all this for $5 a month or for free? Sure, but I'd also like free lunches too.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
Lets see... With my $10 a month plan I can make and receive phone calls, make and receive text messages, receive notifications of possible important events - smoke detectors, motion events at my front door and outside cameras, calendar events, reminders, etc., open and close my garage door and check status, turn my alarm system on or off and check status, play a round of golf always knowing my position on the course, etc., etc., etc. all while leaving my iPhone at home or in the car. For me it's a no-brainer and honestly a deal at $10 a month! Don't want to spend $10 a month? - carry your iPhone around with you and get the same info via Bluetooth for "free". Would I like all this for $5 a month or for free? Sure, but I'd also like free lunches too.
Potential use vs actual use.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
Not potential, it's how I have been using my series 3 for the past year and how I will be using my new series 4 this year.
Then for you it's clearly worth it. My assumption is my use and I think the typical use for many/most would be less than more data intensive applications on an iPad.
 

WLS

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2008
1,237
69
I had a $10 service charge for my ipad ( 1GB). When I decided to cancel it then they became willing to cut the fee too $5.
A little negotiation with the retention dept will be often the path to a lower bill.
 

Jason Hensley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2018
822
964
Lets see... With my $10 a month plan I can make and receive phone calls, make and receive text messages, receive notifications of possible important events - smoke detectors, motion events at my front door and outside cameras, calendar events, reminders, etc., open and close my garage door and check status, turn my alarm system on or off and check status, play a round of golf always knowing my position on the course, etc., etc., etc. all while leaving my iPhone at home or in the car. For me it's a no-brainer and honestly a deal at $10 a month! Don't want to spend $10 a month? - carry your iPhone around with you and get the same info via Bluetooth for "free". Would I like all this for $5 a month or for free? Sure, but I'd also like free lunches too.
This is sound logic. Many don’t think it’s worth $10 because they always have their phones on them. If you use the watch fully, as in by itself sometimes, then it’s definitely worth the cost. I leave my phone behind all the time now that I have Podcasts on the watch.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
I had a $10 service charge for my ipad ( 1GB). When I decided to cancel it then they became willing to cut the fee too $5.
A little negotiation with the retention dept will be often the path to a lower bill.
Good point. I have in the past asked to be transferred to the "Retention" or "Loyalty" Department thinking I could get the best deals. The reps started to say they were in that department and could do no better than previous offers. But maybe they have become wise to this tactic. Possibly you have to say the magic words that you are thinking about cancelling to get transferred to the "real" retention department.
[doublepost=1537713891][/doublepost]Another point. The $10 price was set at the time of the Series 3 launch before there was any mass use. Maybe the assumption was people would become heavy users. If the typical use by the average user is much less, it would be reasonable to expect a price reduction.

Back in the early days of smartphone data plans, there were different plans ranging from 1GB to 30GB, so everyone could pay consistent with their use. I think with the common "unlimited" plans, people are generally satisfied and are willing to pay more than on a previous plan for the convenience of not having to monitor their use. But if those "unlimited" plans were to have been priced equivalent to the old 30GB plans, I think people would call that a foul. And I think that is roughly the situation with the wearable data plan cost.

I've had reps in the store and on the phone agree that the price is too high, and I don't think they're just saying that to be friendly. Reminds me of what has been done in different situations - if the system does not allow them to modify the price, then ask for a "loyalty" credit to offset the price for a year. This thread has reminded me to try that.

As far as the free lunch comment, which I realize was said only as a hyperbole, there is a difference between wanting something for free and wanting to pay what you consider reasonable. Our different use patterns define why we have different views of what is reasonable.
 
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iBought

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2010
113
29
That’s really the only thing I’m considering. I always have my phone with me everywhere I go. But pairing my watch to some wireless earbuds and streaming music while at the gym, not needing to have my heavy phone in my pocket... that’s the best scenario I’d use it in.
Its amazing. I rode 40 miles this morning with an airpod in one ear. Streamed music the whole time and stopped and bought coffee with apple pay.

Amazing experience. If you exercise a lot i think its worth it, but that said - i do think that $10 should be more like $5 and the carriers are taking advantage of us.
 
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DDustiNN

macrumors 68010
Jan 27, 2011
2,002
879
Its amazing. I rode 40 miles this morning with an airpod in one ear. Streamed music the whole time and stopped and bought coffee with apple pay.

Amazing experience. If you exercise a lot i think its worth it, but that said - i do think that $10 should be more like $5 and the carriers are taking advantage of us.
Yep agreed. I think it used to be $5 but they raised it to $10. For $5 I wouldn’t even hesitate.
 
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John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
Its amazing. I rode 40 miles this morning with an airpod in one ear. Streamed music the whole time and stopped and bought coffee with apple pay.

Amazing experience. If you exercise a lot i think its worth it, but that said - i do think that $10 should be more like $5 and the carriers are taking advantage of us.
Great feedback. I can really see the usefulness on the bike. I've started putting the iPhone in my backpack so I don't worry about it slipping out of my pocket. To answer a call - backpack nearly impossible, pocket inconvenient when riding. That's probably the best case for me. In the gym I always have the iPhone to record workout data in a spreadsheet. The only thing I use the watch for is when I'm obsessive enough to time rest periods between sets.
[doublepost=1537720116][/doublepost]
Yep agreed. I think it used to be $5 but they raised it to $10. For $5 I wouldn’t even hesitate.
At least with AT&T I don't ever remember it being $5. I got the Series 3 as soon as it came out and was watching the carrier ads. But I could be remembering wrong.
 

Carac

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2015
210
46
I have AT&T but the situation seems to be the same with other US carriers.

I think the fee for the Apple Watch is excessive. I pay $10 for my iPad, and I think that is reasonable given the types of things people do with their tablets. But the same price for a watch?

Anyway, I had 2 Series 3 watches last year and discussed situation with AT&T. They tried looking at plan options for my overall service to reduce the price so I would not see any significant increase for the watches. Problem is I have an excellent grandfathered plan and changing to any current plan would cost significantly more, so that wasn't an option. The only thing they could do was to waive the activation fee and give me 3 months service for free. I think that is pretty standard.

I'm going to try with again with my Series 4 watches, but I suspect it will be the same situation. They say they never have promotions for wearables, like reducing the price or a bundle for more than one watch.

If this is exactly the same situation with other carriers, it seems like some sort of price fixing. Question is if anyone has ideas or experience on options besides just using the watch with the iPhone and avoiding the cost all together?
I finally gave up trying to keep my grandfathered Verizon plan last year and I've never looked back. My current family plan (6 phones) is functionally identical to when we all had $100-120/line grandfathered unlimited data, voice and text but costs just over $200 a month (less than half of the monthly total trying to keep the old plan). Now you can even get 75GB before they "depriortize" your data requests, no throttling, it's just if you're on a tower that's at capacity you just have to wait a few more seconds than other people for your data to start coming at normal speed. Verizon's unlimited even comes with free tethering, which would have been an additional cost on the old plan, tablets and laptops are $10 for data, other wearables are $5, etc. I've saved $4k in the year since I switched over, it just wasn't worth it, especially now that I know nothing's changed as far as my data access and that I can add devices with barely a blip in the big scheme of things.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
228
853
I finally gave up trying to keep my grandfathered Verizon plan last year and I've never looked back. My current family plan (6 phones) is functionally identical to when we all had $100-120/line grandfathered unlimited data, voice and text but costs just over $200 a month (less than half of the monthly total trying to keep the old plan). Now you can even get 75GB before they "depriortize" your data requests, no throttling, it's just if you're on a tower that's at capacity you just have to wait a few more seconds than other people for your data to start coming at normal speed. Verizon's unlimited even comes with free tethering, which would have been an additional cost on the old plan, tablets and laptops are $10 for data, other wearables are $5, etc. I've saved $4k in the year since I switched over, it just wasn't worth it, especially now that I know nothing's changed as far as my data access and that I can add devices with barely a blip in the big scheme of things.
Sounds like you made a good move. My grandfathered plan on AT&T gives me everything - more flexible than the new plans some of which have a per device limit even when drawing on the data pool. I did a detailed feature comparison again yesterday and still made sense for me to keep my plan.
 
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