To help entice buyers to try out the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE service, Apple and the four major carriers in the United States are offering a three-month free trial period and no activation fee. That could save users up to $60 depending on your carrier.
But many buyers, like Macworld’s Michael Simon, are finding a surprise when they attempt to suspend the LTE feature with their carriers. It’s not as easy as with a cellular-enabled iPad.
So I marked the date on my calendar, assuming that when my free period was up, I could stop my service and reactivate it when I wanted it, like the iPad. That’s not the case. Because Apple Watch uses NumberShare on Verizon, it’s not considered a month-to-month or prepaid device, so it’s not so easy to skip a month of service. According to the Verizon representative I spoke to, I have two options:
1. Suspend my Apple Watch service for up to 90 days at a time. This will cost me $10 a month, so that’s not really an option.
2. De-activate the watch completely. That will wipe it from my account and bill. However, I will need to pay a $25 activation fee once I decide to reinstate service. That’s a recurring change. That means Verizon will essentially charge me for two and half months service every time I turn it off and on again.
That’s definitely a disappointment and is something that may turn off many potential buyers. While I’ve enjoyed the LTE service through Verizon, I feel that the $10 monthly charge for the privilege is substantial and something that may not be worth it for most users.
And Simon’s issue should definitely be a warning to anyone wants to start and stop the LTE functionality on the Apple Watch Series 3. As he points out in the article, in many cases, it would cost less to pay for the wireless connectivity full time instead and stopping and starting.