December 20th 2017
By Mike Flaminio
MacRumors has a rundown of costs associated with running a Series 3 Apple Watch on LTE. While the watch requires a $10 per month device fee from most providers, there are additional terms and fees because the Apple Watch is treated as a second phone line rather than add-on device. Apple's software makes the Apple Watch seem like it a data device like an iPad, but it is treated more like a second phone by the carriers. As a result, the service requires numerous taxes and fees. Also, some providers charge service fees for add/dropping service.
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.
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.