Sorry, Apple Watch Series 3 LTE users: If you want to stop and start service it’ll cost you

You’ll be paying $10 a month whether you like or not.

Apple Watch Series 3 LTE

Like everyone else who bought an Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular on launch day, I’ve been using LTE on the Verizon account for free. Apple struck a deal with all four major carriers to offer a three-month trial period for new users, and the carriers even sweetened the idea by waiving their activation fee, which can be as high as $30.


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. Because Apple Watch uses NumberShare on Verizon.


  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.


Doing the math it makes more sense just to keep it on. Let’s say I want to use it four months out of the year. If I disconnect now and reconnect in February, disconnect in April, then reconnect in July, disconnect in September and reconnect in December. Here’s how that breaks down:



When I bought my Apple Watch, I assumed I would be able to start and stop service as needed. As a companion device, there are going to be months when I won’t be using my Apple Watch’s cellular connection.


The tagline on the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular page is “Freedom calls.” As they say, freedom isn’t free. And it often comes with hidden fees.

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