The new Apple Watch has a cellular connection that will allow it to work without an iPhone, but that freedom will come with a monthly cost.
At a Tuesday event, Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.40% unveiled its new Series 3 smartwatch with cellular connectivity, along with new iPhones and upgraded Apple TV. Unlike previous iterations of the Apple Watch, this smartwatch no longer needs to be within the approximately 330 feet Bluetooth radius of a user’s iPhone for much functionality, like receiving texts or phone calls.
But that functionality comes at a price, and not just the $399 cost for the watch itself.
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Major mobile carriers AT&T Inc. T, +1.45% T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS, -0.08% and Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, +1.06% each said Tuesday they will charge customers $10 a month on top of their usual cellphone bill for the Apple Watch’s new cellular feature. Sprint Corp. S, +3.81% did not return a request for comment.
Some mobile carriers are offering deals on the watch. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, for example, are offering members three months of connectivity free, and Verizon is also waiving its activation fee and upgrade fee.
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During the keynote presentation, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last quarter Apple Watch sales grew 50% year-over-year, and that Apple Watch overtook Rolex to become the No. 1 selling watch in the world.
The aluminum-encased Apple Watch Series 3 is $329 without the cellular feature, and $399 with cellular included. A stainless steel version of the watch with a sports band will run $599 and one with a Milanese band is $699, unless you want to spend $749 to get it in black. Apple added new ceramic cased watches, and will continue to carry Hermès watch options priced at more than $1,000.
The new Apple Watch is available for preorder on Sept. 15 and ships Sept. 22.
Apple shares fell slightly after the event, finishing the session down 0.4%, following news that sales of the much-anticipated new iPhone X won’t occur until the next fiscal year. So far this year, Apple shares are up nearly 39%, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.34% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.28% have gained close to 12%.