Telco plans for the Cellular Apple Watch are pathetic rent seeking garbage

The new Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE built-in is kinda cool. Leave the iPhone at home and wander around with this mini computer on ya wrist that has network ability regardless of where you are – sounds nice! To make things easy, telcos have set up a “one number” system, where your iPhone SIM and eSIM inside the Apple Watch can receive calls and send messages on the same number. No need for an extra SIM – pretty cool.

What isn’t cool is what the telcos are charging for it.

Optus want $5 a month to enable their “Optus Number Share” feature. There’s some extra data right, to justify the extra data you’ll be using thanks to the Watch having its own LTE radio? Nope. You give Optus $5/m for them to add a line in a database saying “this IMEI and this IMEI can be reached on this number” – that’s it. That’s $60 a year just for the privilege of being able to use your Apple Watch, with your existing plan’s data!

Ok, sure, there probably is some cost involved in setting up this system and then maintaining it, but, $60 a year?! Why not a simple $10 setup fee, or what makes the most sense, $5/m and chuck in 1GB of data – which I assume costs them sweet fuck all these days. At least you’re getting that 1GB for your $5, right?

Nope, they’re charging $5 a month for relatively nothing. $5 a month for the privilege of simply having your device connect to the network and sucking up data from your existing plan. What a beautiful rort this is! Telstra and Vodafone haven’t announced their plans for the Apple Watch yet, but I bet it’s the same sort of crap. Why wouldn’t you want to skim $5/m for something that costs you cents per user?

If you think $5/m is bad, spare a thought for our American buddies across the Pacific, where they’re slugged US$10 a month for the same bullshit! $120/yr – a third of what the Apple Watch itself costs! On Verizon, you have to pay that $10/m plus a $30 activation fee – what the fuck is this?! On T-Mobile, if you want LTE on your Apple Watch, it’s an extra $15 a month! Holy crap!

The telcos are absolutely taking the piss charging $60/yr for no additional gain besides connecting your Apple Watch to their network. Scumbags.

Anthony Agius

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius, who has been hanging around the tech scene in Australia like a bad smell for over a decade.

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