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Apple Watch connectivity will cost you extra (and other fine print from Apple’s big event)

Apple Watch connectivity will cost you extra (and other fine print from Apple’s big event)
[Photo: courtesy of Apple]

When Apple holds a big event to announce new products–as it did yesterday for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K–the company tends to avoid negativity. Any downsides or trade-offs in Apple’s latest products only start trickling out after the event is over, when product pages go live and the press starts asking questions.

Here’s some of the fine print that’s emerged so far:

  • If you want cellular connectivity in the new Apple Watch Series 3, you’ll need a data plan to go with it. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all plan to charge $10 per month on top of existing wireless service, which seems a bit steep for something you might only use during workouts. (Sprint hasn’t announced its pricing yet.)
  • Even with wireless service, the Apple Watch Series 3 still needs an iPhone 6 or later to get set up, so your dream of being phone-free isn’t a reality just yet.
  • For the new Apple TV 4K, Apple scored a major deal with Hollywood studios to sell 4K HDR movies at the same price as HD, around $20 per month. Owners of HD movies will also get free upgrades to 4K HDR if available. But there is one exception: Disney hasn’t signed on to offer 4K HDR movies through iTunes yet.
  • AppleCare+ is getting more expensive, not just for Apple’s pricier new iPhones, but the entire line. Coverage for the new iPhone X will cost $199, while AppleCare+ for other iPhones will cost $149. That’s up from $129 previously.
  • Apple didn’t announce any iPad news during its press event, but it did quietly raise prices on 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with at least 256 GB of storage. They’re now $50 more expensive, likely because of rising flash storage costs.
  • Although wireless charging is a key feature on both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, Apple isn’t including a charging mat in the box. Instead, you’ll have to buy a third-party mat from vendors like Mophie and Belkin, or wait until next year when Apple starts selling its own AirPower mat.

JN