Last month, AT&T and Timex announced a running-focused smartwatch based on Qualcomm technology with a built-in 3G modem and a year of included service. After that year is up, data will cost $40 annually, AT&T announced on Monday.
That works out to $3.34 per month, or about as much as a cup of coffee in San Francisco. For runners looking for basic wireless connectivity and run tracking, the Timex Ironman One is probably worth a few bucks a month, if it’s going to be used regularly. But it also highlights how expensive the Timex Ironman One will be: After you subtract the gratis $40 year of service from its list price, it’s still a $360 smartwatch, which is more expensive than any Android Wear watch currently on the market.
Samsung is planning to release a similar smartwatch with a cellular modem, the $300 Samsung Gear S, but carrier availability and pricing information are not yet available.
[company]AT&T[/company] says that eventually, it will allow customers to add smartwatches to shared data plans. How much data does a smartwatch use? It’s hard to imagine that the email and fitness features on the Ironman One will transfer a lot of data. The $40 annual plan could end up expensive on a per-byte basis.
On the other hand, adding another device to a shared data plan usually costs $10 at the big carriers — so the $40 annual plan would still remain a better value if AT&T doesn’t introduce a new pricing tier for smartwatches.
Is $40 a fair price for a year of smartwatch connectivity? If you were hoping to pick up a [company]Timex[/company] Ironman One, you’ve got a little bit of time to think about it — the smartwatch won’t hit stores until later “this fall,” and then you should see whether you’re still using the Ironman One after its year of free service is up.