Verizon's New Smart Watch
On February 8th, Verizon moved to introduce its new—and first—smart watch, the Wear24. The Wear24 is one of the first Android Wear 2.0 devices. Its standout feature is that it offers LTE connectivity, and is capable of making and receiving calls and texts without being paired to a nearby smartphone. (You still need to have a phone on Verizon's network, though.)
Like the LG Watch Sport—another Wear 2.0 device, developed by LG in partnership with Google—the Wear24 offers Android Pay support. Unlike the Watch Sport, Wear24 lacks advanced fitness tracking features such as GPS. This allows Verizon to offer the smart watch for a lower price point than the LG Watch Sport, while still capturing much of the same functionality.
The launch of the Wear24 is interesting, not just in terms of its competitiveness relative to Watch Sport but also in terms of Verizon's strategy with the device. The telco is using both LTE-enabled smart watches to sell extra wearable lines to Verizon plan-holders, as well as to promote its new Single Device Plan which offers 1GB of data plus unlimited talk and text. It's worth noting that the Single Device Plan also covers tablets and hotspots, other categories where Verizon's offers its own branded products.
As LTE-enabled smart watches continue to come into their own, it's likely that we will start to see more and more mobile plans targeting them. Not just plan sharing and new lines, which Verizon rival AT&T also offers, but also increasingly standalone plans. Perhaps, even, ones that will eventually allow smart watches to completely replace smartphones.
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