smartwatch preorder Samsung Launching 3G 4G Version Gear S2 Classic US Verizon AT&T

This week both AT&T and Verizon have begun take preorders for a 3G/4G version of the Samsung Gear S2 Classic (lacking LTE, it is compatible with AT&T’s HSPA+ “4G” network). Up until now, if you wanted the Gear S2 with wireless capability the only option was the very smartwatch-looking original variant of the wearable. The Classic version, by contrast, takes its aesthetic cues from traditional wrist wear. The wireless version of the device will launch on March 11th. For the pleasure of purchasing the AT&T version, you will need to make 20 monthly payments of $17.50. This equates to $350, which is exactly the list price for the non-3G version of the smartwatch. AT&T users also be able to make use of the carrier’s NumberSync technology that allows you to receive calls to your main phone number on other devices. Unfortunately you still need a wireless plan on the watch for NumberSync to work. On the Verizon side, you can either purchase the 3G Gear S2 for $400 or sign a 2 year contract and pay $350. While the cost of the smartwatch isn’t significantly higher (if at all) than the non-3G version, the additional monthly wireless costs will add up quickly!  

Despite the ability to operate without a cellphone being one of the top requested features for smartwatches, there are very few models of wearables with cellular connectivity. One has to believe this is due to lack of sales. I would be curious what about the current implementation of cellular smartwatches is preventing this very vocal group from buying devices such as the 3G Samsung Gear S2 in droves. I can understand that battery life and cost could be the issue, but I still would expect the cellular versions to perform stronger than they do. Maybe the issue comes down to the complexity of having a separate phone number, wireless contract, and services plan. It will be interesting to see if tech such as AT&T’s NumberSync helps drive sales.