The Apple Watch Series 3 can now be had for just the low, low price of $25 — but that price comes with a caveat.
John Hancock, a financial services company and one of the largest life insurers in the United States, is now offering all its Vitality life insurance policyholders, including newcomers, the latest Apple Watch model for a teensy fraction of its original price — provided they use it to stay active.
Free Apple Watch Series 3 For People Who Exercise Regularly
People under the Vitality life insurance policy must exercise regularly for two years after getting the steeply discounted smartwatch to keep it at no extra cost — if they fail, they'll then have to pay it in installments. The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $299.
Users must keep exercising until they reach the required 500 "Vitality Points" per month, which will keep the device free of charge. Users who can keep accomplishing this for two years will end up paying nothing, save for the initial $25, of course.
Engadget notes that this is a particularly big bargain, especially for John Hancock customers paying for basic coverage. Previously, the life insurer offered the Apple Watch only to people with insurance policies worth $2 million or higher.
Expanding it to basic coverage customers made sense, according to Senior VP Brooks Tingle. Back in the more limited program, nearly half of everyone who got an Apple Watch managed to stay active enough to avoid having to pay for the full price, he said. After logging a 20 percent increase in activity with the program, John Hancock decided to offer the deal to all U.S. customers.
Android users aren't going to be left out, though. Instead of an Apple Watch Series 3, they can opt for a free Fitbit device instead, since Apple's smartwatches don't work with Android smartphones.
While the deal is certainly tempting, users might want to think twice before buying into it. As Engadget points out, users will be forced to share their personal health data to get a discount, even though John Hancock is presumably not tracking customers' every move.
But the company has "safeguards in place" to protect data from getting into the wrong hands, according to Tingle. "We're clear with customers that we manage their data carefully."
Aside from privacy issues, the offer also poses a risk of penalizing those who might not have enough time to go to the gym or those who don't have enough money to go to one. Perhaps then it's mainly for well-off people who want to reduce potential health problems and can pay the price if they fail to meet the requirements.