An iPhone 5 with a $45 unlimited talk, text and data plan is being characterized as an industry game changer by Walmart and its prepaid cell phone service provider Straight Talk Wireless.
The company’s announced the new offer, with one notable catch, this week at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas and said the phones will be available in more than 2,000 stores and online beginning January 11. The deal gives customers access to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 on Straight Talk’s $45 no contract unlimited talk, text and data plan. For $60 a month, Walmart adds unlimited international calling. The company is also offering customers who purchase the phone in stores a no interest fixed-monthly payments special financing offer for only $25 a month as long as they pay with a Walmart credit card.
"We believe customers shouldn't have to choose between saving money and having the latest technology," said Seong Ohm, SVP of entertainment for Walmart U.S. "Now customers can have the coveted iPhone with unlimited talk, text and data without a contract for $70 a month thanks to our exclusive Straight Talk plan and industry first financing offer."
Some customers will undoubtedly need to finance the phones since the purchase prices isn’t being subsidized by carriers in exchange for commitment to the typical two year contract. For example, a 16GB iPhone 5 will cost $649 and a 8GB iPhone 4 costs $449. At those prices, Walmart shoppers intrigued by the low monthly rate are sure to experience some sticker shock.
Walmart contends its exclusive Straight Talk wireless no contract plan saves consumers an average of $950 a year when they switch from conventional contract plans with similar unlimited plans.
"We are thrilled to be bringing the remarkable iPhone 5 to customers looking for one of the most advanced smartphones with one of the most affordable No Contract plans ever," said F.J. Pollak, CEO and president, TracFone Wireless. "The advanced iPhone 5 with our unlimited $45 monthly plan and Walmart's $25 special financing offer is a marriage made in heaven – making it the most affordable premium smartphone offer in America. With this exclusive offer the last reason for not purchasing the No Contract Straight Talk plan is gone."
Straight Talk Wireless is a brand of TracFone Wireless, Inc., a subsidiary of America Movil S.A.B. de C.V., the leading provider of wireless services in Latin America with roughly 256 million subscribers worldwide.