Walmart and Straight Talk Wireless will soon be carrying the iPhone 5 starting January 11. It will only be offered at its full, contract-free price, however, Straight Talk is offering an unlimited talk, text, and data plan for $45 per month, significantly cheaper than the plans available from the major US carriers.
In addition to Straight Talk’s plan, Walmart will be offering customers with a Walmart Credit Card a financing plan that will allow customers to pay $25 per month to avoid the large up front cost. According to a statement Walmart representative, the total cost of the plan will be lower than most plans from one of the major national carriers:
“We believe customers shouldn’t have to choose between saving money and having the latest technology,” said Seong Ohm, senior vice president 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.”
This is just the latest in the expansion of the iPhone to a variety of US carriers. While carriers like Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile use the networks of the major carriers, they are able to offer customers lower prices on plans while usually charging full price for the handset. The Straight Talk/Walmart deal is unique in offering customers the ability to pay for the cost of the iPhone over time without requiring a contract. Straight Talk Wireless uses AT&T’s network, and at this time it isn’t clear whether or not customers on this plan will be able to access AT&T’s LTE network.