Electronics retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and others are about to engage in a fierce Black Friday and holiday shopping price war. The fight is for market share rather than profits at a time of the year when several highly anticipated electronic devices are launched, including the new iPad models, or the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The Wall Street Journal has spoken to Best Buy and Walmart execs, who confirmed that the holiday shopping season is of utmost importance for them, as electronics are seen as the main attraction for potential customers. More →
You may want to think twice before switching to Walmart’s Straight Talk for unlimited iPhone 5 service [updated]
Earlier this month, Walmart (WMT) announced the availability of iPhone 5 on its Straight Talk Wireless service. The news was huge for consumers who are interested in Apple’s (AAPL) latest smartphone but are not willing to sign a lengthy and expensive two-year service agreement. Straight Talk’s no-contract plan offers unlimited voice, text and data for a mere $45 a month. Like many other “unlimited” services, however, Straight Talk has some restrictions. More →
Walmart (WMT) announced this week that beginning January 11th, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is available alongside $45-per-month unlimited service from Straight Talk Wireless. Two purchasing options are available to Straight Talk subscribers and neither involves signing a service contract of any kind. The iPhone 5 can either be purchased outright for $649 (16GB) or Walmart credit card holders can finance the handset for just $25 per month. Straight Talk’s $45 monthly plan requires no contract and includes unlimited calling, messaging and data. Unlimited international calling to select destinations can be added for an additional $15 per month. Walmart’s full press release follows below. More →
Walmart has evidently dropped its prices on the AT&T iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in select retail stores, according to Cult Of Mac. Without rhyme or reason, the price of the 8GB iPhone 4 on AT&T has dropped from $88 to $34, and the 16GB iPhone 4S is now being offered for only $114, down from the original list price of $188. The new prices apply to any AT&T customers, whether they are new activations or upgrades. Unfortunately, pricing on Verizon and Sprint iPhone models has not been lowered. Walmart previously reduced the price of the iPhone 4 one month before the iPhone 4S was announced in October, and that was the last major price drop we saw. Reports have surfaced that the next-generation iPhone could be announced in June, though our sources have indicated otherwise.
UPDATE: Walmart confirmed to 9to5Mac that the retail chain “experienced a pricing error in limited stores” yesterday and prices have now returned to their original amounts. More →
Anxious Apple fans who weren’t quick enough to place a pre-order before Apple sold out of pre-sales iPad inventory may end up getting their hands on the company’s highly anticipated new tablet well before their fellow buyers. Walmart on Thursday announced that while Apple Stores won’t open until 8:00 a.m. local time to hawk what little launch-day inventory they manage to obtain, Walmart stores across the country will begin selling new iPads eight hours earlier at 12:01 a.m. Stock is likely to be extremely limited if history has taught us anything, but heading over to your local Walmart at midnight is definitely better than the alternative. In an email to BGR, Walmart only mentioned having stock of Apple’s Wi-Fi-only iPad models, which start at $499.
UPDATE: Walmart responded to our request for clarification, but wouldn’t state whether or not the retailer will carry iPad Wi-Fi + 4G inventory at launch. “Specific model availability varies by store,” Walmart spokeswoman Sarah Spencer told BGR via email. “There will be limited quantities available per store.”
T-Mobile and Walmart announced on Tuesday that the Walmart Family Mobile plan now offers unlimited talk, text and web for $45 per month. Additional lines cost just $35 per month. Until Tuesday, Walmart’s plan did not offer unlimited web access, but there’s a big catch: the unlimited data doesn’t always provide 3G data speeds. Instead, those who sign up before March 16th will be able to consume up to 5GB of data at 3G speeds. After March 31st, however, new customers will only be able to surf at 3G speeds for the first 250MB. Customers interested in purchasing the plan can do so in any nationwide Walmart store or by visiting Walmart.com. T-Mobile and Walmart said the decision to add unlimited data was because 44% of first-time smartphone buyers so far this year have said the high cost of data has been No.1 reason they delayed buying a smartphone.
Nokia’s first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in the United States is already available for free on contract. Nokia and T-Mobile unveiled the Nokia Lumia 710 last month and confirmed that while the handset is certainly not a flagship device, it will play an important role for Nokia as it re-enters the U.S. market. The 710 can’t hold a candle to the Lumia 900 Nokia and AT&T will be launching in March, but at $50, the Lumia 710 is an excellent entry-level smartphone. And at $0 on contract, the price Walmart is currently asking from new customers, the 710 is an unbelievable value. BGR reviewed the Lumia 710 earlier this month and we thought the phone could indeed be a great tool for Nokia and T-Mobile as they tries to convert feature phone users into smartphone customers. More →
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has been a big seller for the online retailer so far, maintaining the top spot on the Amazon.com best-sellers list for eight weeks running. Despite the slate’s already low price tag, at least two retailers are offering deep discounts on the new tablet at a number of physical locations. Both Walmart and Target have been selling the Kindle Fire for just $123 over the holiday weekend, and some stores may have extended the sale pricing into Monday. Several forum users on Slickdeals also say they have been able to get their local Best Buy and Staples retailer stores to match the sale pricing. The Kindle Fire sale has not been advertised, however, so some retailers will not match the special offer.
UPDATE: Several readers have contacted us claiming the $123 pricing is fake. BGR has not yet been able to confirm these claims. More →
Brick and mortar shopaholics have so few places to turn for an adrenaline rush these days thanks to the advent of online shopping, but Black Friday always promises to be a battle that tests even the most seasoned shopper’s will. Anxious consumers line up early outside their retailers of choice and prepare to push, shove, crawl and even trample their way to some of the deepest discounts of the year. It’s no holds barred and things are bound to get dirty, but those who plan to work off their Thanksgiving feasts by throwing elbows and sprinting from store to store had better get their game faces on and go in prepared. Following the break, we lay out all the top tech retailers in the country and link you to the tools you need to map out your plan of attack. Good luck, be safe, and Godspeed.
Walmart has agreed to pay $27.5 million in damages to more than 25 million Netflix customers who subscribed to the service between May 19th, 2005 and September 2nd, 2011, as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit. Litigation was levied against the nationwide retailer after Walmart ditched efforts to run a DVD-by-mail business that would compete directly with Netflix. Reportedly, Walmart agreed to bail on its plans provided that Netflix pointed its customers to Walmart to purchase DVDs. Walmart has not admitted any wrongdoing and Netflix plans to continue fighting the charges during a January 23rd trial. While a tentative approval of the agreement was already granted by a judge in September, the final ruling will come during a court appearance scheduled for March 14th. Netflix members will receive payment in Walmart gift cards and cash. As MercuryNews points out, $6.9 million, or 25%, may be paid to Netflix’s lawyers while another $1.7 million will be paid out to cover legal fees. In that case, 25 million Netflix customers would have to divvy up the remaining $19 million, which means members would receive less than $1 each in damages on average. More →
T-Mobile announced on Wednesday that it will offer the affordable Samsung Exhibit II 4G Android smartphone beginning on November 2nd, following an initial release in Walmart stores on October 27th. The Exhibit II 4G runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is equipped with a 1GHz processor, a 3.7-inch display, a 3-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video chat and support for T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network. In addition, T-Mobile said the phone is capable of sharing its HSPA+ connection with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices using its Wi-Fi sharing feature. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile.
T-Mobile announced on Monday that it has teamed up with Walmart to offer an exclusive $30 monthly prepaid plan that provides unlimited web and text. The new plan will be available online and in more than 2,200 Walmart stores across the United States. “T-Mobile is thrilled to offer this exclusive, affordable service plan, designed specifically with heavy text and data users in mind, to meet the demand for prepaid, which is expected to double by 2015,” said Amy McCune, vice president of national retail, T-Mobile USA. The plan will come with 100 minutes and additional talk time will cost $0.10 per minute. By October 15th, T-Mobile will offer a total of six prepaid handsets, including one with “4G” support. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile USA. More →
Research In Motion’s retail partners have begun slashing prices on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an effort to bolster unimpressive sales. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company’s second-quarter earnings call that price drops were imminent after the company reported just 200,000 units shipped into channels during the tablet’s first full quarter of availability. BGR reported reported earlier this month that Rogers employees were able to purchase the PlayBook starting at $250, and now the general public can finally get in on the action. Read on for more.
Updated with a statement from RIM below. More →