iPhones are at the top of the wish list for many people every Black Friday, and retailers battle each other with all sorts of interesting deals on Apple’s flagship product. This year, several retailers have advertised iPhone deals that covered the latest iPhone models, with Walmart being one of the companies that proposed a few impressive discounts on 2018 and 2017 iPhones. But shoppers who came in early to take advantage of the deals quickly discovered that not all stores stocked enough devices to meet demand.
These are the various iPhone deals Walmart advertised in the Black Friday 2018 flyer:
- $400 Walmart Gift card iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon device plans
- $300 Walmart Gift card iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon device plans
- $299 32GB iPhone 6S Plus on Straight Talk (save $100)
- $99 32GB iPhone 6 on Straight Talk (save $50)
- $79 iPhone SE on Walmart Family Mobile (save $60)
As you can see, the list includes discounts on all the three iPhones Apple launched in September, including the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR, but also plenty of older devices, including the iPhone 8 and first-gen iPhone X handset. Even though some of these iPhone deals require a device payment contract with a top carrier, they’re still exciting, especially to buyers planning to buy new phones with those carriers via device payment plans.
Walmart, however, did not have enough iPhone stock in several locations, and Business Insider was the first to notice complaints on social media from shoppers who were not able to score their desired iPhone deal in Walmart stores.
One of the problems seems to be the lack of information, as customers had no way of knowing which Walmart locations would stock certain iPhone models:
@Walmart how do I find out what walmarts have iphone XR in stock? Just went to a walmart and they weren't even carrying them.
— Brian (@Big_Problems_) November 23, 2018
Wow that’s a fail. @Walmart big ads for iPhone X and XR and XS deals… in the store I went to didn’t have any. Been looking for days online, because it is an in-store only deal you can’t figure out who has phones in stock.
— Davina Brewer @3hats (@3HatsComm) November 22, 2018
And there were cases where Walmart staff seemed unable to help:
What a disappointing @Walmart Black Friday .. Made it all the to Walmart ..asked almost 10 staff including the store manager about AT&T iPhone deal ..no one has any clues .. After struggling making way to Electronic department they say NO AT&T iPhone at that location…. pic.twitter.com/actKtso4DZ
— AVAY (@AVAYKTM) November 23, 2018
Others complained that there wasn’t enough stock per store:
Went to @Walmart tonight to take advantage of their $300 gift card promotion with the purchase of an iPhone Xr or Xs. The first two people in line got the only two iPhone Xrs in stock. I was the FOURTH person in line. They did not have the iPhone Xs at all. #baitandswitch
— 🇺🇸bûr'nəm-ĭsh🏳️🌈 (@burnhamish) November 23, 2018
@walmart I have just had my worst customer experience ever. I come to your store on a holiday for an advertised Iphone special, which was advertised (no mention of limited quantities). The East Windsor, CT Walmart has just 5 total iPhones combined of all the current models, 5!
— Tom Tyburski (@Recguy14) November 22, 2018
@Walmart in queue for 2 hours for iPhone 8. You should give tokens which can be considered for priority doorbuster queue next year. This will ensure that toil of customers is paid next Thanksgiving and customer engagement is intact for a year. #Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/PkemESjOGH
— Prateek K. Sharma (@prateekinc24) November 22, 2018
Come Cyber Monday, Walmart will have only two deals for iPhone buyers, both covering last year’s iPhone 8 phones, as follows:
- $599.99 Straight Talk Apple iPhone 8 Plus (save $99.01)
- $499.99 Straight Talk Apple iPhone 8 (save $99.01)
If you want to buy a discounted unlocked new iPhone, eBay might the place to go. Also, check out all the other iPhone promotions announced for Black Friday at this link.