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Wal-Mart To Launch Unlimited Wireless Family Plan

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the pick-up-some-trash-bags-and-some-internets-on-the-way-home dept.

Cellphones 278

adeelarshad82 writes "Wal-Mart has announced that it will sell a post-paid wireless service powered by T-Mobile, which will be targeted at families. Users who sign up for Wal-Mart Family Mobile service will not have to sign a contract. The first line will cost $45 per month, and each additional line will cost $25 per month. Each line will have unlimited talk and text, so overage charges will not be an issue. For data access, each phone will come pre-loaded with a 100MB card known as a WebPak, which is shared among all lines on an account. Data does not expire, and refill cards can be purchased in Wal-Mart stores or online. The WebPak can also be used to make international calls at 5 cents per minute to any landline number in about a dozen countries."

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1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567178)

nig nig nig

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567332)

Sry to hijack (?) and okay I know it sounds gross.. but hear me out first..im 15 btw.

so my teacher let me sit at her desk cause she's cool like that and i raised my hand first. im on my period (sry TMI i know) and i have a heavy flow. i could feel the blood coming out and i didnt get a chance to change my tampon that day. so i pretended to drop my pencil and i went under the desk and i slipped on a tampon from my purse. i believe in female rights and i support breast feeding in public, etc.. so i dont see a problem with this, as long as no one else sees anything. but as i was taking out the used tampon the guy that i kinda like (who im also friends with) came over to get a sheet of looseleaf and he saw everything. i mean i shaved and everything but he saw blood running down my leg and it smelled fishy. and he told EVERYONE and he wont talk to me and people are saying that im grimy, a whore, unclassy, white trash, etc. and i dont know what to do, advice?

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567474)

Date a vampire.

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567734)

Accept the fact that they're right, whore.

Families? (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | about 4 years ago | (#33567188)

I don't know why, but this "Family" thing in the name of the service makes me think of censorship.

On-line games will be certified to be non-violent and you will not be allowed to download Heavy Metal music, I suppose.

Re:Families? (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33567250)

Are you in the right thread? Wait... lemme guess.. your autopilot saw the words 'Walmart', 'Wireless', and 'Family" and you thought you had a cheap +3 Insightful. Right?

Re:Families? (4, Informative)

iammani (1392285) | about 4 years ago | (#33567256)

I dont want made you associate Family with Censorship. Family refers to purchasing in packs of more than 1. There used be a pepsi family 4-pack. Publix used to have a family pack bread. And all wireless providers offer family plans (none of which currently censor anything)

Re:Families? (2, Insightful)

Andorin (1624303) | about 4 years ago | (#33567524)

> I dont want made you associate Family with Censorship.
It's not the GP's fault. Just think of the wide usage of the term "family-friendly" to mean "hostile to anything that could potentially offend someone."

I don't see why he got modded Troll.

Re:Families? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567750)

You want maid associates in censorship family?

Re:Families? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567884)

I dont want made

WTF does this mean?

Re:Families? (2, Insightful)

KazW (1136177) | about 4 years ago | (#33567302)

Right, it wouldn't be because "Family" is synonymous with "group"? I have a family plan with a wireless provider, and guess what? It's for a group of phones.

What would be more interesting is if they are offering parental controls to the account holder.

Re:Families? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33568040)

I don't know why, but this "Family" thing in the name of the service makes me think of censorship.

Maybe this [pbs.org] will remind you..

Sounds to me like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567202)

Feels good, man. Cheap wireless readily available is good wireless.

Re:Sounds to me like... (2, Informative)

sethstorm (512897) | about 4 years ago | (#33567244)

Problem is that it has very limited data @ 100MB. Cue the "100MB is enough for the target market" folks.

Re:Sounds to me like... (2, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 4 years ago | (#33567298)

Its a better deal than what I get from Verizon.

I wonder what the coverage is like, also if the phones will be any good.

Re:Sounds to me like... (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33567356)

I wonder what the coverage is like

They are using T-Mobile's network. It'll be fine in major cities and utter crap in the countryside. Around these parts [wikipedia.org] T-Mobile is useless if you venture more than two or three miles off the interstate.....

Re:Sounds to me like... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 4 years ago | (#33567478)

But for those of us who live in major metro area (Chicago), it works great. As always, you have to pay for the level of service you want. Need service everywhere? Go with Verizon. More expensive minutes, coverage almost everywhere.

Re:Sounds to me like... (4, Funny)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about 4 years ago | (#33567588)

Go with Verizon. Your immortal soul, coverage almost everywhere.

When you miss a payment, they claim your soul and put you to work in customer service.

Have you seen their new marketing slogan? "Rule the air!" Add the word 'minions' to the front and it sounds like The Monarch storming the Venture compound.

Re:Sounds to me like... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33567612)

Actually I've found that Verizon can compete with T-Mobile on a per-minute cost basis now that T-Mobile ditched their MyFaves program. I wanted to switch back to T-Mobile when my Verizon contract ran out and discovered that I would need twice as many minutes to match my existing service with Verizon, thanks to the discontinuation of MyFaves. The service would have wound up costing about the same (actually more because I get a discount on Verizon through work) so what's the point of going with the network that has less coverage?

I loved T-Mobile when I had them but I'm not going to pay the same amount of money for less coverage.

Re:Sounds to me like... (2, Interesting)

BKX (5066) | about 4 years ago | (#33568148)

That may be true, but if you do it right, it can be cheaper with T-Mobile. For example, I recently sprung for a Nokia N900 (really, it's the best phone ever.). I signed up for T-Mobile's individual plan with unlimited text, 500 minutes and the "I own my own hardware" discount. I also have a Skype account. If sign up for T-Mobile service over the Internet you can add-in the unlimited data for phones (not for smartphones), and save some cash on the data (like $10/mo), and the SIM card is free (you have to pay for it in the store.) Then set up call forwarding on your Skype account to forward to your phone (in case you're out of range for data service but still have voice service when someone calls) and only give out your Skype number. I've used a grand total of 50 plan minutes last month with over 1000 minutes on my Skype account from the phone during peak hours. Skype's basically a $6/mo unlimited minutes addon. The N900 integrates with Skype perfectly (so long as you type your numbers in your contacts list with a "+1" in front of the area code and number). You can do this with a few other phones as well. (Just not Android phones with the T-Mobile markings, which can't use the data for phones plan add-on at all. Also, you may have to change which APN your phone uses to get it to work (internet2.voicestream.com is the APN if I recall). Just search howardforums for directions.)

Grand total for essentially unlimited talk, text and data (with tethering) through T-Mobile and Skype (with taxes, assuming Skype is paid annually) = $56/mo. Only MetroPCS is cheaper but only by $6/mo and you can't tether.

Re:Sounds to me like... (1)

salmacis (323971) | about 4 years ago | (#33567640)

I'm on t-mobile in Chicago and have calls dropped all the time - plus my data is really slow. :\ It's the cheapest service - but once my contract is up, I might go to verizon.

Re:Sounds to me like... (5, Interesting)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 years ago | (#33567338)

Hell, two lines, unlimited voice, and paying extra for even 200MB of data would still be a hell of lot cheaper than what AT&T is offering now for a "family" iPhone plan.

When I traveled to Hong Kong and London w/ my unlocked iPhone I picked up prepaid SIMs for around $15 that were more than enough to cover voice and data while traveling, and were substantially less expensive than what I'm locked into at home in the US.

Re:Sounds to me like... (2, Insightful)

MadAhab (40080) | about 4 years ago | (#33567384)

If it's enough for the target market, this will be a big success. If not, it will be teh suck.

i'm neither for or against it either way. mobile access in the USA is very oligarchic - few companies who offer the same things. so this is different, and so good.

Re:Sounds to me like... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567558)

Kill yourself, you non-creative garbage.

Re:Sounds to me like... (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 4 years ago | (#33567708)

It probably is. Granted I'm usually in WiFi range, but my iPhone data usage tends to come in under 300mb/month and I use it for quite a bit of browsing and such. I wouldn't consider myself a heavy user, but my bandwidth usage always comes in lower than I expect for how frequently I'm using the thing.

Then again, the walmart crowd probably wastes a ton of time on youtube and other low-value, high-bandwidth stuff.

Any way to bypass Bentonville? (2, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | about 4 years ago | (#33567220)

For the many of us who don't want to pay for their legal and PR team(or fund a China-backed company), is there a way to go to a more direct source (e.g. T-Mobile?)?

Re:Any way to bypass Bentonville? (2, Informative)

tool462 (677306) | about 4 years ago | (#33567490)

Individual
http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/Cell-Phone-Plans.aspx?catgroup=Individual&WT.z_unav=mst_shop_plans_individual [t-mobile.com]

Family
http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/Cell-Phone-Plans.aspx?catgroup=Family [t-mobile.com]

The Even More Plus plan is the contract free version similar to the Walmart option. Looks like you get to pay ~$5/mo extra per line to avoid Walmart and deal with T-Mo directly, however.

Re:Any way to bypass Bentonville? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567646)

sure [t-mobile.com]
TMo:
$99/mo for two lines
$30/mo for 3 additional lines
Family of 3 pays $43/mo per line, totaling $129/mo
Family of 4 pays $32.25/mo per line, totaling $129/mo
Family of 5 pays $25.80/mo per line, totaling $129/mo

Walmart:
$45/mo for one line
$25/mo for each additional line
Family of 3 pays $31.67/mo per line, totaling $95/mo
Family of 4 pays $30/mo per line, totaling $120/mo
Family of 5 pays $29/mo per line, totaling $145/mo

(OO.org Calc = kinda a pain, actually)

Re:Any way to bypass Bentonville? (5, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | about 4 years ago | (#33568118)

(or fund a China-backed company),

Get over it. You live in a China-backed country. Who do you think is buying all those worthless 30-year T-bonds? China is, so Americans can keep going to WalMart and keep the Chinese factories in business.

What's the catch? (2)

MadAhab (40080) | about 4 years ago | (#33567236)

It sounds like a fairly good deal for the US and for more, uh, parsimonious consumers.

As phone and text, it's great, IOW. And that's where the usage seems to be for lower end consumers.

Probably not for the average ./er's kind of data consumption, but still a welcome addition to the US mobile market.

Re:What's the catch? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567354)

I would assume that the catch is that Wal Mart gets unlimited access to all of those texts for data mining.

According to Nielsen [nielsen.com] it's those punk kids who are doing all of the texting - when they're not running on my lawn that is. So what better place to get up-to-the-minute data on a key marketing demographic than from their very own text messages?

What saddens me the most... (2, Insightful)

Pollux (102520) | about 4 years ago | (#33567246)

...Is that the company I despise the most in this country is the one that came up with the smartest mobile phone plan.

Really, why can't any of the big-name mobile carriers come out with a no-nonsense plan with affordable rates like this one? We've been screaming for years for mobile plans w/o contracts, w/o hidden fees, w/o metered rates, and w/o surprises that come with the end-of-the-month bill. Why did it take Walmart to figure out what the consumer wanted? Hell, if T-Mobile could just sell this exact plan sans Walmart, I'd jump on it in half-a-heartbeat.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567288)

Why did it take Walmart to figure out what the consumer wanted?

It's nothing to do with what the consumer wants. It's using your considerable financial power to undercut the prices of everyone else until they disappear from the marketplace & leave you a monopoly with the ability to charge you want.

Re:What saddens me the most... (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33567390)

Somehow I doubt Wal-Mart is going to drive AT&T and Verizon out of the wireless marketplace.....

Besides, the criticism that you've made applies more to Barnes and Noble than Wal-Mart. I've not personally observed Wal-Mart raising their prices after driving the competition away. I did observe Barnes and Noble jack up all their prices shortly after the last independent book store in my home town closed up shop.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33567604)

I've not personally observed Wal-Mart raising their prices after driving the competition away

Just wait until they actually drive away their competition. They're general retail; wait until there's no other retailers.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33567662)

That isn't likely to happen. Wal-Mart's niche is cheap disposable crap. People who are willing to pay more money for a quality product will always have some place else to go. Wal-Mart might manage to kill K-Mart one of these days but they aren't likely to kill Men's Warehouse. They might kill Aldis [aldifoods.com] but they'll never touch Wegmans [wegmans.com] . They cater to different market segments.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

stuckinphp (1598797) | about 4 years ago | (#33567800)

So in other words you're disputing someones argument which is the same as your own?

Re:What saddens me the most... (2, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567668)

I'm glad you mentioned books.

I won't claim to be a Wal-Mart expert, I've been round a few of them when I visited the US on several occasions but that's it. However, what I saw didn't seem to be a whole lot different to Tesco or Asda (owned by Wal-Mart) over here.

But have you not noticed how you can only buy the most popular-selling books, magazines, music, DVDs, etc. in the superstores?

There's a well-known saying that "20% of the product range makes 80% of the profits" and, in many cases, high sales of certain items acts as a subsidy to less popular items being produced and sold.

So the supermarket stocks the high-volume stuff only but manages to suck away most of the profits from, say, a specialist bookshop by stocking a smaller range of books. That in turn means that the outlets for less popular titles are reduced and leads to them being non-profitable to the point where they're not made any more.

This idea that supermarket price-cutting is in the interests of the consumer or that the supermarkets offer more choice is a complete fallacy - they stock the high profit, high volume sales items with a strategy to force consumers to just buy those items they stock.

Re:What saddens me the most... (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33567692)

But have you not noticed how you can only buy the most popular-selling books, magazines, music, DVDs, etc. in the superstores?

Well, duh. The superstores are general stores. They don't have the shelf space to stock every conceivable title or product. That's why you go to a real book/clothing/electronics/whatever store.

they stock the high profit, high volume sales items with a strategy to force consumers to just buy those items they stock.

You aren't forced to do anything as a consumer unless you are too lazy to look for alternatives. Heck, this is the information age -- you can be lazy and shop at the same time if you have a computer, internet connection and credit card.....

Re:What saddens me the most... (2, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33568008)

Well, duh. The superstores are general stores. They don't have the shelf space to stock every conceivable title or product. That's why you go to a real book/clothing/electronics/whatever store.

Well, double duh. It works like this - a supermarket stocks a limited range of the highest selling items (20% of a range makes 80% of profits) and sells them at a lower price than a local specialist store. This takes most of the profit away from the specialist store so it closes. This leaves a supermarket selling a small range of items, albeit at a lower cost. And they do that *BECAUSE* they don't have the shelf space to stock a wider range.

You aren't forced to do anything as a consumer unless you are too lazy to look for alternatives. Heck, this is the information age -- you can be lazy and shop at the same time if you have a computer, internet connection and credit card.....

For your information, I've done *PRECISELY* that, at least when it comes to fresh foodstuffs. In case you didn't pick it up before, I'm in the UK so don't have the same scales of distance you have in the US but, being an avid cook at home, I wanted better tasting fresh food to eat rather than the stuff in supermarkets - so for a while now I've been buying all my fresh meat, vegetables and fruit from local farm shops.

No, it's not "green" because I've had to travel further to them and, kilo for kilo, it's more expensive than in a supermarket. But overall our food budget has dropped because I'm not filling the trolley with "2 for 1" offers that I don't need and the food tastes better because it's locally produced, local varieties suitable for the climate and soil conditions, and hasn't travelled so far. But I have been more creative with my cooking, eaten far more healthily and wasted virtually nothing.

I don't claim to be some kind of saint, I still buy washing powder, mouthwash, toilet rolls, etc. from the local supermarket but, then, boycotting them completely was never my aim - I just wanted better tasting fresh food and to put some money back into the local economy.

Re:What saddens me the most... (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 years ago | (#33567440)

It's not just about power - it's also about selling the cards in [Wal-Mart's] brick-and-mortar and online stores gets your eyeballs on their other offerings.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33568130)

...gets your eyeballs on their other offerings.

There's a special on paper towels [blogspot.com]

Re:What saddens me the most... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567476)

Normally when someone says 'Monopoly' I think extremely high prices because they shoved everyone else out of the market.

Walmart, however, is basically the definition of a monopoly and yet from what I can tell they have never screwed their customers.

Now what they have done to their employees and suppliers on the other hand makes me cry/chuckle inside.

Re:What saddens me the most... (5, Insightful)

L3370 (1421413) | about 4 years ago | (#33567560)

I'm having a difficult time hating wal-mart on this issue.

On one hand we have Walmart--a company known for undercutting their competitors and forcing everyone in their supply chain to work for peanuts...On the other we have a small collection of telecom giants forcing the U.S. market to pay inflated prices because of the lack of real competition.
Sometimes walmart puts up a necessary fight. Imagine what the music industry would be charging for a Ke$ha album if it wasn't for walmart's influence. Yeah $10-15 is still overpaying, but if the music industry had their way this garbage would probably be selling for $20-25USD today.

Yes walmart has a nasty track record of unfair competitive practices. But in this instance I think walmart has correctly identified a discrepancy in market pricing, and is now using its dominant position to profit and steer the industry in a more healthy direction

Of course it does (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 years ago | (#33567602)

Walmart wants money. Money comes from (within a certain margin) sales. Most consumers want cheap, though many of the rest of us think on quality and some on moral grounds.
More consumers = more more.

I doubt I'd buy a Walmart phone, but I would absolutely relish watching the downward forces on other greedy telcos to give the customer a better rate and stop screwing us for each penny. That being said, what I *wouldn't* like is if hits the point where quality suffers, but that's a consistently dropped call is a bit more visible than an easily-worn piece of clothing, hardware, etc.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 years ago | (#33567362)

why can't any of the big-name mobile carriers come out with a no-nonsense plan with affordable rates like this one?

Doesn't Boost Mobile have a $50/month unlimited talk/text/web? They're a subsidiary of Sprint.

Re:What saddens me the most... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567424)

Yeah but boost mobile is only for niggers. WHERE U AT DAWG?!? Wal-Mart's deal is for white trash.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 4 years ago | (#33567438)

There's plenty of options...Metro PCS being one of them. Or just paying a few dollars more on your monthly fee for unlimited...or not using the phone for 2+ hours/day during work hours, in which case even the cheapest contracts will be more than enough to cover you...

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

Yanimal (1434757) | about 4 years ago | (#33567620)

I've had a pre-paid plan from Alltel for the last year and love it! $.75 a day, free nights and weekends, free texting, $.10/min all other calls, no internet access though... Doing the math: $.75 x 30=$22.50 base cost $.10 x 150 (i don't talk much, texting mainly)=$15 Total=$37.50 Pretty good deal i think.

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33567726)

If you live near Sprint towers, Virgin Mobile is $25 a month for 300 voice minutes and unlimited texts (also, unlimited data, but they jack down their phones pretty good).

If you usage varies quite a lot from month to month it might not be a better deal, but if you are using 100 voice minutes/texts a month...

Re:What saddens me the most... (1)

TW Burger (646637) | about 4 years ago | (#33567908)

I suppose it's because big-name mobile carriers are run by the same Ivy League taught greedy corporate dullards that run most other large US corporations and banks (nearly destroying the world economy 2 years ago) and can't think past three month quarterly earnings. Walmart management has a long term plan - fear them!

Re:What saddens me the most... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567942)

Really, why can't any of the big-name mobile carriers come out with a no-nonsense plan with affordable rates like this one?

Metro-PCS and Virgin Mobile

And what's up with the taxes (1)

joeflies (529536) | about 4 years ago | (#33568088)

After factoring in all of the taxes added to your monthly phone bill, your $45 plan usually looks more like $62 out of your pocket a month. It sounds like with this plan, $45 really means $45.

Stop Sleepwalking! (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567258)

Why do people have so much difficulty in looking beyond the pounds/dollars/euros that they're saving in order to see what these huge retailers are trying to do?

In the UK, our biggest supermarket is Tesco with Asda (owned by Wal-Mart) in second place. Now that these companies have trashed any form of local retailer, they have to expand into new areas to swell their profits; this is why they now offer mobile phones, home insurance, pharmaceuticals and even home mortgages in some instances.

When is the populace going to wake up & realise that cheap is not necessarily best? These companies will not be satisfied until you use them for everything you need, right from birth to death - yet they also pay minimum wages & have dubious practices when it comes to employee rights.

Wake up, people!

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (0)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 4 years ago | (#33567352)

Mod up please.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33567366)

I think it's too late. It's already a race to the top of the corporate food chain.

Any corporate entity with enough money will start to diversify into other areas, that's a given. What is happening, though, is that these giants get bigger and more diverse. Imagine what we might see in 50 years. No wonder LUH and THX stopped taking sedation.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (2, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567516)

Look at the bigger picture & it is very disturbing... the destruction of local businesses, extinction of local varieties of fruit & vegetables.

Plus here in the UK, our corrupt local authorities taking (in effect) backhand bribes when it comes to granting building permissions for hypermarkets. Not to mention the fact that they levied parking charges in town centres where local businesses used to thrive but nobody did anything about taxing the hypermarkets with their acres of free parking for customers.

And whilst I believe obesity is, in most cases, about lack of self control, it's startling to see that the countries with the highest obesity problems are those that have let hypermarkets run rife with stores full of processed & preprepared foodstuffs - UK, Germany, USA...

The Czech Republic is also climbing the "Europe's Fattest Nations" lists at the same time as our biggest retailer, Tesco, is expanding into it...

And France and Italy, who have refused to bow to the hypermarkets, happen to have the lowest obesity problems in Europe...

It's more than a coincidence.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567374)

yet they also pay minimum wages & have dubious practices when it comes to employee rights.

This was the only factual complain in your rant.

If you want to stop them from paying min-wage... change the laws about min-wage. Either raise it, or say that that rate can only be for X hours, or that employers over a certain size have a different rate... or whatever.

re: employee rights... same thing. Change the law.

You mentioned small business being run over by bigger firms... small business are just as guilty of the things you ascribe to wal-mart. Do you really think that the mom and pop business (with 3 employees) has a benefits plan? Nope. They dont have the scale to offer them. Do they pay more than win-wage? Nope. That's money straight out of the owner's pocket.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567576)

WTF? Do you really understand the difference between a local "Mom and Pop" business and a conglomerate like Walmart. Sure, Mr and Mrs Jones of Jones bakery can't pay a benefit plan. Most likely they are also running on the edge of profit and tend to do what they for the satisfaction of owning their own business. having worked for business like this in my distant past i found they provided either great part time income for youngger to learn about the work life, or a decent full time wage.

That is until Walmart enters the picture. here is a business that undercuts pricing to the point that the Jones cannot keep up and pay even a decent wage. The drive out the local business then has the ability to control the economy of a town or even region. I refuse to shop at Walmart evven if it costs me a few more cents or dollars. TO me, it is a black hole I drive by. Do NOT throw small business under the bus with stupid ass statements like benefit or wage abuse when compared to multinational companies with double digit profit.

As an aside, this deal pisses me off because as a t-mobile customer, I now have people paying close to half what I pay for the same service. Can t-mobile manage the increase in network usage without impacting its existing customer base...I going that they got a great deal with Walmart and screw our customers.

(and my only reason for an anon post is I moderated this list as well, bucc5062)

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567396)

Cheap isn't the best if you're buying different products, but if I have to choose from $0.25 at a supermarket and $2.50 at pop-and-mom shop for the same thing, well ...

And these days, pop-and-mom and walmart are basically selling the same made-in-asia-by-child-labor garbage.

The only thing that differentiates them is Wallmart has bought up all the middle-men between the sweatshop-runner and you, while pop-and-mum still pay to middlemen.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567594)

I think you're right in one sense in that manufacturing would always have moved to Asia and the other parts of the world with a cheap labour, no matter what the likes of Wal-Mart and Tesco did or didn't do.

But agriculture and food production has been trashed by them completely.

If I go back 40 years to when I was a boy, my parents spent a far greater proportion of their income on foodstuffs than I do now, they bought it from local markets, butchers, greengrocers, etc. and it was treated with far more respect in that very little of it was ever wasted.

But now the fresh food that's brought to the shelves of supermarkets isn't the stuff that tastes the best but the stuff that looks nicest and has the longest shelf life so it can survive being transported halfway across the world.

The other factor to take into account is that our UK town centres used to have multiple butchers, greengrocers and weekly markets - so there was true competition on price & quality. Nowadays supermarkets source their foods from the same suppliers and just have it labelled differently.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567460)

"When is the populace going to wake up & realise that cheap is not necessarily best?"

When we get paid enough that the more expensive options are actually viable?

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 4 years ago | (#33567512)

Yeah screw Walmart... I am sticking with the little guy for my wireless service!

So I guess thats... AT&T??? Er no wait... must be Verizon. Wait...

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (5, Insightful)

DwySteve (521303) | about 4 years ago | (#33567622)

Now that these companies have trashed any form of local retailer, they have to expand into new areas to swell their profits; this is why they now offer mobile phones, home insurance, pharmaceuticals and even home mortgages in some instances.

When is the populace going to wake up & realise that cheap is not necessarily best? >

I come at this from a different angle. I grew up in a town that was 20 minutes from a city. There were towns farther out that were an hour or two from anything worthwhile.

Living in these places SUCKS!

Everyone keeps going on about 'mom and pop' and 'buy local' but the experience I've had with local businesses in places like these is that they get away with charging obscene prices because they're the only game in town. Milk - costs more at the local mom and pop store because you have to drive 20 minutes in any direction to find a competitor. Gas? Same deal. And the selection is awful. You get whatever they give you and nothing more. People would drive an hour to get to a real store - a Walmart or a Target or a Best Buy - and stock up for a week or weeks at a time. Driving an hour to get a better price on gas when filling up your 100 gallon tank was justified.

So Walmart comes around and wants to build a store in your podunk town and suddenly hippes and 'progressives' from the city are telling you to oppose it because it 'destroys local business'. What? Mom and pop were trying to destroy us slowly with high prices and terrible selection for years, and now someone wants us to help them out because Walmart comes in and charges us a reasonable price for something? AND has a better selection? No thank you.

You know what else you get with a Walmart? It's a little slice of civilization compared to what you can find out there. That odd DVD rental machine in the front? A Godsend to someone who has no video rental store. And the faux bank where you can cash checks, send money, and have your taxes done in season? Compared to what was on offer before there was Walmart it's amazing. You go to a Wal-Mart in Chicago, Los Angeles, or Walcott Iowa and it's always the same - same selection, same prices, no favoritism, no prejudice no bullshit. They just sell you things.

So now they do cell phones too? If you live in a city, yeah, it's superfluous. If you live in the middle of nowhere it's another Godsend (as long as your nowhere has T-Mobile anyway). To have a place that will sell you something for a fair price and give you a decent selection of phones? Listen, you all may take it for granted, but plenty of people don't live in Chicago or New York or Los Angeles. They have significantly fewer options and Wal-Mart is on the whole a positive for them.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33567848)

Everyone keeps going on about 'mom and pop' and 'buy local' but the experience I've had with local businesses in places like these is that they get away with charging obscene prices because they're the only game in town. Milk - costs more at the local mom and pop store because you have to drive 20 minutes in any direction to find a competitor.

"Cheap" is not the same as "good". It's a circular situation because a local producer to you has to pay the same prices as you and has to offer a competitive wage within the local economy to hire workers. But when it comes to foodstuffs, what's grown are local crop varieties that hopefully taste good, flourish in the soil conditions of that area and are fresher when they get to the store shelves because they've traveled a lot less. And that system used to work because people used to spend a higher proportion of their incomes than they do now.

But supermarkets came on the scene and due to their size and power were able to dictate terms to food suppliers - about what varieties are grown, having minimum production volumes, etc. The result is cheaper foodstuffs but of lower quality and less choice because supermarkets want food that looks nice in displays and keeps fresh longer. Have you not noticed how much fresh fruit and vegetables on supermarket shelves is picked before it's fully ripened (and therefore before it's got its full flavour) simply so it lasts longer?

People would drive an hour to get to a real store - a Walmart or a Target or a Best Buy - and stock up for a week or weeks at a time.

And what will they stock up on? Processed foods that have long shelf lives - sorry, but you can't stock up three week supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables because it doesn't last that long.

So Walmart comes around and wants to build a store in your podunk town and suddenly hippes and 'progressives' from the city are telling you to oppose it because it 'destroys local business'. What? Mom and pop were trying to destroy us slowly with high prices and terrible selection for years, and now someone wants us to help them out because Walmart comes in and charges us a reasonable price for something? AND has a better selection? No thank you.

Again, this goes back to my original argument. You're missing the point because you do not accept that foodstuffs are *TOO* cheap, that's the problem.

You know what else you get with a Walmart? It's a little slice of civilization compared to what you can find out there.

What about the cameras in the ceilings tracking your every move in case you steal something? And the security guard at the door eyeing you up as you enter and leave?

And it's certainly not my experience that people pushing trolleys around a hypermarket are more communicative than those working in a local shop - everyone seems to be having a miserable time and wants to fill their trolley as quickly as possible in order to get out of the place.

Even at the checkout you've got some poor sap on minimum wage sat in a chair for hours on end before he/she can take a toilet break - I've actually made a point of speaking to, and being polite to, checkout operators and it doesn't take much for them to tell you how absolutely miserable they are in their jobs.

That odd DVD rental machine in the front? A Godsend to someone who has no video rental store.

Go and ask the poor sap on the DVD counter to recommend you a good family movie for the evening. Or go to the fresh meat counter and ask the person working there to recommend a good cut of beef for, say, an Irish Stew. They are all untrained saps designed to sell you as much stuff as possible...

So now they do cell phones too? If you live in a city, yeah, it's superfluous. If you live in the middle of nowhere it's another Godsend (as long as your nowhere has T-Mobile anyway). To have a place that will sell you something for a fair price and give you a decent selection of phones? Listen, you all may take it for granted, but plenty of people don't live in Chicago or New York or Los Angeles. They have significantly fewer options and Wal-Mart is on the whole a positive for them.

Okay, cellphones are an exception to the norm, there's been price-fixing for years when it comes to mobile operators. But it still comes down to the same thing, namely superstores killing the competition so you just buy from them.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (5, Insightful)

bnenning (58349) | about 4 years ago | (#33568074)

And that system used to work because people used to spend a higher proportion of their incomes than they do now.

Well yes, and apparently most customers didn't think spending so much of their income on food was as wonderful as you do. It's very unlikely that grocery stores are involved in a huge conspiracy to force everyone to eat worse food. They'd probably much prefer to sell higher-quality higher-margin products because they'd earn more profits; Whole Foods does exactly that. But amazingly it turns out that different people have different price/quality tradeoffs, and I don't see how any of them are objectively wrong.

And what will they stock up on? Processed foods that have long shelf lives

And they shouldn't have that choice?

You're missing the point because you do not accept that foodstuffs are *TOO* cheap, that's the problem.

Right. And I'm sure that if the stores raised their prices to the "proper" level, you would not at all be complaining about price gouging and how the poor can't afford to feed themselves.

Go and ask the poor sap on the DVD counter to recommend you a good family movie for the evening.

And I take it Netflix is the devil incarnate.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567880)

The problem is that your "fair price" doesn't allow for a reasonable income for the workers and owners of those mom & pop local places, which I guess because you aren't one of them you don't care. But it then becomes a self-feeding downward spiral. As more and more people get minimum wage, they in turn can't afford to support places with real wages, so they go under. And the net result, given enough time, is everyone working for minimum wage.

Your contempt for your local mom&pop is misplaced, those people weren't making a fortune with their business. They were merely trying to make a reasonable living like everyone else. And in the process keeping the money in the community, instead of having it go to wall street.

Local retailers? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 years ago | (#33567630)

Uh, and where exactly are the local cellular retailers? For anyone who ever guys outside of their home-town... the options are pretty much all on a national level.

I live in a small city, and one thing that doesn't often factor into the story is that - for a long time - local retailers made big bucks fleecing the local populace, often at quality not much better (if at all better) than Walmart. Lack of options means that a certain portion of the populace is at your mercy.

That's not to say that I haven't seen *GOOD* businesses get flushed as well, but there were plenty that were happy to pay their employees minimum dime, charge exorbitant prices (even with low costs), and generally do everything Walmart is reviled for. The good thing about Walmart is that it creates other options, the *bad* thing is that it eliminates them. Choice is always a good thing.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1)

Digicrat (973598) | about 4 years ago | (#33567682)

Probably at the same time that companies acknowledge that its OK if they make the same (inflation-adjusted) amount of sales as the year before and constant growth is not a necessity.

In other news, Walmart contemplates changing their name to Buy N' Large [wikia.com] .

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (4, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | about 4 years ago | (#33567716)

WalMart exists because ShopKo, Target, Kohl's, J.C. Penny's, Sears Roebuck, Toys "R" Us, etc. had ridiculous markups. These were all large companies leveraging their size to extract higher margins than they'd in anything resembling a competitive market. WalMart's been growing since they were called "Walton's Five and Dime" simply because they didn't gouge consumers.

Are you really shocked that a retail store is expanding their inventory? Is it a crime to stock more than five different kinds of potato chips or something? Are you surprised that a greeter gets paid minimum wage? What makes a WalMart cashier better than a cashier anywhere else? Or better than a fry chef? Or better than a stock boy? Any place I worked up through graduation paid minimum wage, and working most anywhere beats working in food service.

So why all the outrage? Anyone else forcing all their competitors to compete would be a hero. I hope they start their own music label while they're at it. Maybe in their spare time they can write an operating system.

Re:Stop Sleepwalking! (1)

Jhon (241832) | about 4 years ago | (#33567872)

These companies will not be satisfied until you use them for everything you need, right from birth to death

But... but... It's got what plants crave! It's got electrolytes!

Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters... (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 4 years ago | (#33567260)

...to burst into flames over this one.

"Walmart is EEEEEEvil! And by EEEEEEvil I mean that Jon Stewart has indicated that only fat Midwestern people with children shop there! But... but... this is such a good deal, and I am so-o-o-o-o addicted to my smart and shiny texting lifestyle... Hmmm, I wonder, if I stencil a silver Apple logo onto the back of this, how will it look, will anyone notice...?

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (3, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 4 years ago | (#33567404)

I'm clearly behind on my political lingo here. WTF is a Classist Anti-Walmart Hipster? Is that like a statist job-killing Atheist? Or more like a fascist union muslim? Perhaps a statist fascist? A communist obamanaut with a hint of racism?

Please clue me in. I can't follow all the new definitions that you keep pumping out.

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 4 years ago | (#33567444)

The category is Communist Job-Killing Atheistic Sikrit Muslin Obamanaut With A Hint Of _REVERSE_ Racism, you behind-the-times nerd loser.

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567470)

Yes, heaven forbid anyone criticize Walmart! Anyone who does, must HATE AMERICA!

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | about 4 years ago | (#33567570)

Glenn Beck fan spotted.

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567592)

Ok, I'll take the bait...

A lot of people don't like Walmart for a lot of different reasons. Small business owners (and former small business owners) often dislike WM for making competition difficult, especially in rural areas. Manufacturers may dislike WM because of the constant pressure to lower prices as far as possible, which often results in SKUs specific to WM that use inferior parts, or companies which choose not to do business with them because their product quality would decline unacceptably. Humanitarians dislike WM because of the well-publicized abhorrent treatment of employees, such as locking them in the store overnight and paying lower wages/offering fewer benefits than the industry standard in areas where little other work is available.

All in all, the one thing WM does well, to the exclusion of nearly all other goals, is make consumer goods as cheap as possible, putting the most products within the reach of the most people possible. In other words, use of the term "classist" to describe their opponents is pure bullshit. Anti-consumerist, sure; anti-corporate, maybe, but you'll find that you make more sense if you choose words that actually have some bearing on the point you're trying to make.

As to hipsters, just because a large percentage of self-important assholes believe something doesn't make it wrong. Conversely, just because you and I share a dislike of pretentious douches doesn't make you right.

Sorry for the rant, but seeing this shit modded up as insightful is a little too much.

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 4 years ago | (#33567840)

Well said.

Re:Waiting for the Classist Anti-Walmart Hipsters. (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 4 years ago | (#33567756)

In the battle for the corporate branding of everything, Walmart owns the minimum-wage-and-under mindset.
Some call it evil, some call it an opportunity. Walmart currently calls it a $400+ billion dollar a year business.

I'll know it's time to leave when the law says I am required to buy things from one of them or go to jail.

May not be as cheap as you think (4, Informative)

Andorin (1624303) | about 4 years ago | (#33567370)

Is there a catch to Walmart's offerings? You bet. The available data plans are blindingly expensive, locking out much of the lucrative and quickly growing smartphone market. A single gigabyte of prepaid data through Walmart costs $40, which is quite steep compared to AT&T's 2GB for $25 per month, or T-Mobile's $30 per month for unlimited data.

So says Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] , anyway. I don't know much about the market for mobile Internet, but $40 per gigabyte sounds unbelievable. I'm just passing on what I've read.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 4 years ago | (#33567500)

To someone like you and I, but to the casual smartphone users who use 100-200 megs a month its a steal. That's the audience they are targeting, and the carriers should be very afraid because that's where their margins on their data plans come from. Its going to hurt us regardless.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

dlevitan (132062) | about 4 years ago | (#33567852)

"You and I" must be a very selective group. I use my Droid a lot, but in the last 10 months of owning it, I've gone over 500 MB/month once, and hit 400 MB/month 2 months. The rest of the time I haven't gone over 300 MB, and mostly at the 200 MB level. Why?

A good chunk of the time my droid is using wifi (at home). I used to be able to do it at my office as well, but then froyo broke WPA/Enterprise compatibility with cisco access points (well, actually wpa_supplicant broke, but froyo has an older version with this bug). Although android does have many issues with wifi compatibility. Plus, I don't stream music and even with 3G youtube takes a long time to load. And I don't tether my laptop (which is generally prohibited anyway).

On the other hand, I use it as, essentially, a PDA, navigation/gps system, and light browsing (the web browser is good, but I can only deal with so much browsing on a 4" screen. Great for looking something up. Useless for browsing a long time. VoIP may change things, but for the time being I only use VoIP when I'm in locations with wifi but not cell signal.

Personally, I'd be very glad to have a plan like Walmart's. I currently pay $30/month for unlimited data, and use on average, say 400 MB. Over the last 10 months I've paid Verizon $300. With Walmart's plan, I would've paid $160. Even adding on VoIP with a 64 kbit codec (the highest quality SIPDroid offers) for 450 minutes/month adds 216 MB of data usage. (or does it need to be doubled for both ways?)

You're right that the carriers are scared...because it won't be long before real VoIP apps appear for android that anyone can use, and the carriers are reduced to data carriers, not phone providers. Unfortunately, T-Mobile's network is nowhere as good as Verizon's, so I won't even consider it.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33568020)

Some hard numbers:

  • Opening Google Maps and zooming out to show the South Bay to check traffic took about half a meg, and that's with some data presumably cached from previous use. Getting a route from work to my house (a 15 minute drive with only 10 steps) took another 1.2 megs or so.
  • Launching the Facebook app, letting it load my live feed, scrolling to the bottom (loading all the profile pics on the left side), clicking read more, and scrolling to the bottom again soaked up a third of a meg.

So in the course of two minutes, that's 1% of your monthly allocation. Heaven help you if you download updates to applications. It's really easy to rack up gigabytes of traffic, particularly if you accidentally disable Wi-Fi and leave it off for a month. Even if we're just talking about people who just check their mail once a day and never browse the web and never use mapping and never use Facebook, I still can't imagine how you could reliably limit yourself to only 100-200 MB per month without a herculean effort.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (5, Insightful)

Thng (457255) | about 4 years ago | (#33567526)

Not a mobile data user, but IIRC, the average data use per month on smartphones is in the neighborhood of 200-300 megs a month, say average 250/moth. so I can either buy a $40 gigabyte that lasts four months, or I can buy 4 gigabytes of which I only use the one for $100 total (AT&T). Which gigabyte is unbelievable?
This "cost per gigabyte" isn't neccessarily a fair comparison.

Bottom line, maybe this plan isn't for you.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 years ago | (#33567534)

So says Ars Technica, anyway. I don't know much about the market for mobile Internet, but $40 per gigabyte sounds unbelievable. I'm just passing on what I've read.

Really "unbeleivable"? I've had an iphone for about a year now. According to its usage statistics I've used:

13,140 minutes
      475 MB of data
      426 MB of tethered data

1GB for $40 will apparently cover me for a year at a time. Instead I pay some $20bucks a month or something for the data plan.

I'm not a video on my phone junkie, and I don't get my email on my phone either. (I get too damn much of it, and really important stuff... I'll get a phone call anyway.)

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 years ago | (#33567652)

Do you use maps, etc? I use a few hundred MB on my phone each month, and I don't do anything silly like downloading music/video or even tether my phone. 1GB for a year sounds fairly low, but being able to roll-over data sounds quite nice as at that point it'll last a few months.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 years ago | (#33567874)

I actually use maps often to find paces, routes, etc. I use the phone's web browser regularly.

As an added detail, I even have wifi turned off, and only use cellular data. So I'm not even benefitting from my home-wifi at home. Wifi off saves battery, and while I do turn it on occasionally if I'm downloading something big at home... 3G is generally fast enough... I can't remember the last time i used wifi...if I'm at home and I want to download something big, there are laptops within easy reach.

I don't tether often, the 400 odd megabytes came from probably 3 separate incidents, my home internet was down so I tethered for most of a day; another was during a vacation; and the final was an afternoon I was downtown working from a cafe while my car was being repaired.

Even so, I agree 1GB for a year is pretty low. I have a number of friends with smartphones and most of them are shocked at how low their data is too. Many are down here with me. Of course, a couple are shocked at how high theirs is, mind you, but then they do things like stream radio and are youtube, facebook, farmville junkies, so no surprise there.

I guess I just wanted to counterpoint that $40 for a gigabyte is 'crazy expensive'. Most people I know would easily get through a year on 1 or 2 GBs, and they are all paying upwards of $20/month now, so this sort of data would be substantially cheaper than what they get now.

Personally, I'm on some promo 6GB/mo iphone data plan with tethering allowed. As lousy as my data usage is, if I switched to any other data plan, I'd save maybe $5 bucks a month, and lose the tethering option which I don't use much, but love to have available.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567656)

So, what you're saying is that you bought a smartphone, but don't use it as a smartphone?

Many people aren't like you. They actually use the phone's capabilities. That includes video, email, internet browsing, games etc.

Congratulations, I guess. But for people who treat their phone as just another computer like their laptop or desktop (and it is just another computer), the $40/gigabyte price is pretty extreme (and the number of people using their phone to its fullest is growing all the time).

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33567982)

You must be using a Wi-Fi network most of the time. Try turning Wi-Fi off for a month and watch what happens to those numbers.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567572)

Unless you're like me and most others, and use less than 250mb / month on the phone... That 1gb lasts 4 months making the real cost of the service $10/month.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (3, Informative)

CycleMan (638982) | about 4 years ago | (#33567808)

$40/GB is a lot cheaper than the $1200/MB Verizon charges for text messages.

Re:May not be as cheap as you think (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 years ago | (#33567854)

Let's run the numbers...
My wife and I have two iPhones on an AT&T family plan with unlimited data at $30/mo. Assuming we had the newer $25/mo 2GB plan it breaks down as such:

AT&T: $90/mo (for fairly limited minutes + 200 texts) + $25/ea/mo for data + taxes and fees = $160
Walmart: $45/mo + $25/mo second line + $80/mo (hypothetical max rate for 2GB) = $160

So we can get unlimited voice and text messaging for the same price we're now paying if we also had really high data usage. Consider that AT&T just dropped its usage plans to 200MB for the default because most people don't use 1-2GB/data a month. I'm a heavy user and I extremely rarely hit more than 1GB.

I think if Walmart can successfully shakeup the stagnant US mobile market, good for them! The only reason why Sprint hasn't been able to pull it off is because of falling marketshare and coverage.

Not Signing Anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33567566)

So if you don't have to sign anything, they(Walmart) really have no fiduciary duty/responsibility that inhibits them from selling and or using any and all data, voice, and text sent in cooperation with T-Mobile. In addition you have no legal recourse once said data is used. Fuck Walmart.

Walmart/Tmobile isnt targeting /. (5, Insightful)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 4 years ago | (#33567600)

There is a market for people who dont use smartphones. Some people will never have a need to use the web/online apps from their phone

I worked for metroPCS for a year. I would never use their service, but they really hit home with the $35 all you can eat talk and text. For the budget conscious person or "phones are meant for talking" crowd, this plan is great. Along came Cricket(metro was in my area first though i believe cricket existed first) to offer the same thing. People ate it up. These two companies had piss poor service outside large cities and suburbs, but they offered the people something reasonable. If you dont travel its great. Fast forward and now Boost Mobile offers a truly flat rate for talk, text and 2way. Today we see Walmart and Tmobile team up. This is the best offer yet for the budget crowd because i think Tmo offers the best coverage for their prepaid maps.

Will they offer the latest and greatest phones? No. They dont have to. Their target audience probably wouldnt have much use for even the most basic feature phones(maybe qwerty, camera, and bluetooth) Another reason is to keep costs down. Without a contract, the company cannot subsidize the phone purchase. Average Joe isnt going to buy a $500 phone if all it does is talk and text. he might buy that $100 phone that lets him shoot pictures and connect a handsfree headset or wired earpiece though. Afterall, those might be useful.

The bottom line here is that there will always be a market where the dumbphone remains relevant.

Re:Walmart/Tmobile isnt targeting /. (1)

jkmartin (816458) | about 4 years ago | (#33567926)

The bottom line is that the dumbphone market is already crowded and Wal-Mart is late to the game. How's Wal-Mart's DVD-by-mail program going? Oh they sold out to Netflix. How about their online music store? Cheaper than iTunes but still not competitive. Unless it's cheap shit from China the power Wal-Mart brings to the table is negated. I give this 6 months.

Re:Walmart/Tmobile isnt targeting /. (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 4 years ago | (#33568138)

Except that it wont disappear. It will just be rebranded by Tmobile as one of their post paid family rates. With companies like Boost, MetroPCS and Cricket offering similar plans, this wont go anywhere. Tmobile has just found their way to compete with the no-contract post paid crowd. This is sort of the middle ground. They're not selling to gadget gurus, socialites or business people, but they arent selling to grandma or little joey who just got his first taste of freedom. Walmart and Tmobile will tie this program to their cheapest dumbphones, but the branding will still be from companies like Samsung and Nokia. If MetroPCS can pull it off, im sure Tmo and Walmart can offer brand name phones Americans are used to seeing.

Your examples of DVDs and online music were probably solo ventures that any interested party already has an outlet for. This is a partnership and Tmobile is already established

TOO MUCH! Tracfone is CHEAPER! (1)

bball99 (232214) | about 4 years ago | (#33567694)

ridiculous! i can go the local Dollar Store or FYE and get a Tracfone for $4.88 and service for less than $7 a month using a $19 card! BS!

Re:TOO MUCH! Tracfone is CHEAPER! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 4 years ago | (#33568054)

You don't have many friends do you?

Yes that was a serious question. The plans are for people that talk on cell phones more than you.

lol (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 years ago | (#33568120)

Everyone jump on the walmart hating bandwagon why don't you. I have an Aunt that worked at walmart as a checker for most of her life. She was a single mom and that job bought her a house and helped her raise 5 children (father was a deadbeat) then Walmart paid, in full, the entire college tuition of her eldest daughter through a program walmart has. If you don't want to buy Chinese made crap, then don't Walmarts selling what people want to buy. This cellular plan is a fine example of exactly what they do. We all know cellular plans are ridiculously over priced... look at any other country in the world and it's obvious. Walmart comes in and not only undercuts everyone else, they undercut them to the point it makes the other carriers look like idiots. And just like every other market they enter, this doesnt just mean walmart shoppers get lower prices, it means all the other carriers will have to drop their prices as well to prevent their customers from leaving in droves.
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