Sporadic Reports of Walmart Offering 16 GB AT&T iPhone 4S for $114 [Updated]

Late yesterday, Cult of Mac reported that select Walmart locations had significantly dropped their prices on the AT&T iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, slashing the 16 GB AT&T iPhone 4S to just $114 and the AT&T 8GB iPhone 4 to $34 on contract. Walmart's usual pricing has been $188 for the iPhone 4S and $88 for the iPhone 4, already below Apple's standard $199/$99 pricing.

This news comes to us from Edmond, Oklahoma, and we’re not sure how widespread the sale is in the United States, or how long it will last. AT&T has yet to clarify if this price drop is a national carrier promotion, or a change decided by Walmart.

walmart iphone 4s 114
Highlighting the sporadic nature of the reports, The Verge notes that it contacted six Walmart stores around the United States and found only the initial Edmond, Oklahoma store and a store in Austin, Texas offering the discounted pricing. Walmart's website also has not been updated with the lower pricing.

Most observers expect that Apple will not introduce new iPhone hardware until the September-October timeframe, in line with the iPhone 4S debut last year. But for those still holding out hope for a launch next month at Apple's sold-out Worldwide Developers Conference, Walmart's price drop, even if only sporadic for the time being, may provide a reason to not yet give up.

Update: Walmart issued a statement to 9to5Mac saying the chain "experienced a pricing error in limited stores" and that the issue has since been corrected. The correct Walmart pricing for the 16GB iPhone 4S is $188; iPhone 4 at $88; and iPhone 3GS at $0.97.

Top Rated Comments

waloshin Avatar
134 months ago
It is only news when it's $114 without contract.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
134 months ago
Exactly.

It is the contract that is the REAL cost of the phone.
Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that. Let's examine options for unlimited talk/unlimited text/about 2-3GB of cellular data:

2-year total cost of ownership breakdown
A&T: $199 iPhone 4S 16GB (subsidized carrier-locked handset) + $36 activation/upgrade fee + $2,880 service ($120/mo for unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB cellular data) = $3,115
Straight Talk: $649 unlocked iPhone 4S 16GB (from store.apple.com) + $15 Straight Talk SIM (one-time charge) + $1,080 service ($45/mo. no contract for unlimited talk, unlimited text, "unlimited" cellular data -- anecdotally about 2GB) = $1,744

Monthly cost of ownership
AT&T: $129.79
Straight Talk: $72.67 (it drops to just under $70 if you prepay for service for 3 months at $42/mo.)

If you can pony up the cash up front, you are far better off going the Straight Talk route. The break even point is month 6.

Going the AT&T route, the hardware is 6.3% of your total cost of ownership because of the carrier handset subsidy. With Straight Talk, the hardware is 37.2% of your total cost of ownership.

Sadly, AT&T has discontinued the ability for smartphones to exist on their GoPhone Pay As You Go plans as they have removed the availability of data packages from the $0.10 per minute plan. I rocked GoPhone PAYG for several months, even had a SIM for my iPad. Unused data would rollover to the next month if you topped up before your current monthly package expired. That was by far the cheapest way to get a modest amount of cellular data relatively inexpensively.

But in any case, there's no requirement to sign a contract to have an iPhone. As a matter of fact, you will save money if you don't.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisTX Avatar
134 months ago
It would be nice to see a new iPhone in June but I'm not holding my breath.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dontwalkhand Avatar
134 months ago
Nobody noticed an error here, didn't the 16GB White/Black 3GS, get replaced by an 8GB 3GS? Does Wal-Mart just have extras on hand?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thekev Avatar
134 months ago
What makes you think anyone gives a crap where you do or do not shop?
What gives you the right to spew your mindless garbage at my response? It's simply not a very good company.

Perhaps I should explain. They've come under fire many times for treatment of their staff, and they put a lot of pressure on local businesses around them.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
134 months ago
Makes sense but who does "Straight Talk" use for their service?? Thought I saw it was t-mobile I could be wrong. Curious though on the straight talk plan do you get at least a true 3G connection and do all the apps work flawlessly with it unlike someone who uses tmobile because if not then not truly worth it to some.
Straight Talk is an MVNO that buys wholesale access from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Straight Talk is a discount brand of TracFone (itself a discount branded company) which is the US operations of America Movil, the Mexican telecom giant.

You can purchase an AT&T or T-Mobile compatible SIM from Straight Talk. I have the AT&T compatible one and it connects directly to the same AT&T towers. Same performance as any iPhone user on an AT&T contract at a 44% discount. And I'm not locked into a contract.

Straight Talk sells some handsets that work on Sprint's CDMA network. I'm not sure if you can bring another CDMA phone to Straight Talk and get them to activate it (I would sort of doubt it).

You can bring your AT&T iPhone to Straight Talk and get it to work, it doesn't even need to be unlocked. You just need to change the APN setting, which takes about a minute.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Remains Silent About Plans to Detect Known CSAM Stored in iCloud Photos

Saturday August 13, 2022 1:52 pm PDT by
It has now been over a year since Apple announced plans for three new child safety features, including a system to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) images stored in iCloud Photos, an option to blur sexually explicit photos in the Messages app, and child exploitation resources for Siri. The latter two features are now available, but Apple remains silent about its plans for the CSAM...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...