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.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

waloshin Avatar
142 months ago
It is only news when it's $114 without contract.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
142 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
142 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
142 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
142 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
142 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

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.4 With New Emoji, Safari Web Push Notifications, Beta Changes, Voice Isolation for Calls and More

Monday March 27, 2023 10:03 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 16.4, the fourth major update to the iOS 16 operating system that initially came out last September. iOS 16.4 comes two months after the launch of iOS 16.3, an update that added Security Keys for Apple ID. iOS 16‌.4 and iPadOS 16.4 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. It can take a few minutes...
iOS 16

iOS 16.4 Will Add These 8 New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday March 26, 2023 8:06 am PDT by
Following nearly six weeks of beta testing, iOS 16.4 is expected to be released to the public as soon as this week. The software update includes a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone 8 and newer. To install an iOS update, open the Settings app on the iPhone, tap General → Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions. Below, we have recapped eight new features and...
apple mixed reality headset concept by david lewis and marcus kane

Some Apple Employees Seriously Concerned About Mixed-Reality Headset as Announcement Draws Closer

Sunday March 26, 2023 8:25 am PDT by
Some Apple employees are concerned about the usefulness and price point of the company's upcoming mixed-reality headset, The New York Times reports. Apple headset concept by David Lewis and Marcus Kane Initial enthusiasm around the device at the company has apparently become skepticism, according to eight current and former Apple employees speaking to The New York Times. The change of tone...
iOS 17 on Phone Feature

Gurman: iOS 17 to Provide Several 'Most Requested Features'

Sunday March 26, 2023 6:05 am PDT by
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.4 for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD

Monday March 27, 2023 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 16.4, the fourth major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that came out last September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.4 comes two months following the release of tvOS 16.3. The tvOS 16.4 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software Update....
Steve Jobs Theater dusk

Apple Reportedly Demoed Mixed-Reality Headset to Executives in the Steve Jobs Theater Last Week

Sunday March 26, 2023 5:53 am PDT by
Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of...
Apple Music Classical

Apple Explains Why It Launched an iPhone App Dedicated to Classical Music

Monday March 27, 2023 8:54 pm PDT by
Apple today published a support document explaining why it decided to release a standalone Apple Music Classical app for classical music. In short, Apple says the app was designed to support classical music's complex metadata:Classical music is different. It has longer and more detailed titles, multiple artists for each work, and hundreds of recordings of well-known pieces. The Apple Music...
iPhone 15 Pro Buttons CAD Leak

iPhone 15 Pro Low-Energy Chip to Allow Solid-State Buttons to Work When Device is Off or Out of Battery

Wednesday March 29, 2023 1:54 am PDT by
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will use a new ultra-low energy microprocessor allowing certain features like the new capacitive solid-state buttons to remain functional even when the handset is powered off or the battery has run out, according to a source that shared details on the MacRumors forums. CAD-based render of new solid-state buttons on iPhone 15 Pro models The source of this rumor is ...