Walmart iPhone 5 vs. AT&T iPhone 5: One Plan Will Save You $500

Walmart iPhone 5 vs. AT&T iPhone 5: One Plan Will Save You $500This weekend, Walmart launched the latest salvo in the smartphone price wars by offering the iPhone 5 on a $45 a month unlimited plan, plus $25 a month interest-free to purchase the device at full price.
Walmart is selling Apple’s smartphone through Straight Talk Wireless, a brand of TracFone Wireless, and one of a growing providers of unlimited data, text and call plans without contracts.
However, consumers have to pay for the device up front because these services don’t subsidize the cost of the phones, as is the case with the big three: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
But the math clearly gives the advantage to Walmart when comparing the Straight Talk deal with the iPhone 5 plan offered by AT&T.
The comparison comes from BusinessInsider.com:
Walmart: $650 for the phone, plus $45 a month for unlimited data equals $1,730 over two years.
AT&T: $200 for the phone, plus $85 a month for 1 GB of data equals $2,240 over two years
That’s a saving of $510 over two years, or 23 percent less than what AT&T offers.
As Zachary M. Seward, of Quartz, writes for BusinessInsider: “But math is one thing, and psychology is another. There are signs that Americans simply can’t get over the large, upfront cost required when signing up for pre-paid plans, which are standard in many countries but less common in the US.”
U.S. consumers have been programmed primarily to sign two-year contracts with their carriers, which heavily discount or even fully subsidize the coast of the devices. But monthly usage expenses tend to be more greater with contracted service, and truly unlimited data plans rare, if they exist at all.

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