Wal-Mart’s prepaid carrier Straight Talk will join AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in offering the iPhone 5 to its subscribers on Friday, having announced yesterday the launch of both the relatively new iPhone 5 and the two year-old iPhone 4 on January 11.
On Friday, buyers can go to any one of more than 2,000 Wal-Mart outlets and pay $649 to purchase a new, unlocked iPhone 5 without carrier restrictions, or an unlocked iPhone 4 for the lower price of $449. The $649 price point for the unlocked iPhone 5 with 16 GB storage on Straight Talk is the same as what Apple is offering on its official online store. Straight Talk subscribers aren’t tied down to conventional service agreements, but will have to pay either $45 or $60, depending on the Straight Talk prepaid plan of choice. The $45 plan offers unlimited calls, texts and data, while the $60 plan offers all of the above plus unlimited international calling to over 1,000 locations, including those in Mexico, Canada and India.
Financing plans will also be available for buyers who have their own Wal-Mart credit card; these plans would require minimum installments of $25 a month for the iPhone 5, which would give buyers a maximum 26 months to pay off the iPhone 5, assuming no late penalties or interest would accrue. A third iPhone, the iPhone 4S, may be included as part of Straight Talk’s offerings, although financing may not be available yet for this device. Currently, Apple is offering the 16 GB iPhone 4S for $549 without carrier subsidies.