It is absolutely amazing and somewhat overwhelming all the cell phone plan choices. As I was watching the Olympic Curling Event, I noted an advertisement by Wal*Mart that was offering 1,000 minutes and 1,000 text messages for the low price of “X” amount of dollars per month – “Straight Talk” program.
Apparently, they’ve hooked up with a major carrier of cell phone technology such as AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, and although I didn’t get the sense of which carrier they are partnering with, I sure see the synergy Mi 11X. And that is a pretty good deal if you consider your current cell phone plan.
Indeed, I suppose there are several phones to choose from with rebates on each, or even a free-phone with a sign-up and activation fee if you do not need a tricky smart phone with maximum features.
Consider if you will that Wal-Mart has an unbelievable amount of customers coming in and out of their stores, the sheer number and volume of their present customer base is enough to make them the largest cell phone company with the most subscribers on the planet, it would only take them a few years to catch up to the leaders and then pass them. After all, they are already the largest corporation and they hire more people than any single company, or government in the world.
All too often we are so concerned with what is happening in Silicon Valley, and we watch the stock market in the personal tech sector for companies like Research in Motion, Apple, and Google. We watch companies like Nokia, Motorola, and others show off their latest devices. But consider if you will a large retailer with that type of power that Wal-Mart has, they will revolutionize the low cost end of the cell phone industry. This in turn will drive down prices, create a great amount of competition, and in the end it will be very good for consumers.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Research in Motion will have to offer their iPhones, Androids, Google Phones, and Blackberries must compete on price too or miss out on this large clientele. But you can hardly go anywhere, or pick up any newspaper including the Wall Street Journal without seeing lots of ads for new smart phones hooked to special promotional programs from various wireless companies.
In a recent ad in our newspaper locally, I noted that a small wireless reseller was offering the Blackberry Curve model 8530 smart phone for only $49, which included $100 rebate, if you sign up for a two-year service agreement, and the total price been only $149.99 total. I am sure you’ve seen similar offers in your local paper in your area too.
This same company offered an LG LX 370 smart phone for free with a two-year service agreement, and they also offered the new Sanyo Incognito for only $49.99 after the two-year service agreement and mail-in rebate. All these offers including the one at Wal-Mart have early termination fee fines, some of which are up to $200. Nevertheless, it is fairly obvious to see that there is competition in the marketplace and a lot more to follow.