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iPhone 5 with $45 Straight Talk Unlimited plan now at Walmart

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It’s practically impossible to get Apple’s(s aapl) iPhone 5 on the cheap without a contract, but at least there’s another option for the commitment-averse to save money on the monthly service bill. Straight Talk is officially supporting the iPhone 5 now with its $45 plan advertised as unlimited talk, messages and data. The price of admission for a 16 GB iPhone 5 with Straight Talk(s amx) is $649 at Walmart(s wmt) stores, but the retailer is offering no-interest special financing for the phone: $25 per month.

You’ll need a Walmart credit card for the financing deal and although the Straight Talk service is month-to-month, there’s a bit of a contract feel to the transaction. At $25 a month, you’ll be paying Walmart for 26 months to pay off the iPhone 5 purchase. Still, for those that don’t have the $199 up front for a contract-based iPhone 5, it provides an ownership opportunity for Apple’s smartphone with a lower monthly service bill.

straight-talk-simBased on my own usage of Straight Talk, I find the service to be a good value. Straight Talk buys wireless service from the major U.S. carriers at wholesale prices and then resells it. With this iPhone 5 deal, for example, you’d actually be using AT&T’s(s t) network but paying Straight Talk’s prices. Coverage and speeds would be the same as if you had bought the iPhone 5 directly from AT&T, with one major exception.

There’s no mention of Straight Talk offering LTE service. That means if you buy an iPhone 5 and use a Straight Talk nano SIM card, you won’t be using AT&T’s fast LTE network, but its HSPA+ service. In other words: Don’t expect your iPhone 5 to surf the web or download apps at 30 to 40 Mbps. Instead, you’ll see speeds about one-third as fast. Provided you can live with that and don’t mind that Straight Talk’s “unlimited” service has a soft cap of around 2 GB per month, you may want hit up your nearest Walmart.

For those that already own an iPhone 5 and want to switch service to Straight Talk service, you’ll have to wait. I checked Straight Talks’s site for ordering SIM cards and see only the standard SIM and micro SIM available; no nano SIM cards just yet.

100 Responses to “iPhone 5 with $45 Straight Talk Unlimited plan now at Walmart”

  1. Babe1918

    Kevin I’m confused, your article states that Iphone 5 on Straight talk uses the AT&T network, but every time I ask a Walmart employee at various Walmarts, they all tell me it runs on the CDMA network which is Verizon. Can you please clarify? Thanks

    • Yuri Nazarov

      Babe1918, here is what I’ve been told by Straight Talk support. There are 2 ways to buy an Iphone 5 for ST:

      1. Wallmart – you will get the Iphone 5 for ST ver. “A1429 CDMA”, which will work with ST using Verizon towers
      2. Apple store – get an unlocked Iphone 5 “A1428 GSM”, which will work on ST using AT&T towers

      I am curious which of these options will get me faster data speeds – does anyone know?

  2. Another blog says that Straight Talk advises against inserting a SIM card while traveling overseas as it will wipe the CDMA settings. Has anyone tried using their WalMart Iphone 5 with Straight Talk, plugged in a GSM SIM successfully overseas and then come home and removed the SIM card without losing Straight Talk service? I called Straight Talk and the most info I got was that the WalMart phone uses CDMA (no SIM).

  3. Carl Hicks

    Has there been any mention of MMS or tethering? (Because there have been people using straighttalk for ages now but they did not have access to the two for-mentioned services.)

  4. Chatchai Chad Jiansinlapadamrong

    @reuel5, ST iphone is Verizon version which comes unlocked, so you could get a straight talk micro sim, cut it down and use it to get HSPA+ but there will be no VVM. However, if you stay on on CDMA, you could use VVM and MMS without any trick.

  5. Iphone 5
    A1428 – GSM (AT & T)
    A1429 – GSM / CDMA (Verizon)
    A1442 – CDMA (Sprint)

    i got my iPhone 5 16g (A1428) at walmart last month $ 127.00 plus tax with upgrade from my at & t line. I got stuck 2 years for this.

    Now i bought a iPhone 5 16g (A1429) with straight talk from Walmart $710.66 total with tax. All the A1429 model are open line base on apple tech info. Since i got A1429 model straight talk. There is no way that I can get a signal or service from At & T for this particular model A1429 . I’m guessing Verizon will only provide this. Base on the model of the Phone. Correct me if i’m wrong.

  6. I’ve looked online for quite a while and can’t seem to find/understand a question. I just purchased an iPhone 5 from Walmart and activated on Straight Talk. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have a SIM card in it… I understand if you have or need a nano SIM you can cut it and whatnot to take it from your current phone/carrier, and put it in an existing iPhone 5 and activate.

    Is there ANY reason to have a nano SIM card in my phone now? Will I have access to any additional settings/functionality or network if I get a nano SIM somehow and put it in my already activated phone?

    • commando

      The SIM card in the Verizon-sold phones are used to access LTE, since LTE is an evolution of GSM. 3G, 2G etc. are only done by CDMA – so this would effectively mean there is no LTE on the Straight Talk variants. You could get a GSM nano SIM card and move to another prepaid service or AT&T, but the bands for LTE on your iPhone wouldn’t support those on AT&T.

  7. Two weeks ago, I snapped. Even though I’m about to pay hefty cancellation fees, I have just gone from $2,400 a year to under $1,100 a year for two cell phones. I bought a used GSM iPhone 4s for myself and one for my wife (both on ATT). Got both factory unlocked, got 2 Straight Talk SIM cards, and ported our numbers from Verizon to Google Voice. Phone, texting, SMS and data all work. Now, I am tweaking them. My two questions are both about trying to get the iPhone native buttons for “Phone” and “Messages” to work for calls and texting but send having each send out GV numbers when we call or text someone.

    1. One phone is jailbroken (on 5.1.1) so I’m trying Phone GV Extension (seems to work well) and SMS GV Extension (seems buggy – not working well). Do you know of other apps from Cydia that may work for MMS and SMS that would modify and allow use of the iPhone “Messages” button?

    2. The other phone is more difficult. It was wiped and upgraded to 6.0.1 before I picked it up. Since it’s got the A5 chip and as of yet there is no jailbreak, I am stuck. (I even tried Tiny Umbrella and SHSH blobs are not at Cydia. Do you know of any way to use the two native buttons on an unjailbroken iPhone? Any options other than the Google Voice App?

    • If you have text forwarding set up with google voice, when you receive a text in your iPhone’s message app it will be from a number that is not the actual number of the person who sent you the text, it is the number that Google used to “redirect” the message. If you call that number from the native phone app, instead of that person’s actual phone number, it will go through your google voice number and will dial their actual phone.

  8. Straight talk is good but not ment for people with smart phones. it good for people who just make calls or txt. the “unlimited” plan really isnt unlimited. go read the terms and conditions section 6&7 before u switch. ive been with straight talk for over 3 yrs and just got 1 of there smart phones 1 week later i got a phone call saying was using the internet to much and was not allowed to download anything to my phone from the internet that i had to download to my computer then transfer the stuff to my phone, and that if i keep using to much internet that they would cut my phone off. so just make sure u read the terms and conditions!!!!!

  9. Will apps featured in the App Store from Apple be accessible from Straight Talk? Not sure if the iPhone has full functionality from Straight Talk as the other “big” carriers that offer it.

      • I have 4s with 6.0.1, I use straight talk, I did modify to get everything to work, and apps, data, mms,surfing the net, everything that the contract companys give, I have.. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO JAIBREAK THE PHONE,,,,Love my Iphone,,Dixie

  10. clarketom

    Any idea if it’s unlocked? I live in Thailand, don’t care about LTE, 3G unlimited plans here are $29 but would love to have Wal-Mart finance for me at $25 @26 months, $100 cheaper than here. Particularly if it’s the CDMA version so i have choice IF i return to the states.

  11. Justin Myers

    Correction to the point you made about using AT&T’s network. We have CDMA versions at our store which run on Verizon. But, like you said, don’t expect to get LTE speeds.

  12. Joyce Matthews

    I just started using Straight Talk via AT&T with a Nexus 4 and although it’s penta band, I seem to be getting 3G-like data speed in NYC. My average data speed so far is about 1 mbps. I don’t know if my network settings aren’t right or if this is par for the course with AT&T on ST. It’s pretty pathetic.

  13. It says this in the straight talk ToS: . The Straight Talk Unlimited Plans MAY NOT be used for any other purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following:… uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games?


    Personally, I wish a major carrier offered a plan with a 2-yr contract, metered voice data and messaging, with an un-subsidized device for a LOW monthly price. I don’t see the big deal about a contract if after 2 years you’re spending net less money. It’s not like I’m going to hop carriers if upfront I know I’ll save $1000 at the 4-year mark.

    • Curious about ST iPhone

      Can this ST iPhone have a GSM sim loaded and actually work or CDMA only? Kind of sucks if you can’t take it Internationally…. Really need to find out if we can buy a ST GSM nano Sim and use it on the GSM network and not CDMA. Any ideas?

    • Jon Programmer

      They are talking about hooking it up to your computer (tethering) and using it for gaming, and using it for streaming video (i.e. webcam)…not for streaming youtube videos or netflix (within reason). Obviously if you are at home, or in most public places you’d use the wifi available at most of those places. So your data usage would be quite normal even with watching YouTube or something on the go. If you are using over 3GB I’m sure they’d be wondering what on earth you are doing on your phone, and suspect you are tethering it. So if you use it like a normal person, as a phone and for texting, checking your email, and occasionally watching some video at the laundromat while your clothes dry, then you should be fine. But if you are constantly attached to your phone watching Netflix and YouTube all day, while you site in the park under a tree, and lack any social life whatsoever then you should probably pay the extra for limited data through a major carrier.

  14. A person can just cut a regular sim card to nano size and it should work. I used an older sim card that had a large foil surface. Just have to cut through the foil to resize it.

    I even did a terrible hack job and it still worked. My carrier, another ATT reseller was surprised when I told them I cut through the foil and that it continued to work.

    • Iphone 5
      A1428 – GSM (AT & T)
      A1429 – GSM / CDMA (Verizon)
      A1442 – CDMA (Sprint)

      i got my iPhone 5 16g (A1428) at walmart last month $ 127.00 plus tax with upgrade from my at & t line. I got stuck 2 years for this.

      Now i bought a iPhone 5 16g (A1429) with straight talk from Walmart $710.66 total with tax. All the A1429 model are open line base on apple tech info. Since i got A1429 model straight talk. There is no way that I can get a signal or service from At & T for this particular model A1429 . I’m guessing Verizon will only provide this. Base on the model of the Phone. Correct me if i’m wrong.

      • Hunter Hendricks

        Okay, the Straight Talk iPhone 5 is using Verizon Wireless Service? And although they are LTE phones Straignt Talk isn’t offering LTE. What about visual voicemail? Just wondering, will visual voicemail work with a Straight Talk iPhone 5?

      • I am not sure what you mean “A1429 model are open line base ” Are you asking if this is UNLOCKED being a Verizon and there deal with the FCC,Since ST is getting a base Verizon,I think they might have started out unlocked but being passed on to ST they might have locked them just so it had to stay with them as there orher phone’s are…
        But there are other way’s to unlock an Iphone on Verizon so Gevey sim’s work good although you must be at certain ios !!!
        Everyone say’s data cap well I found out that sprint say unlimited but they will slow you down as I found out one with my cousin’s i phone 4s so there is really NO true unlimited service and I have had a i4 on st since E71,I’ve had no problem’s with them and 2 gig’s the screen is small and it wear’s my old eye’s out but it is nice since I am on tethered 6.0.1 that 1 of the new feature’s is a FULL screen so it’s some what better?? My ATT based i4 w/st has a big downfall here where I live in Tn. that the signal is weak in the hills here and I have friend’s using Verizon Iphone’s and are able to get a call when I can’t so that is good thing to know when I go to wally world to get a new i5 and reading today about the jailbreak effort’s that will come out after 6.1 gm is put out by Apple Thing’s Look Great…..

  15. Nitish Kannan

    Thanks to Moore’s law, lots of competitors, costs are falling substantially, soon we will have sub 200 dollar phones that outdo the 600 dollar ones, which will seem a great value, and I truly believe unlimited prepaid is the future, no point in contracts and locked phones when product cycles are so rampant! Right?

  16. No LTE and the 2Gb limit (on supposedly an unlimited data plan) are deal killers for me.

    There are some other slight disadvantages (found in more detailed articles on Straight Talk) but they are minor. Slow service and a data cap are not “slight” disadvantages. They are why I buy the phones with high speed and a high data cap.

    Verizon here I come.

    • thedubixcube

      Given that most of my data usage is via WiFi, a 2GB data cap or data throttling or whatever it might be doesn’t bother me too much as I’m not a power user. That said, the lack of LTE service is terribly unfortunate. 3G service in my area is pretty good as far as mobile data speeds go, so I’m still on the fence about whether or not to make the jump.

    • But if you think about it Verizon own unlimited talk text and 2gb of web is what 100.00 bucks plus taxes and fees or 90 bucks for just 1gb with unlimited talk text and web but yea there is no lte but you be paying half the price plus no activation fees… But it’s all if you want to save money or not cause their prepaid plans for smartphones is 80 bucks a month on Verizon’s

  17. Annonymous

    @Kevin I hope you mean the contract model and not the subsidy model. I find the tmobile new plans super absurd wherein they want to kill the subsidy not the contract. Also it is strange that even though you buy the phone outright you still have to pay a high monthly fee at VZ/ATT

    • thedubixcube

      The contract model utilizes the subsidy as an incentive to sign said contract. Without a subsidized device, there’s no incentive to enter into a contract in the current state of the mobile market. Thus, we have services like Cricket, Straight Talk, Boost and more.

      • thedubixcube

        Oops, hit Submit too soon. Furthermore, if the device subsidy goes away, the simplest recourse the big companies would have to remain competitive is to reduce cost on services. Losing the subsidy model is a good thing.

  18. Reblogged this on Zen Garden Inspiration Gallery and commented:
    Wow do we really need an iPhone and all these other gadgets but hey I have to admit it is very cool. I mean do we need 10 different gadgets with slightly altered functions where with an Apple you can practically have one device and do everything on it…but that is greedom for you people and if people are willing to buy it more power to them. Don’t get me wrong I like Apple a lot more than Microsoft but PCs are more affordable for like 98% of the population than Apple. I am not surprised that Walmart is now offering these phones at their locations because it is a no brainer Walmart gets involved with everything they want to be the best price for everything. I guess for the price of the phone you get a great plan that will save you something on that monthly phone bill.

      • Humberto Saabedra

        All 10 iPhone models being offered by StraightTalk and Walmart will be powered by Verizon’s network.

        The iPhone 5 inventory is also sourced from the carrier, but the LTE hardware is dormant, with the additional advantage of the SIM slot being unlocked for GSM service for both domestic and international use, a consequence of Verizon’s iPhone 5 being mandated to ship unlocked due to the FCC guidelines it agreed to when rolling out LTE on C-Block spectrum.

    • I called and spend a while trying to figure this one out. It will be CDMA off of verizons network not sprint. LTE is undefinded but with Straight Talks insane TOS no LTE actually might be a good thing to keep your data under control.

      • brown_te

        The death of the subsidy model appears to be gaining traction. One interesting aspect is how much transparency is gives to margins on smartphone hardware. I’m not anti-Apple, but they enjoy some very nice margins on iPhones that might suffer some in a no-subsidized world.

    • Gregg Borodaty

      Here’s one solution if you’re on T-mobile. Take your current SIM card into a T-mobile store and tell them you’re getting an iPhone5. They’ll trim your card for you (with a cutter, not scissors) and give you the adapter to slip it back into your phone. Then you’ll be ready to make the switch. It worked for my daughter who recently got an iPhone5 for Christmas.

      • I’d like to use T-Mobile, however, they’re not moving very fast at increasing beyond edge coverage in urban and some semi-rural areas. So StraightTalk will have to do until T-Mobile gets better.