Here’s the Catch to Walmart’s Cheap iPhone Plan

It looks like Walmart and Straight Talk’s unlimited everything offer has a catch.

Last week, Walmart announced that it would soon offer iPhone 5s with an unlimited data plan via Straight Talk for only $45.  The best part of the offer is that subscribers won’t have to be tied down to any contract.  And with people clamoring to get the latest iPhone and of course unlimited text, voice and data, who would pass up that deal?

HOW TO: Curb smartphone data usage & get lower bills

Walmart is offering a 16GB iPhone 5 for $649 and an 8GB iPhone 4 for $449.  The price is quite steep but you can pay Walmart $25/month until the device is paid off.  Walmart will even help set your account up so you’d be able to keep your number from your previous carrier.

But the unlimited offer may not be as great as everyone thinks since Walmart’s “unlimited” offer may not be unlimited after all – it has a 2GB data cap.  When you reach the 2GB data cap, your data usage won’t be totally cut off.   It will just slow to a crawl, possibly deterring you from using it at all.

But is a 2GB cap really that bad?

Not entirely, especially if you’re not a heavy data user.  And 2GB is pretty much a standard tier for data plans (see here for tips on curbing your monthly iPhone data usage).  The problem here is misleading advertising.  If Walmart was just honest about the data cap, it won’t be a big deal since $45 is pretty cheap for an all in plan.  The “unlimited” labelling was just misleading and people aren’t too keen on paying for something falsely advertised.

According to John Cassaretto, contributing editor for SiliconANGLE, Walmart may not have intentionally mislead consumers but there may have been some miscommunication between Straight Talk and the other network carrier.  Straight Talk rides on AT&T’s network — that’s why they offer such a cheap plan.  Cassaretto also stated that Walmart needs to address the situation, especially with a lot of consumers ranting on Pissed Consumer how they were never told of the data cap until they inquired about their plan.  Casaretto says it will be interesting to see how Walmart will pacify the angry consumers who felt they were duped.

See Cassaretto’s full analysis below: