StraightTalk has officially expanded the availability of its BYOD GSM SIM offering to brick and mortar Walmart locations, as the multi-service virtual operator has launched a retail packaged BYOD Activation Kit for customers that do not want to deal with the additional steps of ordering service online or want the relative immediacy of going to a store to buy service.
The package, being sold for $59.98 as confirmed on HowardForums with pictures consists of the following contents:
1 x AT&T Sim Card
1 x AT&T Micro Sim Card
1 x T-Mobile Sim Card
1 x $45 Unlimited airtime card
This marks the first official expansion of the BYOD program on StraightTalk since its launch earlier this year as a previously online-exclusive service offering covering both AT&T and T-Mobile network access. While the retail package has yet to be made available nationwide, those interested can check availability by calling local stores.
Walmart also has yet to post the retail version of the kit on its site, but it does currently offer the StraightTalk AT&T full-size/micro SIMs for $14.96 each. It should also be noted that the SIM cards have individual identifier numbers and are not merely the same card in different form factors, unlike other similar packages offered around the world, meaning that each card can be activated on a different phone with no issues.
In related news, StraightTalk has released its 4th quarter device lineup for the holiday season, with the Galaxy S II leading the new slate. The S II is identical to the international version save for the radio being able to support AT&T 3G bands. The phone is available now online for $349.99.
The next phone in the new lineup is the Motorola Defy XT, Motorola’s first attempt to design and manufacture a rugged Android smartphone with Android 2.3, 5.0 megapixel main camera with 720p video capture, microSDHC slot and Mil-Spec bodyshell is now available for pre-order at $199.99 and will run off of Sprint’s CDMA network.
The third phone in the new lineup is a little known LG Optimus model in the LG Optimus Logic, which is an entry-level Android Gingerbread smartphone with an 800MHz processor, 3.5 inch HVGA resolution display, microSD slot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS along with an accelerometer and 3.2 megapixel camera with video capture. The AT&T-powered phone is available now for $89.99, which makes it a decently priced upgrade from the Nokia E71 for those that want to upgrade from that phone to Android or want a cheap media player.
With the new smartphone lineup, StraightTalk is making attempts to satisfy the high-end, mid-range and entry-level smartphone customer while expanding its BYOD program in the effort to appeal to every potential customer. While the lineup clearly demonstrates the virtual operator’s decision to not go too far into the high-end as evidenced by the release of the 18 month old Galaxy S II, the decision to expand BYOD to Walmart stores might be seen as a vote of confidence in the offering in that the process isn’t as daunting for new customers as once believed and may serve to trigger a new wave of competition against other offerings.