Best Buy is offering its own branded cell phone service through a partnership with Cricket Wireless that makes it more competitive with Wal-Mart.
The electronics retailer has watched as Wal-Mart captured millions of price-sensitive customers with its own branded services like Straight Talk and Wal-Mart Family Plan. At a time when wireless is booming as an industry, only 17% of Best Buy’s revenues come from cell phones.
Best Buy’s new partnership with Cricket will result in three price points at its more than 1,300 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide. Meanwhile, Android phones will be available at $129 and $199 with no contract.
- A $25 plan for unlimited text, web and 300 talk minutes
- A $35 plan for unlimited text, web and 1,000 talk minutes
- A $55 plan that offers unlimited text, web, 1,000 talk minutes and unlimited song downloads through Cricket’s Muve Music Service
The future of the cell business ultimately will be no contract plans that are lower in cost per month and still give you access to fancy phones. The great news is that Wal-Mart finally has a competitor in this space.
That’s so key because, especially with Wal-Mart’s Straight Talk service, there’s no handholding for new customers. The idea of the Best Buy/Cricket partnership is that you’ll get a low price but you’ll also have somebody there to guide you through and explain how the service works.