Nokia HMD set to gain from Walmart summer reset

In late Spring or early Summer each year, Walmart refreshes its lineup of smartphones. This year, the refresh came in June, and along with it, OEM competition at the retailer should intensify. The biggest winners of the refresh appear to be Nokia HMD and Samsung.

Walmart’s sweet spot is the sub-$100 segment and its consumers are very sensitive to price. Nokia HMD launched two new devices through Straight Talk and Tracfone, two of the most popular prepaid brands available at Walmart, the C100 and C200. The devices retail for $39.99 and $69.99 respectively, placing them squarely in Walmart’s sweet spot. While the specifications and design of these devices are unlikely to wow anyone, they pack the necessary power and battery life to meet the needs of users in this market, and more importantly, they do it at a very low price. Nokia HMD also gained shelf space at Walmart with its Nokia 2760, a popular feature phone due to its $29.99 price tag. One sales representative interviewed at a Walmart in Washington, D.C. reported that the device was the best-selling model at his location.

Nokia HMD C100 and C200


Samsung also gained from Walmart’s recent refresh, as prepaid brands changed-up their portfolios of Galaxy A-series devices with the latest Galaxy A03s, Galaxy A13 LTE, and Galaxy A13 5G. The Galaxy A02s and Galaxy A12, which were major hits with prepaid brands in 2021, and up until the refresh in 2022, are largely absent from shelves now, though Walmart stores across the country will be selling through any inventory they have on hand at discounted prices.

Galaxy A03s and A13 5G

TCL also had a new device on shelves at Walmart following the refresh, the TCL 30 Z, which is offered through Cricket Wireless, AT&T Prepaid, Straight Talk, and Tracfone for $79.99. This adds another TCL device to Walmart’s shelves, which should help the brand continue to drive strong sales in the channel alongside its popular A3 and A3x devices, which will now have to compete with the Nokia C100 and C200.

Each of these brands could face trouble in the coming months, however, as inflation related to the conflict in Ukraine eats away at consumers wallets, especially in the low-end of the market where consumers are the most price sensitive. When surveying sales representatives at Walmart, reports of inventory piling up was mentioned, as consumers decide to hold-off on new smartphone purchases if they’re able to. As prepaid demand cools, each of the brands mentioned above will be impacted.


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