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Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

Had a better experience this week when i purchased my SIM card at a large Walmart SuperCentre east of Oshawa. Noticing before Christmas that the Paint division and paint mixing as well as much of the Home Products division was closed, and that at many Wally's the Automotive Tire Installaton section has been closed as well as many other cutbacks and corporate rollbacks, and general conditions more reminiscent of 1929, I asked the woman selling SIM cards a few questions. I had to wait about 20 minutes while staff were on break, but it was worth it.  She told me, she too was not really a regular Walmart staffer and that is why the other staffer on duty while she ate supper, could not come to the cash till and sell me the Public Mobile SIM card - the till was locked until her return. She said like the Auto section and Paint section she was a contract employee for (i believe a sub contractor called OSL Inc.), and she sold all the upper end electronics - all contract phones and service plans, certain TVs, SIM cards, SD cards for cameras and phones, et cetera.  She did not try to persuade me to go with Walmart wireless, but rather PM was a good consumer choice because it was good value and ran over a stable Telus network.   She said what remains of Walmart's that have an Auto Service with the bays open and selling tires and small installations, is actually not Wally people, but in fact contracted out to Jiffy Lube, and those staff like her, are not regular Wally staff (and that there are sometimes frictions between the two types of staff).

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

Isn't the 2nd slot on most mobile phones for an SD card (memory storage for photos)?

Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

@jgrose1, Yes, the second slot is usually for an SD card.  That is, unless the phone is a dual SIM model. 

Mayor / Maire

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

@jgrose1 as @abTest noted, some phone are dual-SIM.  In the past, dual SIM models were rare in North America but common in Asia and Europe.  Dual SIM is starting to be found on this side of the pond now too. Less so in "top tier" brands like Apple and Samsung, but many China-based brands like OnePlus, Huawei, Oppo, etc are all or mostly dual-SIM models.  


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Mayor / Maire

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

@jgrose1 & @abTest & @srlawren

 

Many phones will have 2 slots, the first slot always being a SIM, the second slot can be used for a SIM or for expandable memory card

 

If the phone has 3 slots, then slot 2 & 3 will never be used at same time (so if memory inserted then only single SIM, if dual SIM in use then it will not work with external memory)

 

Mayor / Maire

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase


wrote:

@jgrose1 & @abTest & @srlawren

 

Many phones will have 2 slots, the first slot always being a SIM, the second slot can be used for a SIM or for expandable memory card

 

If the phone has 3 slots, then slot 2 & 3 will never be used at same time (so if memory inserted then only single SIM, if dual SIM in use then it will not work with external memory)

 


That to me seems like a waste of a good slot Smiley Sad  Why would a manufacturer do that?

Mayor / Maire

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

Card slot configurations:

 

- Single SIM, no micro SD card 

- Single SIM, micro SD card 

- Dual SIM, no micro SD card

- Dual SIM where the second slot is a "hybrid"--can either hold a SIM, OR a Micro SD card

- Dual SIM plus dedicated micro SD card slot

 

This last one is quite rare.  Most Dual SIM are either no SD or hybrid SD configurations.

 

It gets even slightly muddier too with how many SIM slots can be active at once, with Dual Active (best but least common), Dual Standby, and errrr, mabye that's it?


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Town Hero / Héro de la Ville

Re: Walmart Sim Card Purchase

The manufacturer uses a common hardware platform - same mainboard PCB, same plastic chassis, same "spots" to solder on and screw in the same (or similar) components.  It keeps costs down, reuses and builds upon "modules" they've already designed, and lets them produce a family of similar models with differing capabilities.  While minimizing retooling and minimizing firmware/software development and maximizing compatibility with other hardware modules/accessories.

 

So it's common to see "empty" or "placeholder" spots on circuit boards, and sometimes the manufacturer repurposes them towards other things (especially on small, limited, and technologically dense devices like smartphones).

 

Dual-SIM devices have a tiny niche with low demand in places like Canada.  They're far more viable (and far more common) in places like China.  Well over 99% of Canadians are going to subscribe to a single provider and only need (only use) a single SIM, so the manufacturer might as well put something else (like MicroSD) into the other slot to make the model more compelling to Canadian consumers on the Canadian market.  And we all know Walmart is a monopsonistic powerhouse, they are basically a customer with so much buying power that they specify the standards and control the prices, they'll buy from whichever company can fill their (large ongoing) orders with the best and the cheapest products.