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Walmart is giving nearly a million employees Samsung phones in exchange for their free will

Walmart Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro
Walmart Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro (Image credit: Walmart)

What you need to know

  • Walmart has announced the new Me@Walmart app for employees to complete work tasks.
  • The company is providing its employees with Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphones for work and personal use.
  • While clocked in, employees will only be able to use the Me@Walmart app.

Walmart has announced (opens in new tab) that it is launching a new Me@Walmart app for its associates and will provide new Samsung Galaxy smartphones to more than 740,000 employees.

The Me@Walmart will allow associates to perform daily work tasks such as clocking in, scheduling, and quick communication with push-to-talk. The app even includes voice assistant features with Ask Sam so employees can ask various questions about merchandise or metrics.

Employees will be limited to the Me@Walmart app and related work functions while clocked in, and it will use geofencing so that employees will only be able to clock in while physically at work.

The capabilities within the Me@Walmart app are built in-house by our product, technology and design teams and apply best-in-class technology, like machine learning, augmented reality, camera vision and artificial intelligence to tackle complex problems.

The Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro will be provided to employees, along with a case and protection plan. The phone was released in the U.S. in early 2020, and while it may not be as powerful as a Samsung Galaxy S21 on the inside, it makes up for it on the outside with its rugged built.

The Galaxy XCover Pro features IP68 water and dust resistance and MIL-STD-810G certification, which are ideal when used in working situations. It has a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with a hole-punch selfie camera, dual cameras at the rear and is powered by an Exynos processor. It's an otherwise average smartphone but is one of the best rugged Android phones available.

Walmart employees will be able to use the XCover Pro as their personal devices as well, and Walmart states that employee privacy will be protected so it won't have access to their personal data.

As the world's largest public employer, Walmart hopes that the move will help the company make better use of some of the latest tech to empower its employees and help them be more efficient.

As retail continues to evolve — and quickly — it's more critical than ever to equip our people with the tools and technology they need for success.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

17 Comments
  • For work, I get it. For personal use, no way. They are asking a lot from their employees in terms of trust.
  • Yeah there is no way I would trust my work from not being able to look on my personal stuff
  • If they have the MDM stuff set correctly they will have zero visibility to the users personal data. You can create a partition between the two. We have done this for our folks.
  • If you want to trust that then by all means. But I work in tech and from my experience, nothing is off limits. Even if legal has to get involved, there is always a way.
  • This is no different than the Knox BYOD system already available. Personal data and work data are completely separated.
  • If it benefits Wal-Mart they'll do it, of course?
  • Does Walmart expect the employee to pay for the cell phone plan?
  • Yes, employee will pay for the phone plans themselves
  • Yes. But the plan isn't required. It can still function over wifi.
  • Unless I missed something in the article it’s not required they use these devices as the personal phone. Not sure about the drama/click bait headline
  • Correct. The original Walmart press release also doesn't say you can ONLY use Me@Walmart. It says that certain features of the app (already available for personal and BYOD devices) only work when on the clock.
  • Nothing new for the world. I was issued a smart phone for work (originally a Blackberry) that I could also use as a personal phone if needed. (I carried my own Verizon phone at the time due to a large discount from Verizon.)
    When working, it is the phone I used especially if it came to using a camera on the phone. Considering the photos I was taking at times, didn't want those on my personal phone anyway.
    In this case, it sounds like a benefit to the employees if they do receive the plan at zero cost.
  • The optional plan is $30 supposedly. The replacement plan is free.
  • So Walmart is to blame for the chip shortage.
  • Not really, more like they found a way to use dead stock that wasn't selling. With those phones releasing in early 2020, the chips were probably stamped in late 2019
  • I like the idea of Walmart giving the phones to employees to use at work. From an employer perspective, it would keep employees on task. From an employee perspective, it's a lot better than the alternative, having to install a Walmart app on their personal phones.
  • "While clocked in, employees will only be able to use the Me@Walmart app."
    This is what it is really all about, if employees have their personal phones they can tweet,surf or whatever while they are "clocked in".