Why is Walmart giving 740,000 associates a free Samsung smartphone?

Why is Walmart giving 740,000 associates a free Samsung smartphone?
As CNN reported on Thursday, Walmart had a nice surprise for roughly half of its workforce as the discount retailer announced plans to hand out a free Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro to 740,000 associates. The phones will be disseminated by the end of this year and will include a case and protection plan. The phone retails for $499 and while we know that Walmart isn't paying retail, not including the extras, the value of the handsets being distributed by Walmart comes to more than $369 million using the MSRP..

The Galaxy XCover Pro is a rugged handset sporting a Gorilla Glass 5 protected 6.3-inch LCD display and a resolution of 1080 x 2340. That works out to an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The 10nm Exynos 9611 chipset is under the hood with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of storage (with 48.5GB available for use).

The camera array on the back includes a primary 25MP shooter and an 8MP Ultra-wide camera. In front there is a 13MP front-facing selfie snapper. The device does come with a 3.5mm earphone jack, and a 4050mAh battery keeps the lights on. Maximum charging rate is 15W.

The company said that it is giving away the Samsung phones in conjunction with the launch of its new app for employees called Me@Walmart. In a release, Walmart said that the app will help employees "simplify daily tasks, serve our customers and plan for life outside of work." With the app, users will be able to arrange their work schedule, clock in when their shift starts and it also "saves time by letting associates ask the app questions to quickly locate merchandise and get answers for customers."

The phone should be able to handle the rough and tumble action on the floor of a typical Walmart with its IP68 protection allowing the handset to be submerged in 1 meter of water (3.3 feet) for up to 30 minutes and escape unscathed. With its MIL-STD-810G military rating, the device is protected from vibrations, extreme temperatures, low pressure, high altitude, and 5-foot drops.
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