Many people nowadays can’t seem to live without their phone, tablet, Xbox, or internet – myself included. If you’re worried about your ability to find your favorite technology in Puerto Rico (and you don’t want to have to order everything online and wait for delivery [hoping nothing gets lost or stolen]), then this article will make you feel better.
The quick answer is that you can (pretty much) find all of the same national US stores here that you will on the mainland. Same goes for cellular service and internet.
However, if you want a little more detail, I’m going to cover 4 main areas with this article as outlined below:
- Internet Access
- Cellular Service
- Computers, Tablets & Phones
- TV, Gaming Consoles, and Gadgets
This way, you can just skip to the section you care about and quickly find the information you want.
Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Internet Access
Much like on the mainland, broadband, fiber, DSL, and satellite internet are fairly ubiquitous. Liberty Cable is the most prevalent cable (and internet) provider on the island and can be found in just about anywhere there’s a city of any size.
Claro seems to have the lion’s share of fiber connected internet and DSL when it’s available.
For those occasions when Cable or DSL is not available, there are a whole plethora of smaller local wireless internet providers and, of course, AT&T wireless, Claro, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. or Dish Network satellite internet.
If you’re looking for what the options are in a specific town in Puerto Rico, try Broadbandnow.com‘s search tool. All you need is a zip code.
Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Cellular Service
Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Computers, Tablets, and Phones
Once again, the familiar mainland stores are here in force. Best Buy, Walmart, Office Max, K-Mart, etc. offer a selection of desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, and iPods. They also sell accessories such as mice, keyboards, printers and ink.
In addition, you have AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. which cell the usual array of sell phones and tablets.
However, there is no Apple store anywhere on the island. We found authorized Apple re-sellers and places where you can buy Apple products (Best Buy, for example) but, no actual Apple store.
There is, however, a Microsoft store in the Plaza Las Americas. Personally, I find it a bit odd that Apple doesn’t have a retail presence on the island while Microsoft does. Especially since just about everyone I know here has an Apple iPhone and/or iPad.
Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: TV, Gaming Consoles, and Gadgets
Since I already mentioned Best Buy, Walmart, etc. you know that there is a full line of video games, TV’s, Drones. Fitbits, Apple watches, and just about every other electronic toy you could want available here.
On the rare occasion you can’t get something at the nearest big box store, you can easily find more specialized mainland and local chains as well. For example, being a video gamer, I really appreciate the numerous Game Stops here on the island.
Buying Technology In Puerto Rico: Isn’t There Any Bad News?
Up until now, I’ve focused mostly on the positive similarities between the mainland and the island (of which, there are many). Now let’s focus on the two things that are not so positive:
- Lack of Corporate Deals/Coupons
On average, it seems that most electronics here cost around 20% more than they do on the mainland. Sometimes you can get things for the same price but, usually it’s more (a lot more once you figure in the ridiculous 11.5% sales tax). As a result, after a while, you just start expecting it and almost become numb to it.
However, more frustrating, is the fact that the local chain stores rarely honor their own nationally advertised sales.
For example, a few weeks ago, Best Buy was running a sale where you could get a new GoPro Hero 4 Silver camera, water proof case, floating selfie stick, and a SD card for around $329. Considering the GoPro by itself has a MSRP of $399, this was a great deal. We double and triple checked for language indicating the offer wasn’t valid outside of the continental US and didn’t find any.
We tried to order it online at BestBuy.com for in-store pickup but the site said that our location didn’t qualify – Odd, we thought.
So, we went over to a local Best Buy store only to be told that the deal was not valid in Puerto Rico because of some sort of corporate sponsorship that Best Buy has neglected to setup on the island.
If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. It didn’t make sense to us or the store employees….
As a result, we ended up ordering the deal online and having Joanna’s son pick it up at his local Best Buy in Arizona. He was coming over for a visit the following week anyway, so it wasn’t a huge deal; but, if he hadn’t been, we would have needed to spend hundreds more dollars to get the camera and accessories.
So, if you’re worried about not being able to get your favorite technology if you move to Puerto Rico, you can stop now. Just be prepared to pay a little more.