In my last post, I discussed the current state of prepaid wireless in the US and the idea of $45 per month for service with an iPhone. Click here to read it.
So let’s get started with Part 2: How to get your iPhone phone for $45/month. Keep in mind that this will also work for any other phone (Android..etc), but I am going to keep this guide focused on the iPhone.
DISCLAIMER: While I try to make the information here as valid as possible, I take no responsibility for any issues you may have as part of this process. Please take your time, read through the guide, do even more research, and decide if this is really for you.
What you will need:
- A GSM-based iPhone (AT&T or an unlocked version)
- A StraightTalk SIM card
- Keep in mind you will need a regular-sized SIM on an iPhone 3GS or older and a micro SIM on an iPhone 4 or 4s
Step 1: Decide if this is really for you.
Yes, this all sounds great. $45 per month for an iPhone? Hook me up, right? Well, as I said before, think about this first. There are a few items to keep in mind:
- This requires a little bit of work on your part to get going. It is worth it, but you need to feel comfortable with the process (read through it!)
- StraightTalk’s customer service is not that great. Just remember that you are unable to use your local AT&T or Verizon store. They won’t be there to help you. So if that is a dealbreaker, stop now.
- If you would like to use MMS/Picture Messaging, then it will require you to jailbreak your iPhone. I know that sounds frightening, but it really is very simple.
- While they advertise “unlimited data”, some users have reported being booted from Straight Talk for excessive data usage. This has typically been more than 120mb a day (for multiple days), or >2gb in a month. If you stream Netflix all day, this may not be for you.
- Are you going to port your number? If your number means everything to you, you may want to let Straight Talk assign you a new number and test this out for a month. You can always port your number later.
Still interested? Let’s move on.
Step 2: Grab an iPhone
You will need an iPhone that is GSM-based. This means any AT&T iPhone will work. If you already have one? Great, move on to step 3. If not, read on.
“What about me? I’ve had my Verizon/Sprint iPhone since day one!” Sorry bud, you are SOL. A Verizon/Sprint iPhone 4 has no GSM radio, so it will not work. A Verizon/Sprint 4s does have a GSM radio, but it is blocked from using it within the US. There are ways around this, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Just get an AT&T iPhone and be done with it.
Step 3: Buy a SIM card
Go to: Staight Talk and click on “Shop Sims”
Select “AT&T Compatible Phone”
For iPhone 3GS and earlier, select the SIM card
For iPhone 4 or 4s, select the Micro SIM card
Complete your order (you should probably pick up a $45 plan card too)
Step 4: Activate your SIM
Once you receive your SIM and $45 plan card, go through the process outlined in the Straight Talk package to activate your plan/SIM. This is where you need to decide if you are going to port your number, or let Straight Talk assign you a new number.
Step 5: Pop in your SIM
As long as you have an AT&T iPhone, you will now be able to place phone calls and send texts. In order to configure your data connection, do the following:
- Go to a location where you have wifi access
- Open Safari and go to http://www.unlockit.co.nz
- Choose United States, then StraightTalk
- Install the profile
- 3G Data should now work
That should do it. Your iPhone should now be working, with the exception of MMS. You will be able to send MMS to other iPhone users though, as it uses iMessage instead of MMS. However, If you would like MMS to work, OasisFan over at HowardForums wrote up a great post on how to do it here.
Leandrea has been on her ST iPhone for over 6 months now, with no complaints. Let us know your experience as you go through the process (or if you have already done it).
Disclaimer: This post now contains affiliate links. We believe in Straight Talk’s service that we signed up as an affiliate. We truly want to help people save money on their cell phones and want to be completely transparent with all the information we provide.