Using a Sprint iPhone 5c with Straight Talk Wireless


A reader, Tami, writes

I recently bought a iPhone 5c from a friend who said it would work on straight talk I went to their website and it also said that it was compatible after purchasing the Byop kit it doesn’t work. It appears the phone is locked to sprint. Is there anything I can do? help would be appreciated got it for my son for Christmas and can’t get it to work.


Hi Tami

Your Sprint iPhone 5C is a Model A1532 or a Model A1456? As far as I know all A1456 models are locked to Sprint.  While the phone is technically capabile of being used on a number of netorks, Sprint locks the phones to prevent that. When you bought the BYOP kit, did you get the one with the SIM card or a CMDA phone kit? Do you know? What happens when you tried to register it on the network?





47 comments on “Using a Sprint iPhone 5c with Straight Talk Wireless
  1. Sarah Willeford says:

    So i am purchasing a Iphone 5c from one of my friends and it went through Sprint before she got her new updated phone.The Iphone is unlocked and everything and she gave me the serial number and all of that and even the model number. I called straight talk and of course they said it isnt compatable with Straight talk because it has a sim card slot but all the other iphones have sim card slots. So im Confused if i should purchase the Iphone from her and all of that .

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Straight Talk uses 4 different networks (ATT, Verizon, Sprint and TMobile). When you sign up for Straight Talk your phone will use one of these four networks.
      My suggestion is to first decide which network is best for you and then get a BYOP phone that will work well with that network.

      So which wireless companies work well in your area? ATT, Verizon, Sprint or TMobile?

      If your friend’s iPhone 5c is really unlocked, it will work with Straight Talk’s ATT or TMobile network. You just need to get the right SIM card. I recommend you make sure the phone really is unlocked before buying though. You can to this by finding a friend that uses an iPhone 5 or later with ATT or TMobile. Borrow their SIM and put it in the phone. If the phone is unlocked, you’ll be able to make phone calls from that persons phone number.

      If you want to this phone with Straight Talk’s Verizon or Sprint network, the phone needs to be eligible. The phone has a ID number called an MEID. You’ll need to check the MEID with Straight Talk to see if that specific phone is eligible. You can find the MEID in the phone’s settings. Check the MEID online to see if the phone is eligible here

      So which network do you think would work best where you live, work, or plan to use your phone most: ATT,Verizon, Sprint, or TMobile? BTW how much are you going to pay for this phone?
      Let me know.

  2. Ashley Shadrick says:

    This makes makes me nervous about buying one from someone

    • Bob Thompson says:

      It’s perfectly ok to buy a used phone, but you need to do your homework and understand the terms of your purchase.
      If you buy from someone on Craig’s List, its a done done once you hand over the cash. If you buy used on eBay, you have the option of buying from a seller that has a return policy. You might end up paying a little more for the equivalent phone, but that is a perfectly acceptable tradeoff.

      What type of phone do you want to buy and want network do you want to use?

  3. mike tomajko says:

    Okay, I’ve been going through the same situation. I feel like the only thing left to try is to flash the sprint 5c to Verizon and use that on straight talk using the network access code.

  4. Tara says:

    Hey there. I have read some of your answers and you seem to really know how this all works. I have an iPhone 4s that was previously on Verizon’s network, that I am currently using on Straight Talk (service is excellent) I am trying to better understand how to get my daughters iPhone 5c switched to Straight Talk as well. I purchased the activation kit but when I went to insert the SIM card, I got lost! The way I understand it, is that Verizon uses CDMA, which would make my phone CDMA. It gave me the option of an AT&T compatible SIM card or a t-mobile SIM card. I guess my question is, does my phone need a SIM card to operate on straight talk? If so, which one would I use? Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!

  5. artie gonzales says:

    I have a Iphone 4s with stright talk, how can I change it to Iphone 5c. and how can you unlock it from which is and other Iphone 5c with sprint.

  6. Collin says:

    Yes tami
    It does come with both and I tried to put the sims card in it the phone says it can’t syc with network

  7. Sydney says:

    My boyfriend ordered me a white iPhone 5c and I only use straight talk. So does this mean I won’t be able to use the phone with straight talk or switch it over to straight talk providers?

  8. Kayla says:

    Trying to figure out how to use sprints iPhone 5c on straight talk

  9. Matt says:

    I have seen that US Cellular also uses A1456. Is that unlocked or unlockable to used on another carrier. It seems everywhere I look the A1456 is unlocked except for Sprint models. I can’t seem to get a clear answer anywhere :/

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Matt,
      As far as I know its SIM locked. If you have this phone, you can try borrowing an ATT SIM from a friend and putting it into your phone and see if it’s sim locked.

      You can also go to an ATT store or tmobile store. tell them you are thinking of switching to a prepaid plan and want to try a SIM to see if it works in your phone. Go in to the store when it’s not busy and be polite. Ask for the info on their prepaid, tell them you are not ready to switch that day.

      I don’t have any details on unlocking this phone though. You might find a local dealer that can do it. You can also research something called GPP. I usually don’t recommend 3rd party unlocks for readers unless they understand and can live with the limitations.


  10. Cai says:

    I have a Sprint White iPhone 5C Model A1456 clear ESN, and before i upgraded to a 5C i used a HTC Incredible that was flashed to PagePlus. I’m thinking of doing contract with Straight Talk, but wondering if I can port my number from PagePlus to Straight Talk? And since the 5C i have, have a SIM Card slot. I know it’s a CDMA phone but does it requires a SIM Card to be activated or no?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Cai,
      Unfortunately you can’t activate a Sprint iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c on Straight Talk’s Sprint networks, only the iPhone 4 and 4s. And worse, Sprint will not SIM unlock the phone for you. Verizon’s iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c are SIM unlocked because federal law requires the phones to be unlocked.

      If you want to use the Sprint iPhone 5c with a SIM, you’ll need to look into 3rd party SIM unlocks, one is called GPP. They work but limit your ability to update iOS, because the SIM unlock software needs to be updated too.

      One reader here commented that you could find dealers that could reflash iPhones for Page Plus. I don’t know if that is true. I have readon other forums about people getting their Sprint and Verizon phones activated on prepaid networks, but they never really say how.

      Sorry I don’t have an better answer for you.

  11. Brittney says:

    I’m going to be getting an iPhone 5c and putting it on ST also. Any help on how to unlock it from Sprint will be very much appreciated. ThAnks so much.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Brittney,
      The Sprint iPhone 5c is a poor choice for use with Straight Talk. You can try to register it on ST sprint network and see what happens but they claim they will only allow you to use the Sprint iPhone 4 and 4s. You can try unlock the phone with a GPP or similar unlock. you’ll pay extra money for this and when there are iOS update you will have to wait and see if and when the unlock is compatible.

  12. Tecoria says:

    I if you take your phone to radioshack they can flash it and you can put it on page plus which is like straight talk.. I just recently found this out and plan to do it as soon as i can..

  13. Holly says:

    I have a sprint iphone 5c that the previous owner stopped paying on and sold it to me. I want to have it work on a straight talk or boost prepaid service. Is it possible to do this and if so, how? Any information I could get, I’d appreciate it. I’m kind of cell phone illiterate. Thanks.

  14. Sable says:

    I have a Sprint 4s — I tired of paying close to $130.00 for cell phone service each month. Saw that straight talk
    advertises if you bring your Sprint iphone cdma phone over they can activate it . Charging $15.00 network access code then paying $45.00 a month unlimited. Not sure If I have to buy the sim chip ? Has anyone gotten a Iphone 4s Sprint phone to work on straight talk. The lady from Straight Talk stated this was brand new starting in Feb. 2014. Anxiously awaiting to find out if anyone had success.


    • jennifer says:

      I have been without a phone for 4 days now because straight talk claimed my phone was compatible but it wont work! they told me its active but they dont know why it wont give me a number. they tell me to wait it is now 4 days no phone! this company is running a scam! I paid for the kit only to be told no refund even though they cant get it to work and they told me it would!

      • Bob Thompson says:

        Hi Jennifer,
        I am sorry to hear that your phone is not working. Its sounds like a frustrating experience. I might be able to help you, but you would need to share a little information with me.
        First, what type of phone do you have? is it an iPhone? which model? Were you using this phone with another wireless company?
        Does anything work? Can you make a call? Receive a call? what happens when you try to make a call.


        • Kristi says:

          I did the GSM setup on a CDMA phone. I made a mess of my iphone 5c. I can’t get past invalid sim now :( Is there any hope for me. Feel free to tweet me @yagwit

          • Bob Thompson says:

            Hi Kristi,
            Ok, I assume you are using a Sprint iPhone 5c. And, you transferred your phone service to a straight talk gsm sim is this correct?

            The sim slot on this phone is locked. Can you tell me are / were you a sprint customer ? Is your account in good standing? Did you finish your contract or pay off the ETF?

            Sprint might unlock the phone for you. They never did in the past, but looking at the website, it looks like they may have updated the policy.

            Let me know

  15. Ashleylove903 says:

    How can I switch my iPhone to straight talk from sprint?

  16. Tami says:

    Sorry should have told I tried registering but it says phone not comparable for purpose of this registration and tried CDMA route and won’t wk either I tried activation with card that came with kit ($45) basically I guess I need to know how to unlock it that seems to be my only option because friend won’t take phone back

  17. Tami says:

    The model is ME568LL/A I bought the kit with both and it won’t let me registèr says not found and SIM card won’t work

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Tami,
      OK. Straight Talk sells phone service that uses the either ATT, TMobile, Verizon, or Sprint network. Your sprint phone is locked and you won’t be able to use a Straight Talk SIM for the AT&T or T-Mobile network.

      You have two options, return the phone and get an ATT or unlocked GSM model iPhone. Or try to register it as a CMDA / Sprint phone on the Straight Talk. I don’t know if the second option will work, you will have to try. Sprint phones don’t use SIM cards. You will get charged another fee to register the phone. If you activated the current SIM you will lose the 30 days of service you have paid for. Did you activate the SIM card? eg pay the 45 dollars already or use the refill card that came in the kit?

      So, your options.
      1. Get an ATT or unlocked iphone and use it with the SIM kit you bought
      2. return the 5C to your friend who sold it to you telling you it would work.
      3. If your friend won’t take it back you could sell it on eBay or Gazelle

      1. Try to activate it on straight talk as a Sprint phone
      2. you’ll lose the cost of the SIM cards
      3. you may be able to call Straight Talk to recover the 30 days of service, that it have it trnsfered to the Sprint iPhone.

      to try an register, the Sprint iPhone on Straight Talk, start here
      I can try to help you, but i cant guarantee it will work.

  18. Tami says:

    I recently bought a iPhone 5c from a friend who said it would work on straight talk I went to their website and it also said that it was compatible after purchasing the Byop kit it doesn’t wk appears the phone is locked to sprint anything I can so? help would be appreciated got it for my son for Christmas and can’t get it to wk ty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *