Buying a Used iPhone 4 for Straight Talk Wireless

A reader, Lindsay, asks…

I’m looking into buying a used verizon iphone 4 from Swappa and transferring my straight talk service from my current smartphone but I want to make sure it will work before buying. I don’t have access to the MEID number so I can’t check on straight talk’s website to see if it’s eligible. Any other way I can check to make sure this phone will work on straight talk?

Hi Lindsay,
Unfortunately, you will not know if its eligible until you check the MEID. So if your heart is set on this phone, make sure to check that you can return the phone if it doesn’t work.

That said, I’d recommend that you don’t buy a used Verizon iPhone 4 at all. The iPhone 4 uses iOS 7 and won’t see any more OS updates. Apple just released iOS 9, so it’s already two versions behind.

Also, if you are on a Straight Talk $45 a month plan, I’d strongly recommend you buy a phone that supports 4G LTE, your data service will be so much faster. And, your already paying for that faster data, so why not take advantage of that. a Verizon iPhone 5 or later will support 4G LTE. And, if the ATT network works well in your area, I’d recommend switching to that because phone capability is not as much of an issue. The Straight Talk ATT 4G LTE network is also way faster than the Straight Talk Verizon 4G LTE network.

I’d recommend a used iPhone 4 only for someone that doesn’t use too much cellular data, using a much cheaper cellular plan with little or no data. Even then, the camera on the iPhone 4s is so much better than the iPhone 4, that I’d is the oldest model I’d recommend.

If you’d like to discuss this more, let me know what you are currently paying for Straight Talk, what phone you are using, how much this iPhone 4 would cost. Also if the Straight Talk ATT network is an option for you and I could make some recommendations.


  1. Joe5 | |

    Hi Bob,
    I too was looking at a nice Iphone 4 deal and I’m looking for quality phone calling and some text (only). So data-wise, I’m not as interested in using the iphone for the purpose of internet, etc…So, in this case and since this phone I’m looking at’s a good buy on ebay, would you think that in the event I would buy it and for purpose of using StraightTalk’s less expensive plan (currently I have an Aspire Life’s Good cell phone via Virgin 30 dollars monthly plan of text/calls). That phone’s been a good new cellphoner (or for starting up purpose that is, for myself). But really, I would prefer a good quality phone since I lost the landline and this iphone 4 seems like a deal for what my needs consist. So, in this case, that’s why I’m commenting and to see if your current opinion may be worthy and I heard that the locked Verizon phones by Verizon have been unlocked as far as the Iphone 4? The phone I like states in eBay’s ad that it can be only Verizon networked and is locked by Verizon.


    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Joe5,
      first start by figuring out what network you use. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or Mobile. Then you need to get a phone that is compatible with that network. Virgin mobile uses the Sprint network.

      second, make sure you can actually activate a BYOP phone on the Straight Talk plan you want to use. Straight Talk’s cheapest plan is $30 a month an I don’t think your going to be able to activate an BYOP phone on that plan.

      Depending on the amount of voice minutes you need a month, Tracfone might be a better option for you.

      Third, based on your needs you could use an iPhone 4. I still don’t recommend it. The camera on the iPhone 4s is so much better and the iPhone 4 has stopped getting software updates. It uses iOS 7, the iPhone 4s, is updatable to iOS 9.

      You’ll need to ask the seller for the MEID of that specific phone to see if it can be used with Straight Talk’s verizon network. If the phone is eligible, you’ll be able to register and use it. You might also want to check the sellers return policy in case you have a problem activating it.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

  2. Lindsay | |

    Thank you so much for your response! Between my husband and I we have a smartphone and a basic phone and are paying $45 for the moto e smartphone, and $30 for the basic. We don’t use a lot of data (1 GB at most a month) and switched to straight talk because we were paying too much for 2 basic phones through verizon. We’re having problems with our moto and would like to get something a bit more reliable with a better camera (just decent, doesn’t have to be fabulous) but we really need something budget friendly which is why we are looking into the iphone 4 which we found in “excellent” condition on swappa for $48. Unfortunately if it isn’t compatible with straight talk, we wouldn’t be able to return it. At&t isn’t the most reliable in our area which is why we were looking for a verizon phone since that gets the best service around here. Any suggestions for us for a good smartphone around $50 (used) that would have a decent camera and would work with straight talk? Thanks!

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