A reader, Sara, recently asked me if she can buy the new iPhone 7 and use it with Straight Talk Wireless.
The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will work with Straight Talk Wireless or other prepaid wireless services but you may be better off waiting for Apple to start selling the SIM Free versions of the phone before buying.
Because the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were just released a couple of weeks ago, Straight Talk isn’t currently selling these phones. Take a look on straighttalk.com today and you’ll see they sell the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as well as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This means if you want to use the iPhone 7 with Straight Talk you’ll need to buy the phone someplace else and sign up for Straight Talk’s Bring Your Own Phone or BYOP plan.
The best option for buying an iPhone 7 is from Apple directly because they don’t sell the SIM free models yet it can be a little tricky. The SIM free model is unlocked, you’ll pay full price, but can use it with any carrier. If you watch the video you’ll see if you try to buy the iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll have a choice to buy the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile phones. Compare that to the iPhone 6s Plus which you can see comes is available for those four carriers plus in the SIM-free model for use with any carrier. Typically Apple when Apple starts selling a new model iPhone it can take a number of weeks before they start selling the SIM-free models.
If you don’t want to wait for the SIM-free model, you may be able to buy a full price iPhone 7 for one of the listed carriers and use it with Straight Talk. The Verizon iPhone 7 or 7 Plus is the best choice. The phone is unlocked and is compatible with the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks that Straight Talk uses. The problem is that you won’t be able add the the phone to your cart online without providing your Verizon account information. You might be able to buy one in an Apple retail store, if they have the phone is stock when you visit. You won’t be able to buy online with store pickup.
The next best choice is the T-Mobile iPhone 7. You’ll have no problem buying one online and the full price T-Mobile phones are usually unlocked. I bought my iPhone 5s this way, and was able to activate it with Straight Talk without an issue. Be aware that the T-Mobile and AT&T iPhones will both work on the Straight Talk AT&T or T-Mobile networks, but the phone isn’t fully compatible with the Verizon network. If you try to buy thr AT&T phone online you’ll also need to provide your AT&T account information to complete the purchase.
Every year when Apple releases the new iPhones models there is always a lot of discussion and debate if the full price AT&T and T-Mobile iPhones are really unlocked and can be activated with a SIM from a different company. I haven’t bought an iPhone 7. From what I have heard, the T-Mobile phone is unlocked. The AT&T phone requires an AT&T SIM to activate it but once that is done, it will work with T-Mobile. If you buy a full price carrier phone make sure to understand the return policy.
If you take a look at the tech specs, you’ll see why the Verizon model is the best phone to buy. The iPhone 7 (A1660) and iPhone 7 Plus (A1778) support the CDMA network technology used by Verizon and Sprint. The iPhone 7 (A1778) and iPhone 7 Plus (A1784) do not support CDMA and are meant for the AT&T and T-Mobile network.
If you don’t care about the Verizon network the iPhone 7 (A1778) and iPhone 7 Plus (A1784) are fine. The SIM-free model phones will be the Phone 7 (A1660) and iPhone 7 Plus (A1778).
I hope this helps.