Unable to Use Verizon iPhone 4s With Tracfone BYOP

A reader, Rhonda asks…

I have an iPhone 4s MEID #99 000xxxxxxxxxx. When I check to see if I can bring it to tracfone it says it is not compatible. I used this phone on Verizon and it has not been unlocked. Is there a way to use this phone?

Hi Rhonda,
I checked your MEID with both Tracfone and Verizon and it is not eligible for Bring Your Own Phone programs. Verizon told me they are no longer activating the iPhone 4s as it uses their older 3G CDMA network which they want to stop using in the future. If this is the case, then you would not be able to use it with Tracfone’s Verizon network either. You may still be able to use it with Tracfone’s ATT network though. With their ATT network, you activate their ATT sim card and put it in the phone and you are done. You do not need to check the IMEI. Keep in mind that while your iPhone 4s is will still work with the ATT network, it does not support their 4G LTE network and will use the older 3G network.

About a year ago, Verizon automatically unlocked all their iPhone 4s phones so the phone should be unlocked. You may need to factory reset the phone for the unlock to complete. To use the phone with Tracfone’s ATT network you’ll need an Tracfone ATT micro SIM card. You can order one online or buy it in best buy or target. If you know someone using the ATT network and their phone uses a micro SIM you can try their SIM in your phone to verify it is unlocked. If you can make a call with it, it’s unlocked.

At this point you may want to consider updating to a new phone. The iPhone 4s does not support the latest 4G LTE networks and is still using the older CDMA / 3g Networks that the phone companies will eventually stop using. The iPhone 4s also no longer gets software updates from Apple. It uses iOS 9 and they are releasing iOS 12 in the fall so its a few years without any updates.

For July, Tracfone had the iPhone 6s for $214. That offer expires 7/31 however see Tracfone Deals and Promotions for more details. Check that page for deals in the future too.