Do you want to buy a new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max to use with a prepaid wireless service such as Straight Talk, Tracfone, or Verizon Prepaid. In this article, I’ll explain what you need to know.
On September 12th, 2019 Apple announced the new iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11. Every year around this time I start to hear from readers that are using Straight Talk or other prepaid wireless services that want to know how to buy a new iPhone to use with their service.
Note that this article for people that live in the US and want to use the new iPhone with US prepaid wireless service. I’ll have a separate article for people looking to buy a new iPhone 11 in the US for use outside the US.
The good news for 2019 is that Apple has made the buying process easy this year. First, Apple is only selling one model iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max in the US that is compatible with all four major carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. In previous years, Apple had two models of each iPhone, one for AT&T and T-Mobile only and one for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The US model iPhone 11 is model A2111. The iPhone 11 Pro is model A2160 The iPhone 11 Pro Max is model A2161.
Next, Apple is selling the Unlocked and SIM-Free iPhone 11 available immediately. In previous years, you often had to wait weeks of months for this option. To be clear, Unlocked and SIM-Free is a buying option, not a different model. With iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max all five options are the same phone. The four carrier options ship with a SIM card for the respective carrier and the Unlocked and SIM-Free option does not include a SIM card.
Next, this year Apple has added an additional description to apple.com to explain which iPhone 11 are unlocked. This year you also have the option to buy a one-time payment carrier option and all of these phones are unlocked. If you are trying to find a phone in stock at a particular store or an earlier delivery date you can choose the one-time payment carrier option iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max. According to apple.com, the only iPhone models that are locked are the ones purchased if you choose AT&T as your carrier and pay with AT&T Next.
In previous years could not complete the order for a carrier iPhone unless you had a carrier account. You’d need to provide Apple with your AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint phone number to complete the order. This year you can choose the one-time payment option. Also in previous years there was often a lot of online debate if the carrier iPhones were unlocked or not. Some customers would report buying there carrier options with a one-time payment and getting a locked iPhone and others would getting unlocked phones.
Note that this year, I bought the one-time payment Verizon iPhone 11 for a family member. The phone was unlocked and it is being used by a family member with a Tracfone AT&T SIM card. I chose the Verizon option because I was able to pick up the phone at the Apple store on Sep 20 and was not able to get the Unlocked and SIM-Free option that day. I’ll also add that over the years I have bought a number of new iPhone models including one-time payment options for AT&T, T-Mobile, and even Verizon and all those phones were unlocked and I was able to use them with prepaid wireless.
Are you going to buy a new iPhone 11? If so, what phone are you currently using? Leave a reply below and share.
I also created a video for this article.Watch it below