Using Your Verizon iPhone 4s or iPhone 4 with Straight Talk Wireless

I have been getting a lot of questions about using the Verizon iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 with Straight Talk wireless. If you have an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5 , see Using Your Verizon iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5 with Straight Talk Wireless

The most frequently asked question is “Can I use my Verizon iPhone 4s or iPhone 4 with Straight Talk wireless?”

Yes, you can. Provided that Straight Talk offers Verizon service in your area and your iPhone 4s or 4 is eligible. To check if your iPhone is eligible, you’ll need to enter the MEID of your phone and your Zip code into Straight Talk’s web site and check if it’s eligible. Keep reading for details.

First, let me explain a little bit about how Straight Talk works. Straight Talk doesn’t own their wireless network, the lease service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint in bulk. They provide their own sales, marketing, and support. When you sign up for Straight Talk, your phone will be placed on one of these networks.

With the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 you don’t have a choice as to which network you can use, you’ll only able to use the Verizon network. For many people, that is ideal, you’ll be using your phone on the Verizon network, just with Straight Talk wireless. But, if you want to use it with Straight Talk’s ATT or T-Mobile network, you can’t. You might be thinking that you’ll just buy the Straight Talk ATT or TMobile SIM, stick it in the side of the phone and be on one of those two networks. It won’t work, your iPhone 4s and 4 are SIM locked. And so far Verizon has been unwilling to unlock these phones for use in the US.

OK. So I hope you are still with me. You can use your iPhone 4s or iPhone 4 on Straight Talk’s Verizon network, provided your phone is eligible and Straight Talk offers their verizon network in your area.

To check if your phone is eligible, you’ll need to enter your iPhone’s Mobile equipment identifier or MEID and zip code into the Straight Talk website and it will tell you if it’s eligible.

Mobile equipment identifier or MEID, is just a fancy name for a unique id that is used to register your phone on the their verizon network. Check Settings->General->About, your MEID is on that page.

You can check your phone eligibility on Straight Talk’s web site here:Register your CDMA Bring Your Own Phone

If you phone is eligible, you’ll need to buy a Network Access Code for $14.99. This one time code is used to register your phone on the Straight Talk network. You can buy this when you sign up on the web site, order it separately on the web site, or find one in the Straight Talk BYOP kit from Walmart. You best buy is to just buy it online. You don’t need a SIM to use your Verizon phone on Straight Talk, just the network access code.

Once you register your phone on the network, you’ll need to activate it by paying for a service plan. Most people choose the Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $45 a month (30 days). Note, that Straight Talk’s unlimited data means you get 3GB of high speed data. After that, they throttle your data connection, meaning it gets really slow.

When you activate your phone, you’ll need to choose between getting a new phone number or transferring your existing phone number to Straight Talk. I’d guess most people want to transfer their phone number. When you transfer your phone number, you’ll need some information from your current phone company. You’ll need your account number and your account pin. Also make sure your address is up to date. You can call your wireless company to get this information. Straight Talk uses this information to make sure that you are really the owner of this phone number, and not “hijacking” someone’s phone number. Note that the PIN, is not the PIN you use to unlock your phone, it’s the PIN on your account. If you don’t know what your PIN is or have one, your current phone company can help you.

After you sign up and transfer your service, your current phone will remain active until the number is transferred. Once it is, your now old account is cancelled. You’ll need to follow the instructions to activate the phone. You’ll need to dial an activation number on your phone and then restart it. They may ask you to complete some additional steps.

I hope this helps clear things up. Before signing up for Straight Talk you might also want to check out Verizon’s prepaid wireless. It costs more, but you can walk into any Verizon store and get help with your phone. For some people, the added expensive is work it.

Got a question? Leave a comment below. Did this information help you? I’d love to read about it in the comments below.

153 Comments

  1. Karen | | Reply

    hi Bob I know this is a really old article but you seem to know a lot about this topic which after much searching hoping seems to apply to me.. though not in a good way. Since you know so much about it I would love your opinion about my situation and if it is truly hopeless..

    I have an old iphone4 that I got through the government phone service which was free for me at the time but I had to buy the phone separately through them. I guess it is the kind without a SIM card tray so I know that limits my options even further and there may be none, but I have to keep trying because my facebook account which is important to me (and connected to a social game app I’ve invested a lot of time and money into) is locked out and is requiring me to enter a 6 digit code sent to the phone I haven’t used for years and am told now is impossible to use.. well sorry for rambling but I would really appreciate if you would respond about what you think or know. It does say A1349 on the back which is apparently not a good sign either lol, not sure what else you’d need to know but I’m guessing you can tell me from that if it’s useless or if there is any hope. Thank you so much Bob

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Ok. Well it is going to depend on how they send the six digit code. If it is a text message, they would sent it to your phone number. If you no longer have the same phone number, you won’t be able to get the code. If they send it to the app on your phone, it should still work if you connect the phone to Wi-Fi, If you have the same phone number active on a new phone, the code should go to a new phone.

      Second, that old iPhone can no longer be activated. It used Verizon’s old network which is being shut down so you’ll need to get a new phone at some point.
      You could also see if your old number was assigned to someone else and ask them if they got the code. (text them). If no one has the number you might be able to activate it on the same service but with a new phone,

      • Karen | | Reply

        Thank you very much for your expertise and reply, I really appreciate it! yes unfortunately it seems like it is a lost cause for me. it means a lot to me that there is someone like you sharing information and trying to help people and me though =)

  2. Jack Carpenter | | Reply

    I have my iPhone 4s unlock and ready to be used for Straight Talk $35 or TracFone $?? but not sure right now. It want to do iPhone 4s iOS 9.3.5 update I heard bad thing but I like to know is it safe or not? If I do update it won’t lock the phone so it can’t be used at a later date?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      IOS updates are safe. I have an iPhone 4s with 9.3.5 and i find the phone is slow, which could be because 9.3.5 is slow on that phone or because I am used to faster phones. Updating the phone won’t “lock” the phone.

      If you don’t need unlimited talk and text, I’d go with tracfone. You’ll pay for minutes, but Straight Talk id going to cost you $420 per year, so if you don’t use too much talk or data tracfone may be cheaper.

      I’ll repeat my recommendation that the iPhone 4s is a poor choice for Straight Talk. For $400 per year you could buy a new iPhone SE from Total Wireless $100 for the phone, 300 for 12 months of $25 service, and then add $10 5GB data cards as needed. You’d have a phone that gets software updates, a new battery, a great camera, gets 4G LTE data, a little larger screen and more.

  3. Jack Carpenter | | Reply

    My son upgraded his iphone 4s to iphone x and he gave 4s to me. My question is can I do a hard reset on the 4s but will it delete the iCloud x? I know when I turn on the 4s it shut his iphone x off where he could not use it.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Jack,
      I’d need to understand some additional info. What wireless service is he using? Straight Talk? Which towers? what are you using? Did he properly transfer his service from his iPhone 4s to the iPhone X?
      I loved the iPhone 4s but in 2018, I wouldn’t recommend using it with any other carrier than Tracfone’s ATT network. If you are a Straight Talk customer consider a new or refurbishe iPhone SE, the phone will support LTE which will give you beteer coverage and faster data.

      Feel free to reply if you want more help. And I would not hard reset the phone just yet. start with steps 1 through 3 here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201351

      • Jack Carpenter | | Reply

        Bob

        I’d need to understand some additional info.

        What wireless service is he using? His is Verizon
        Straight Talk? Mind will be Straight Talk
        Which towers? Verizon
        what are you using? None right now
        Did he properly transfer his service from his iPhone 4s to the iPhone X? I will have to ask him when he get home this weekend

        4g

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Jack,
          OK. You son is using Verizon (not Straight Talk’s Verizon towers…)
          I’m not clear about what is happening where you say when you turn on the iPhone 4s his iPhone X shuts off. Do you mean he is not able to use his phone service or something else.

          I assume you checked the iPhone’s MEID with Straight Talk and they said its eligible. Not sure if they told you to order a SIM, did they sent you a white SIM card with red trim? Your phone will use CDMA only, not 4G LTE and will be pretty slow for data. Your phone should also be compatible with Straight Talk’s ATT network which would likely be a little faster.

          Discuss you needs with your son. Decide if you need unlimited talk and text, and how much data you need. Do you plan to use the iPhone at home? Do you have Wifi? Tracfone may be a better option, much cheaper if your needs are limited. I had my mother on an iPhone 4s with Tracfone’s verizon network and moved her to an iPhone SE on Tracfone’s ATT network and the overall usability of the phone is som much better.

  4. Jack Carpenter | | Reply

    If I read this right my iphone 4s should work in zip code 43040 area where I live. I just receive my Verizon Straight Talk Kit Sim Card today. By the way I am new cell phone and my son gave it to me so I would have one because I am 70 and I might need it.

    Hope to hear back soon.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jack,
      the iPhone 4s does not require a Verizon SIM as it does not support 4G LTE only CDMA. Let me know if you need more help.

      • Jack Carpenter | | Reply

        Bob

        I don’t about 4G LTE as long as it works

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          If you are using Straight Talk with an iPhone 4s, my guess you are overpaying for your service. Do you have an idea how much data you need. and how much talk you need. the iPhone 4s is better for Tracfone than Straight Talk.

  5. Crystal Williams | | Reply

    I have a iPhone 4 that is locked and can’t figure out how to get it unlocked..can u tell me a how to unlock it?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Which carrier is the phone from? Which straight talk network do you want to use it with?

  6. Bill | | Reply

    Bob, thanks for the great info here! I have 2 iPhone 4S that just came off-contract from Verizon (I kept my account & got new phones). Looking to sell the 4S phones, but for some reason the ST BYOP IMEI check comes back as “Not Compatible”. Any idea why it wouldn’t be compatible? Do they require unlock? I was under the impression the unlock was only an international GSM SIM unlock. And why would a Verizon phone need to be unlocked if you plan on using it on a Verizon network anyway? Thanks for any clarification you can offer on this!
    Regards,
    Bill

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Bill,
      Straight Talk checks your phone’s MEID number to determine if the phone is eligible for use on their Verizon network. They don’t say what makes some phone’s eligible and other not. It does seem that if you phone is under contract or not paid off they it isn’t eligible. When you use a BYOP CDMA phone on Straight Talk’s Verizon network, the need to get Verizon to transfer the registration (the MEID number) to their network.

      I don’t know why your phones aren’t eligible. Check the straighttalk.com again. Check both the MEID and IMEI numbers from settings. Try a different zip code, maybe 02108. Send an email to straight talk and ask them to check the phones. ST.CorpResolutionTeam@straighttalk.com.

      Contact Verizon and ask them to confirm the phones are paid off. Additionally, submit an unlock request for the phones. The unlock has nothing to do with using the phone on a CDMA network, it’s for GSM networks. I don’t know what their current unlock policy is, in the past you may have been able to get them to unlocked for international use. They may unlock them for domestic use know, which would make them more valuable for resale.

      You can find more info about unlocking your phones here
      Unlocking Your AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone

  7. Sharon | | Reply

    I bought an unlocked Iphone 4 on EBay with a CDMA access code. If I let someone else borrow that phone for a short while and set it up with their Straight Talk number, what will I need to do to switch it over to my Straight Talk phone number later?

      • Sharon | | Reply

        Thanks for your help. Yes, I tried to upgrade to an IPhone 5, but unfortunately it would not work where I live. Apparently the Straight Talk phones with the SIM cards pull off of AT&T towers which doesn’t get good service at all where I live. I had to return the phone. So for now I am sticking with the IPhone 4. I have one myself, but am planning to let my friend borrow one for an overseas trip, basically just so she can text and email using WiFi connections and use it with her cell service while in the USA. She also has straight talk but only has a basic phone. After she uses my iPhone 4, I plan to keep it for a back-up phone. It was cheap and came with a CDMA access code. If I can’t get it to work when I need to switch it over to my account, it’s not a big loss.

        I appreciate your response – that helps clarify some things for me.

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