Straight Talk iPhone Less Attractive Without AT&T SIM Card

The Straight Talk iPhone is a tempting way to use an iPhone 5 or older iPhone without an AT&T contract, but Straight Talk is no longer offering the Straight Talk AT&T compatible SIM cards, making the service less attractive.

In late January, the Straight Talk AT&T SIM dropped off the Straight Talk website and soon after the SIM card that connects an iPhone or a Galaxy S3 to the AT&T network through Straight Talk became impossible to find at Walmart.

While the official word is that the Straight Talk AT&T SIM card is just out of stock, it looks like something bigger is brewing, and users who want to buy a Straight Talk SIM for AT&T service will need to pay up.

Read: iPhone 5 Straight Talk: 7 Facts to Know Before Buying

While Straight Talk and Net 10 no longer offer AT&T SIM cards, users who already have a Straight Talk AT&T SIM are able to use the service and connect to AT&T towers.

Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card Drama

The no longer available Straight Talk AT&T SIM card.

The no longer available Straight Talk AT&T SIM card.

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The Straight Talk support documents refer to support for T-Mobile compatible GSM phones and Unlocked GSM phones, which means users may not be able to use an AT&T iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 without unlocking the device. Previously Straight Talk AT&T SIM cards allowed users to use an AT&T smartphone without the need to unlock it.

At least one portion of the Straight Talk page gives hope that AT&T will connect with Straight Talk again. The FAQ section mentions AT&T compatible phones without the unlocked language listed on the main page.

Straight Talk’s Twitter account makes it sound like Straight Talk AT&T SIM cards are not gone forever, though it offers no details on timing or the reason for the absence.

Straight Talk skirts the issue, alluding to the return of an AT&T SIM card.

Straight Talk skirts the issue, alluding to the return of an AT&T SIM card.

There are still other services selling AT&T prepaid options, complete with AT&T SIM cards, and industry insiders tell Gotta Be Mobile that the switch may be due to less expensive data rates on T-Mobile or that it may be simply easier to offer a plan with T-Mobile.

Interestingly enough, there are some NET 10 AT&T Sim Cards available from Walmart for $15.

Why the Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card Matters

Without AT&T towers, Straight Talk is less attractive than competing services like Red Pocket Mobile, which we also reviewed.

Read: Straight Talk Review

There are a large number of AT&T iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 devices for sale on the secondary market. These iPhones are often available on Craigslist and other markets for less than the price of an iPhone with a new two-year contract. Unfortunately, these devices must now be unlocked to work with Straight Talk on T-Mobile. While the seller can contact AT&T for an unlock, it’s not as easy for the buyer to get a second-hand AT&T smartphone unlocked.

The Straight Talk AT&T SIM card is highly sought after by iPhone users.

The Straight Talk AT&T SIM card is highly sought after by iPhone users.

The second, and even more important reason for the AT&T Straight Talk service is coverage. AT&T delivers a larger coverage area than T-Mobile and in areas like the midwest, AT&T provides more reliable service than T-Mobile.

Where to Buy Straight Talk AT&T SIM Cards Today

Even though Straight Talk and Walmart no longer sell Straight Talk AT&T SIM cards, users can still buy the SIM cards if they are willing to pay a ridiculous markup.

Shoppers can buy a Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card on eBay for a high price.

Shoppers can buy a Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card on eBay for a high price.

eBay sellers are offering Straight Talk AT&T SIM cards for as much as $99.99. These cards are offered as legitimate Straight Talk SIM cards with a major markup. We’ve even found an auction with a Buy it Now price of $174.99 for one Straight Talk AT&T SIM.

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Thankfully there are some cheaper options, like this AT&T Straight Talk SIM card that sits at $5.50 with 10 hours left, but most users will need to pay dearly for a SIM card on eBay.

Comments

  1. John says

    Even if you have an unlocked phone purchased outside of the US, there’s another reason the tMobile option isn’t attractive to iPhone owners. AT&T compatible phones use a frequency for 4G speeds that tMobile uses for their 2G EDGE network in the US. If you bring an iPhone to StraightTalk running on tMobile, the best you are going to get is about 300Kbps. Typically it’s more around 200K.

    This may not be the case with the LTE-capable iPhone 5, though.

    • Vernon says

      My unlocked iPhone (which I got unlocked through eBay for $4.00) has great speeds in the Denver Area.

      I get 9-10Mbps on the Speedtest app, and even faster on RootMetics.

      Overall, I’ve been pleased, and also setup a colleague on SimpleMobile, another provider, who resells T-Mobile too. He’s very impressed, and T-Mobile rolled out 3G service at his house within a month of buying the plan.

      It’s a little less than T-Mobile, and he’s thinking of getting the iphone 5 now that he knows the coverage works.

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  3. Jeremy says

    There are 8 states in which you can still buy the att microsim for straight talk at WalMart:
    Missouri, Texas, and California are 3 of them and you can contact straight talk for the rest of the list. Had my sis in law buy me one from MO and it was the last one. Got the whole kit including month of service for 60$. If you know someone in one of these states it would prob be worth it to call them and see if they can go to WalMart and buy one for you!

  4. Sandy says

    Would I be able to still unlock straight talk If I already have the AT&T straight talk SIM card already in my iPhone

  5. cameron m says

    I would never buy a straight talk branded iPhone. Its stuck on straight talk. There is no way to flash or unlock it. I found a company that sells AT&T iPhone’s for Straight Talk. They give you a free sim when you buy a phone. Awesome right? I couldnt find the sim anywhere else! except Ebay for $70-$100 .. this is where I found it http://www.cashyourdevice.com

  6. monty henderson says

    I have an ATT iphone 4s and bought a Straight Talk activation kit a week ago. It won’t connect to any network to make calls. After calling cutomer service, they thought my phone wasn’t unlocked yet. I double checked with the phone’s seller and checked the ATT unlock request that was listed as approved and after backing up and restoring with Itunes, it said my phone was Unlocked. Still no connection when I use the Straight Talk Tmobile sim or when I use the old ATT sim. I tried using a friends ATT Iphone 4s sim so see if it connected to ATT, but still, no service. Could some settings be messed up or the phone remain unlocked? It should have at least worked with the active ATT sim. Any ideas? My wife is about to shoot me for being without a phone for a week. Just in case, I bought a ST ATT sim off ebay for $55 that should be here tomorrow, but shouldn’t the phone connect to some network?

  7. marie says

    google what settings you should have. They vary from place to place. Also the activation kit should have had what settings you need in it.

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