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.

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.

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.

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