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I am looking to buy a used iPhone for use on the TracFone network. I am pretty sure that it will run on the network. According to eHow, I can do it with a jailbreak and according to another eHow article, AT&T phones work. Can someone point me in the right direction? Which version of the iPhone (AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint) do I need? How do I get it on the TracFone network?

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5 Answers

You should be aware that changing the SIM card is not a solution because when you go to activate, Tracfone will ask for the IMEI of the phone and this is a unique to each phone. They have a list of those numbers associated with all the phones they typically sell to the public and the one on your iPhone is not on their list so you cannot activate the service. You should also be advised that changing the IMEI number is a felony. Basically you are not going to meet with success and it is a pity since the Tracfone service is great but the stock phones that go with it are outdated, underpowered and not what many people are willing to settle for.

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Hmm...okay, sooo...not at all possible? Thanks! –  daviesgeek Aug 19 '13 at 0:34
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TracFone, per the eHow guide, relies on a SIM card to work. The CDMA standard does not commonly use SIM cards, especially not in America. TracFone also works on pre-iPhone 4 iPhones.

The conclusion?
Get any version of the iPhone, but get a GSM version if a choice needs to be made.

The next question is, does TracFone provide a micro-SIM for use in an iPhone 4 / 4S?

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So any phone prior to the iPhone 4 will definitely work? And the iPhone 4/4S require a micro-SIM to work? –  daviesgeek Jul 25 '12 at 4:14
Correct. The original, 3G, and 3Gs all used standard full-size sims. The 4 and the 4S use micro-SIMs. IIRC, the GSM radios in the iPhone have always been the same, except for the missing 3G band in the original iPhone. The only new radios since the 3G have been to accomodate CDMA, or, some bands not relevant inside of America. –  Jason Salaz Jul 25 '12 at 4:21
And the iPhones have to be unlocked? –  daviesgeek Jul 25 '12 at 4:25
They either have to be unlocked, or locked to TracFone :). (Note: TracFone does not sell iPhones, so an iPhone locked to TracFone pretty much can't possibly exist.) –  Jason Salaz Jul 25 '12 at 4:29
And all the iPhones can be unlocked by the carrier? (I prefer not to jailbreak) –  daviesgeek Jul 25 '12 at 4:31
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Tracfone has a "bring your own phone plane" but when asked for the phones info you will see the following notice:

Note: This program will not work with Blackberry or iPhone, nor with Straight Talk, TracFone, Safe Link, NET10 Wireless or Telcel America brand phones.

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Can you drop a link for that? That would be very helpful. Thank you for your answer! –  daviesgeek Dec 23 '13 at 4:34
tracfonewireless.com/byop The non-iPhone details are after you click the "Get Started" button. –  slothdog Jan 28 at 19:53
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It will not work, TracFone is not compatible with iPhone. I have tried to unlock and it works for other carriers, but not TracFone.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

just unlock the phone using black rain (its a program you can download), and the problem with not having the micro or nano sim is simple, try googleing "sim cutter"

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How does unlocking help the asker? –  patrix Dec 26 '12 at 8:36
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