• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
rated:
Could I take the sim card out of a brand new basic Tracfone (with DMFL of course) and put it in a 'compatible' new unlocked smartfone (with wifi), and then activate it through the tracfone system? Or would they know it is not the same exact phone, etc?

Member Summary
Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

You can't use the Tracfone SIM in any other phone, it's locked to the IMEI of the phone it came with:
http://www.best-prepaid-cell-phone-plans.com/surprises-of-the-tr...

marsilies said:   You can't use the Tracfone SIM in any other phone, it's locked to the IMEI of the phone it came with:
http://www.best-prepaid-cell-phone-plans.com/surprises-of-the-tr...


It seems ridiculous that the account would be locked to an IMEI. It's just going to create more upset customers and more customer service workloads.

A workaround might be to change the IMEI of the new phone to match that of the old phone. It shouldn't be a problem if you keep the old phone powered off. Changing the IMEI might require some knowhow, tools, and software. It might not be legal to do this.

Reading that article, it sounds like you may be able to upgrade your phone. You would need to contact tracfone with your new phone details and possibly use a new tracfone sim.

riznick said:   marsilies said:   You can't use the Tracfone SIM in any other phone, it's locked to the IMEI of the phone it came with:
http://www.best-prepaid-cell-phone-plans.com/surprises-of-the-tr...


It seems ridiculous that the account would be locked to an IMEI. It's just going to create more upset customers and more customer service workloads.

A workaround might be to change the IMEI of the new phone to match that of the old phone. It shouldn't be a problem if you keep the old phone powered off. Changing the IMEI might require some knowhow, tools, and software. It might not be legal to do this.

Reading that article, it sounds like you may be able to upgrade your phone. You would need to contact tracfone with your new phone details and possibly use a new tracfone sim.
Why is it ridiculous? It's called making money. Don't let customers buy someone elses phone.

And you get green for spelling ridiculous right.

forbin4040 said:   riznick said:   marsilies said:   You can't use the Tracfone SIM in any other phone, it's locked to the IMEI of the phone it came with:
http://www.best-prepaid-cell-phone-plans.com/surprises-of-the-tr...


It seems ridiculous that the account would be locked to an IMEI. It's just going to create more upset customers and more customer service workloads.

A workaround might be to change the IMEI of the new phone to match that of the old phone. It shouldn't be a problem if you keep the old phone powered off. Changing the IMEI might require some knowhow, tools, and software. It might not be legal to do this.

Reading that article, it sounds like you may be able to upgrade your phone. You would need to contact tracfone with your new phone details and possibly use a new tracfone sim.
Why is it ridiculous? It's called making money. Don't let customers buy someone elses phone.

And you get green for spelling ridiculous right.

There usually isn't much money in the phone hardware in the industry. Margins are generally very low. Quite often the phones are sold at a loss. I don't know if this is the case with tracfone.

I'd think that allowing customers to be happy with cooler phones and not frustrated is worth whatever minimal margins they make. (then again I could be wrong about tracfone's margins)

There's another little problem: Tracfone and Net10 won't allow activation on their systems for any other phone except THEIR OWN MODELS 'cause the FIRMWARE (in this case the software that tells you on the phone [attached to the SIM card on GSM models, integrated to their circuitry in their CDMA models] itself how many units you have left) is particular to their phones (no other wireless provider has anything similar (you have to type a code to get a audio or text message with that info...).

I don't believe América Móvil makes any profit on their hardware on many of their Tracfone or Net10 models (who knows if only on certain smartphones if at all...). You can bet a $10-15 Tracfone (WalMart and dollar store models, even some direct-sell ones...) is definitively sold at a loss.

Tracfone & Net10 phones will only work with their sims and their sims will only work with their phones.

The phones firmware needs their sim and their sim needs their firmware.

Both Net10 and Tracfone sims are identical until they are inserted into one of their phones, and powered up. Once you power their phone with a sim the sim is locked to the phone forever (even if never activated).


Even at&t go phone sims are locked to the phones now. 6 month minimum before they will allow it to be used in another phone.

Thanks everyone for all the replies. That's what I wanted to know.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014