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How to Determine Which Sprint SIM Works in Your Phone

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Until recently Sprint only allowed customers to activate Sprint branded phones on its network. That changed when Apple and Google started releasing "universal" phones, like the iPhone 6 and Nexus 6, that work with all four US national networks. The number of non-Sprint phones and tablets that can be used on the Sprint network keeps growing. According to Sprint the following non-Sprint devices can now be used on Sprint:

  • Apple: iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 3 and Mini 4
  • The Verizon version and only the Verizon version of the iPhone 5c and 5s, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2
  • Google: Nexus 5, 6, 5x and 6p
  • Motorola: Moto X Pure Edition, Moto G4 and G4 Plus
  • Samsung: Galaxy S7 Special Edition and S7 Edge Special Edition

Any phone that can work on Sprint should also work on Sprint MVNOs like Ting or RingPlus.

The hardest part about using a non-Sprint phone on the Sprint network is figuring out which SIM card (also known as an ICCID card) to use. Unlike other operators which let you use any of that operator's SIMs that fit in your phone's SIM slot, Sprint has eight different SIM part numbers, each of which only works with specific phone models. The SIM problem isn't limited to non-Sprint phones either. Although the SIMs in Sprint phones are reusable and supposed to stay with the phone they came in, it's common to find Sprint phones on the used market that are missing their SIMs. Here's a table I sourced from Ting's website listing the eight Sprint SIMs and the Sprint and non-Sprint phones they work with:

Size Sprint Part Number Supported phones
Micro SIMGLW206R Apple iPad Retina, BlackBerry Q10, HTC One M7, HTC One Max, LG G Flex, LG G2, Netgear Zing, Nexus 5 from Google Play, Samsung ATIV S Neo, Samsung Galaxy Mega
Micro SIMGLT207R HTC 8XT, HTC Desire 510, HTC Desire 601, Kyocera Hydro Vibe, Kyocera Torque, LG F7, LG Optimus F3, LG Volt, Netgear 341U, Netgear Mingle, Novatel MiFi 500 LTE, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0", ZTE Max, ZTE Supreme, ZTE Vital, ZTE Warp 4G
Micro SIMGLW216R LG G3, LG Tribute
Micro SIMGLW236C LG G Flex2, LG G4, LG Tribute 2, LG Volt 2, Motorola Moto E LTE 2nd Gen, Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen (XT1548)
Micro SIMOLW216R Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab S, Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Core Prime
Nano SIMGLW406R Apple iPad mini, Apple iPhone 5, HTC One E8, HTC One M8, Moto X (1st Gen)
Nano SIMGLW446C HTC One M9, LG G5, LG Tribute 5, Motorola Moto X Pure (3rd Generation), Motorola Moto G (3rd Generation), Motorola Moto G4, Motorola Moto G4 Plus, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P
Nano SIMOLW416C Apple iPad Air, Apple iPad Air 2, Apple iPad mini (Retina), Apple iPad Pro, Apple iPhone 5c, Apple iPhone 5s, Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Apple iPhone 6s, Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Apple iPhone SE, HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

It's not easy to buy Sprint SIMs either. Sprint doesn't sell them on line and Sprint store personnel often refuse to sell or give SIMs to anyone who isn't a Sprint customer. If you have an Apple device, try asking at an Apple Store which have been reported to hand out free Sprint SIMs for the asking. You can also find Sprint SIMs on eBay and the Amazon Marketplace, but the most reliable source seems to be Sprint MVNO Ting, which sells all eight Sprint SIMS for $9, plus shipping and taxes which bring the total cost up to about $15. The advantage of Ting is that they stock all eight SIMs and ship them quickly.

The good news is that the hassle and confusion around which Sprint SIM to use with which phone might eventually be resolved. About a month ago Sprint started listing a 3 in 1 Universal SIM card, part number SIMOLW506C, on their website priced at $2.99 with free shipping. According to Sprint, the Universal SIM works with the following devices; iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s (Verizon only), iPhone 5c (Verizon only), iPad Air 2, iPad Air (Verizon only), iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2 (Verizon only), iPad Pro, Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, HTC One A9 (Sprint Version only), Motorola X Pure Edition, Samsung Galaxy S7 Special Edition, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Special Edition, Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus. It's a mystery to me why a so-called "Universal" SIM is not truly universal but that's Sprint for you.

Sources: Ting, Sprint

29 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Sprint just can't stop thinking of ways to alienate customers. Sprint has been just a bad dream for twenty years now.

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  2. I thought Sprint sims were not reusable, one paired with a phone they were married to that phone, more Sprint confusion...

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  3. Sprint is still caught in the "old" business model of wireless companies.

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  4. This is an excellent compilation of information thank you Dennis. It really does highlight the oddity of Sprint's reluctance to make customer portability easy.

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  5. I have boost mobile stores, I cant figure out for the life of me why sprint is lost in the 1990's. the world has grown up and sprint seems so stuck in the 1990's that it affects our boost stores, We dont even carry sim cards and we cannot even order them from sprint. Sprint tells boost stores to tells all customers to go to apple store and beg for sim cards. Even if they dont have an iphone. Apple stores has all sim cards. Which is complete non sense.

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    Replies
    1. I have Boost Store too and I carried 3 of the most common sim cards(specially the one for iPhones, you should be able to order them from your Master or call Care and they can send you some.

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    2. We are with the biggest master marseco and they have not been able to provide any sim cards for the last 3 months

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    3. What are talking about? Boost doors have access to sprint sims from your master agent.

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    4. My Boost LG Volt came with a Sprint simcard

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  6. As I said before, Sprint is the one company I would not try. So full of hassles.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Anonymous, I remember when you said it.

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    2. Thank you anonymous I'm glad you are following every comment. Awesome memory!

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  7. The company with the crappiest coverage is the one with the most restrictions and most customer unfriendly policies.

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  8. Sprint just wants to go out of business.

    I mean, at this point, it's pretty clear that they're not even trying.

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    Replies
    1. Oh they're trying alright; trying to totally and irreversibly bankrupt customer! Sprint is hopeless at this point and Son knows this. He really should just offload it onto T-Mobile somehow getting around the FCC and FTC. Would that be a network to compete with?

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    2. Maybe they're in the same business as French Lycamobile.
      http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2016/06/lycamobile-executives-arrested-for.html

      Delete
  9. I think it's not even worth wading through all crap , just wait for the universal sim to come back in stock and buy that.

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  10. Please put it under how to section for future reference.

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  11. What a bunch of wimps and haters. It's easy to get a FREE Sprint SIM card; they are reusable and work with Boost, Virgin, Sprint Prepaid and virtually all MVNOs.
    Call your nearest corporate store or repair center. If they have one, they will give it to you. If not, buy from Ting or eBay. I have done it seven times and only had to buy one card (I did not want to wait for the repair center to order a free one for me).
    Virtually all of the many other carriers I have used charge $ for a SIM.

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  12. The only thing harder to find than the right sim card is a good signal.

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  13. This is not a complete list of Sprint SIMs; it's not even close. The corporate stores and repair centers have a much bigger list. They go by SKUs, and there are multiple parts possible for each SKU. When you call, just tell them your phone model.

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  14. I never realized the vzw 5s and 5c can officially be used with sprint ...

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  15. Sprint Faster! Faster than what? Dialup?

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  16. "This is not a complete list of Sprint SIMs; it's not even close. The corporate stores and repair centers have a much bigger list. They go by SKUs, and there are multiple parts possible for each SKU. When you call, just tell them your phone model."

    Actually the Ting List posted is comprehensive and regularly updated, certainly the only list you need to activate a device on Sprint MVNOs. Yes there are many SIM P/Ns, but those SIMs have been superseded consolidating many devices.

    If you are not a Sprint customer you will be hard pressed to get a Sprint store, corporate or not, to give or sell you a SIM! Not that you shouldn't try, there are always the exceptions.
    Best local option is Best Buy, but you have to go in store and ask for the specific SIM you need in the Cell Dept. and they do not always carry every SIM.

    "The good news is that the hassle and confusion around which Sprint SIM to use with which phone might soon be resolved. About a month ago Sprint started listing a 3 in 1 Universal SIM card, part number SIMOLW506C"
    Not really a universal SIM, more like a semi universal SIM that only covers

    iPhone 6s
    iPhone 6s Plus
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPhone 5s (Verizon only)
    iPhone 5c (Verizon only)
    iPad Air 2
    iPad Air (Verizon only)
    iPad Mini 4
    iPad Mini 3
    iPad Mini 2 (Verizon only)
    iPad Pro
    Nexus 6 (32 & 64 GB – black/white)
    Nexus 5 (16 & 32 GB – black/white/red)
    Nexus 5X (all versions)
    Nexus 6P (all versions)
    HTC One A9 (Sprint Version only)
    Motorola X Pure Edition (16, 32 & 64 GB – all colors)
    Samsung Galaxy S7 Special Edition
    Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Special Edition
    Moto G4
    Moto G4 Plus



    Note that a few are Verizon specific. I would stick with the SIMs posted on the Ting website for any of the devices above until we actually see this SIM posted on Ting's website as an appropriate SIM.

    What ever you do, DO NOT go by Ring Plus's website as a guide on what SIM to use!

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  17. Sprint, the LOSER networrk. Lol. Softbank wasted over 20 billion dollars if these are thw results...lol

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  18. I don't know if it's the Sprint SIMOLW416C SIM or my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Special Edition that is at fault. I can't get that Hands Free Activation to stop popping up and restarting my Galaxy S7 edge Special Edition every 5 minutes that it's on. It can't be the phone, it has to be the Sprint SIM messing up my phone. My phone works fine with a T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Tracfone, and Net10 SIM that I tried in it. It only does that Hands Free Activation thing with a Sprint SIM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a Sprint network phone keeps running Hands Free activation that means the phone is unable to activate, usually because the phone wasn't properly set up by the carrier.

      You need to contact whichever Sprint MVNO your are using and have them very that the the phone's MEID and the SIM's ICCID were entered correctly and that activation process was completed on the carrier end.

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