Best answer: Yes, you can as long as you first activate your phone using another carrier.
- Your choice: Monthly Mobile Plans (from $15 at Mint Mobile)
- Pick your phone: iPhone Upgrade Program (from $37/month at Apple)
What’s Mint Mobile?
Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Mint Mobile sells prepaid mobile plans that run on T-Mobile’s cellular network. As a discounted carrier, it offers plans beginning at just $15 per month. You can purchase plans in 3-, 6-, and 12-month increments. From there, you decide how much 4G LTE data per month you want, either 3, 8, or 12GB. Unused data does roll over each month; if you need additional data during a month, you can purchase it for as little as $10 for 1GB. Otherwise, when your data use has been exhausted, your data speed drops to 128 kbps.
Is there a catch?
Mint Mobile only works with unlocked phones that support GSM. This would include phones paid-in-full from AT&T or T-Mobile or any current-generation phone from Verizon. The No. 1 carrier in the United States uses CDMA, not GSM on its network. However, since the iPhone 6 launched, Apple handsets have included chips that support both standards. Because Verizon doesn’t lock their phones, they work with Mint Mobile right out of the box.
iPhone Upgrade program
With Apple’s iPhone Upgrade program, you can finance your phone over 24 months. After 12 of those payments, you can upgrade to a new iPhone with no hassles or extra fees. What’s perhaps most interesting about this program is that the phones come unlocked, which is a requirement for Mint Mobile.
When you order an iPhone through the upgrade program, you must activate it at Apple through AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint. However, once this process is completed, you can use SIMs from other companies. Better still, the iPhone Upgrade Program includes AppleCare+ protection automatically, so you never have to worry about mishaps.
Note: Though the phone is unlocked through the program from day one, the handset isn’t yours until you’ve paid 24 installments. The program is currently available for the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
Decide on your plan
Mobile Phone Plans
Get your SIM. Explore the world.
Tired of the other mobile networks and paying too much? Once you select your plan and install your Mint Mobile SIM card, you’re ready to go. Enjoy your phone for less.
Get your phone
Buy iPhone XR/XS
A new iPhone every year.
Want to keep upgrading? You can purchase a new iPhone through the program at apple.com or at an Apple retail store.