Are Straight Talk and Net10 just sold out of AT&T SIM cards? posted by Joe on February 4th, 2013 - 12:17 pm | Net10
In what remains a head-scratching move, we saw last week that America Movil brands Straight Talk, Tracfone, and Net10 have removed AT&T SIM cards from their offerings. These MVNOs allow you to bring your own phone from each of the four major networks, but as of last week they ceased offering SIM cards for AT&T phones. This creates a number of issues for potential customers. Could the answer be as simple as them being sold out?
The Android blog Android Police says they have “confirmed the AT&T cards are simply sold out in the online stores, so the sites don’t offer AT&T as a signup option at all.” There are still parties disputing this claim, saying that the agreement between AT&T and Tracfone is near expiration and that this is a negotiating ploy. Given the complete removal of the AT&T SIM option, rather than a notation of it being sold out, this explanation makes a bit more sense than them being sold out. Still, Android Police is a source I’ve grown to trust, so I don’t take lightly their confirmation.
Perhaps the greatest effect of the AT&T SIM situation could come for GameStop, which recently announced that it will sell Net10 SIM cards. For about a year now GameStop has sold used Apple devices, including iPhones. The idea is to pair a used iPhone with a Net10 SIM card — one from AT&T. If this really is a contract situation, GameStop will find their Net10 deal in serious trouble not long after launch. In order to make it work they would likely have to unlock all of their iPhone stock and then offer it on T-Mobile-based SIM cards, which will provide users with EDGE speeds only. Not ideal.
We’re still awaiting word from any of the involved parties. One would think that if they were sold out, they would have just said it at this point.