A smartphone is a basic device in the current world. But decades ago it was a luxury to have telecommunication services. Once few households had their phones. But the world has been advancing so fast that everyone has to walk with digital devices to cope with the instant communicative requirements. But there were still some people who found it struggling to afford basic phones. That is why the federal government formed Lifeline in the 80s to provide low-income households with free phones.
The government recognized that telecommunication tools were a necessity rather than a luxury. Since then the Federal Communications Commission has been offering free phones through the Lifeline program. Besides the ongoing Lifeline program, the FCC initiated another program named the EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit), which was later reformed into the new ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program) in 2022.
Now both programs offer free Android smartphones and Apple iPhones to eligible families. The telecommunication service providers offer freephone benefits under the FCC rules. Many of the participating providers of Lifeline and ACP offer free smartphones, but only a few of them officially work on the free iPhone project.
So, now it’s true that the Government offers a free iPhone to the real applicant who needs it badly. You will get everything necessary on a free government iPhone if you carefully read the article.
Ways To Get a Free iPhone
The Federal Government now recognizes the iPhone as a necessity, not a luxury. That is how several programs from the government provide free or nearly free iPhones. Lifeline has been offering free smartphones as well as iPhones to eligible families, and the ACP is the new addition to it. ACP-eligible applicants can get up to a $100 subsidy, but the rest should be contributed from their sides if needed. Here are some of the ways that can be your help to get a free iPhone.
Get Free Government iPhone With Lifeline Program
Lifeline has offered free phones and other communicative devices like laptops or tablets to needy households and individuals. FCC looks after the program, but it provides phone and internet benefits through the telecommunication companies that act as participant providers. Among hundreds of Lifeline providers, only a few of them offer free government iPhones for low-income households. If you are already a Lifeline member, then you are automatically eligible for the iPhone. Otherwise, you have to qualify for the Lifeline first and then apply for the iPhone.
There are eligibility criteria that you must meet for the Lifeline membership. If you enjoy any of the government assistance programs or meet the income-based criteria, you can qualify for the Lifeline using your documents. And still, you can enjoy your ongoing Lifeline subsidy along with a free iPhone. Make sure that, you have the proper documents to prove your identity, income, and your qualification for the free iPhone. Please note that the provider will deliver you the free iPhone from one of the specific models. You don’t have options to get your desired iPhone model due to the FCC rules.
Get Free Government iPhone with Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The latest Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is another chance to get a free iPhone from the government. The ACP is the extension of the EBB program that the FCC formed to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. FCC then reformed the EBB to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to give it a permanent existence for needy citizens. Besides monthly internet discounts, ACP also gives nearly free smartphones as well as iPhones. Like Lifeline providers, here the ACP providers offer the free government iPhone to eligible members.
First, you have to be an ACP eligible member by meeting any of the FCC criteria based on government assistance program membership or selected income range. After meeting the eligibility criteria, you will need to apply through the participant providers that offer free government iPhones. Once your application is announced OK, you can then receive the iPhone. But remember that the FCC gives up to a $100 one-time discount to buy the iPhone. The FCC requires that the applicant has to contribute a minimum amount in this program which is around $10 as co-pay. So, to get the free government iPhone you will have to pay $10 and the rest will be covered by the FCC.
Free iPhone Other Than The Government
Besides the Lifeline and the ACP benefits from the government, there are some other ways to get the free iPhone. There are some private organizations and some special offers that you can look for to get the free iPhone. You can join in those campaigns to work for those companies and in exchange, they might give you the iPhone for free. You can learn more details about them at the bottom of this article.
What are the Eligible Processes for Free Government iPhone?
As we mentioned, two government programs offer free government iPhones, Lifeline and the ACP. Whichever you choose as a medium to apply for the free iPhone, you have to pass through some eligibility terms for these two programs. Your government’s assistance program membership or low-income can help you apply for the Lifeline or the ACP benefits. So, you will have to be an eligible applicant for the lifeline or ACP benefits and then you can apply for the free iPhone through any of the two programs. There are similarities and differences as well between these two programs. Here are the eligibility processes for the Lifeline and ACP benefits.
Lifeline Eligibility Process
Lifeline eligibility requires you to meet either any of the program-based or income-based criteria. The FCC criteria are:
- You can get the Lifeline benefits if your household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- Or if you are a participant in any of these federal assistance programs such as SNAP (Aka Food Stamps), Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Survivor Pensions fund, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, any of the Tribal programs.
ACP Eligible process
The Affordable Connectivity Program also requires you to meet the eligibility terms to get the benefits. Here are the ways that you can choose to qualify for the ACP:
- The total income of your household should be less than 200% of the 2021 federal poverty guidelines.
- This yearly income may vary depending on the state you live in. if you live in Alaska then your household income should be a maximum of $32,180. But in Hawaii, it is $29,640. For a household with 3 or 4 members, the income size is $50,520 in Hawaii and $54,900 in Alaska.
- Participants of certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Survivor Pensions fund, Receives Federal Pell Grant in the current year, Qualified for the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program, and participation in any of the Tribal Benefit programs.
List of iPhone Models that the Government Offers for Free?
The participant providers of the FCC offer several brands of smartphones but only a few of them offers iPhone. The free government phone project allows households to stay connected. So, the expenses of iPhones are not relevant here to let low-income households communicate. Smartphones with basic concepts that help users communicate promptly and perform other internet and application-based functions are the main goals of the participating providers.
So, it shouldn’t be wise to longing for the latest versions of the iPhone. Providers usually give up to iPhone 6 versions as it’s a free phone program. Cintex Wireless is one of the few Lifeline providers that offer iPhone 6 16 GB. SFone and NewPhone Wireless also provide eligible applicants with free iPhones. Food Stamps beneficiaries can enjoy the exclusive offer of free iPhones by applying through the Lifeline program. The available iPhone models from the service providers are such as:
- iPhone 6 GSM
- iPhone SE GSM
- iPhone 6S GSM
But the provider won’t leave the option to you as they will decide based on your eligibility and their availability. And you will have to accept the one they deliver. But you can find the brand name and model on the provider’s website.
What are the Other Phones that the Government Offers for Free?
The Federal Government provides several types of connected devices to low-income households. Smartphones are the most common. Lifeline and the ACP eligible applicants can receive smartphones from top brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, ZTE, and more. Most providers usually offer entry to mid-range phones and most of the phones are android devices. Apart from iPhone, here we are mentioning some of the other phones that the government offers for free:
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- LG Stylo 4
- LG M150
- Motorola E5
- NUU A3
- ZTE Wrap Elite
- Alcatel Dawn
- Kyocera Hydro Reach
- ZTE Prestige 2
Which Phone Provider Offers Free iPhones from the Government?
As stated above, companies like Cintex, NewPhone, and SFone wireless are known for offering free iPhones as well as other smartphones under the Food Stamp program.
1. Cintex Wireless
Cintex Wireless is one of the prominent service providers in the country. It has massive Lifeline coverage in five states (Maryland, Arkansas, Maine, Rhode Island, West Virginia). Being a lifeline provider, Cintex Wireless offers free minutes, text messages, data, and a free 4G LTE iPhone when you qualify for the Lifeline benefit. Besides, Cintex Wireless is one of the few participant providers that also offer free government iPhones.
How to apply?
- Prepare all the necessary information during the application process (Your name, address, date of birth, last 4 digits of social security number, or Tribal identification number). Also prepare All the Proof of documents (a copy of membership card, or a cover letter, income Tax return, other legal documents)
- Now, go to the official website of Cintex apply.cintexwireless.com and you will see the two boxes to fill up with zip code and email id. Fill them up to sign up.
- Follow the instructions onward to complete the form.
- If you follow the steps properly, then you will be announced eligible to receive your free government iPhone.
Cintex usually offers iPhone 6 6GB to eligible applicants.
2. SFone Wireless
SFone wireless is known as a no-contract wireless service that offers a wide variety of devices with discounts. Its 5G and 4 G LTE network cover almost every corner of the country. Its participation in the federal government’s aid programs is a blessing for low-income households who are struggling to afford iPhones. With the Lifeline assistance program, SFone offers unlimited data, free text, and talk for students, veterans, and seniors when they need those. To receive a free iPhone with unlimited data, you need to sign up with SFone Wireless.
How to apply
- Visit the SFone website apply.sfonewireless.com/broadband to start the application procedure for the free iPhone.
- Call customer care at +1(855)655-3097 and talk to a representative regarding the application. Provide them with your Lifeline or ACP-related documents.
- Once you are considered eligible, then you can get a free iPhone.
3. NewPhone Wireless for Free iPhone
NewPhone wireless is exclusively known as an ACP benefit provider. It was formed to help low-income customers who struggle to afford smartphones. With the ACP benefits, NewPhone provides free services along with 4G/5G smartphones. It targets students, unemployed, jobless, or any low-income individuals to offer them nationwide coverage, reliable networks, and free phones.
How to Apply
- You can apply for the iPhone under in only 5 minutes by applying online apply.newphone.com. Just provide proper information about your eligibility.
- Your eligibility documents will be verified through the system by the Government website usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program
- You will receive an email as confirmation of your eligibility for the iPhone. After that, the NewPhone will start the shipping process of the order to you which may take 7-10 business days.
Get Free iPhone in Alternative Ways without Government
As we mentioned earlier in this article, there are still some other ways to get a free iPhone without Lifeline, ACP, or any other government help. But many of these alternatives are not free at all. Here mentioning some of the interesting ways that you can choose to find a free iPhone.
Few providers offer free iPhones by installment process. They sign contracts with the applicant of around 1 year. That means You have to pay for the phone month’s installments. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and other few carriers offer iPhones this way. The deal is not free as you will have to pay by installment for 24 months.
You will see some survey offers where you will need to participate and earn points or credits. If you can collect the required points or credit, then you can earn an iPhone for free.
Apple or other tech companies
Tech companies often offer free gadgets like laptops, tablets, and iPhones to their valuable customers.
A Free Marketing Agent
There is this opportunity where you can get free iPhones by promoting brands that boost up the respective business. Online influencers on any social media platform can get this chance. If you have huge followers on your Instagram or Facebook profile, then you can earn a free iPhone by promoting a brand.
By Giving review
YouTube or Facebook review is a common way of earning iPhones for free. Famous reviewers can look for the option that gives the reviewer an iPhone or free. You will apply for the option and follow some instructions. One of the criteria is that the review should be should not be less than 500 words and you will have to upload photos or videos of the product.
Various giveaway contests offer live prompts to participate in the free iPhone offer. The winner can receive a completely free iPhone but have to post it on a social page. But remember that fraud groups arrange giveaway contests to cheat on people. So, choose the right one carefully, especially a renowned name to participate in.
Amazon Vine lets reviewers win free iPhones through the product review process. It is a platform that rewards people who make honest product reviews. So, you have to make honest reviews through your Amazon account. Once your review makes a positive marketing effect, you might luckily get the free iPhone.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the government offer free phones?
Though the economy of the US is leading the world, still millions of Americans are fighting for their basic needs. They can hardly afford to have smartphones. Having a smartphone is necessary to keep communications functional and active. Besides, a smartphone is a basic device for continuing education, medical care, online classes, virtual conferences, and many other activities. The federal government knows the importance of smartphones and they are aware of the people who need these devices. Some people may miss the race and that may negatively impact the economy. That’s why the government wants to bridge the digital divide and let everyone join the race equally.
Who are the best free government-phones providers?
Many telecommunication companies solely work as Lifeline providers and many carriers joined the new ACP initiative to provide telecommunication discounts to low-income households. Researching on them based on the criteria, we found some reliable names and mentioning here.
- Access Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- American Assistance
- Cintex Wireless
- Life Wireless
- Verizon Wireless
- New Phone Wireless
- Q Link Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
- Standup Wireless
- enTouch Wireless
- Terracom Wireless
- True Wireless
- Tag Mobile
- Life Wireless
When will I get a free iPhone after finishing my application process?
After completing your application process successfully, the provider will send an email confirmation regarding your application for iPhone. Once approved, the provider should start the shipment process, which might take around 7-10 business days to reach the device in your hands.
Is free government iPhone really free?
We can’t tell that the free government iPhone is totally free. Because the FCC imposes a co-pay option on the applicant and wants you to contribute $10 to get the device. FCC covers the rest of the amount through the aid program.