ACP or the Affordable Connectivity Program is a new government assistance program that offers lots of great benefits to US citizens in need. Eligible subscribers can get a monthly discount of up to $30 (or even up to $75 on Tribal lands) on internet services and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase an internet-connected device. The device discount covers tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. However, many ACP providers that also participate in Lifeline also offer free smartphones – Android or iPhones. In this article, we will reveal the best 6 ACP free iPhones, how to get them, top providers, and more. Stay tuned!
Why and How Does ACP Offer Free iPhones?
ACP was first launched during the pandemic when people desperately needed a stable internet connection and a device that can connect to the internet for work, education, and to stay in touch with their closest family members and friends. First, it was launched as a temporary program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) but it was soon modified into a long-term ACP program.
The program is funded by the US government, managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and provided by numerous wireless companies that have decided to participate in the program. These wireless companies (ACP providers) receive funds from the government, which enable them to provide discounted or free monthly internet services and sometimes even devices to eligible customers. While most ACP providers only operate in some states, the ACP benefits, in general, are available in all US states, territories, and Tribal lands.
Many ACP providers also offer Lifeline benefits (discounts on monthly phone and wireless services and cell phones) and most of them started offering Lifeline discounts way before they ever offered ACP benefits. While companies were only offering Lifeline benefits, they typically provided qualifying customers with free entry-level to mid-range flip phones or basic Android smartphones. They did not provide iPhones. However, with the emergence of the ACP program, wireless companies suddenly have much more funds and are therefore able to offer better and more advanced devices. Some of them have even decided to offer iPhones.
Now that you know how the ACP program works, let’s move on to the best 6 ACP free iPhone models currently offered.
Best 6 ACP Free iPhone Models in 2023
ACP free iPhones are still not a very common offer. In fact, so far, only 3 ACP companies have confirmed to offer free iPhones from the government. These providers currently offer the following best 6 ACP free iPhone models. Note that government assistance programs do not have sufficient funds to offer the latest and most advanced phone models. Instead, they offer slightly older devices that have proven to be very reliable over time.
iPhone SE may not be the latest iPhone model (no ACP free iPhone is) but it continues to be one of the most popular models up to date. In fact, Apple regularly upgrades this particular model, as such, it continues to gain more exciting features. This device comes with 3GB of RAM, which enables smooth performance. It also has up to 256GB of internal storage, which enables customers to store all of their favorite documents, songs, videos, and photo memories. Users can also create new memories with a 12MP main camera with HDR and panorama and a 7MP selfie camera. Both cameras make clear photos and videos, which can later be admired on a vibrant 4.7-inch Retina IPS display with 750 x 1334 pixels. The device runs on iOS 13 and it has a powerful 1821mAh Li-Ion battery that will last you many hours on a single charge. This iPhone also has a fingerprint scanner, LTE connectivity, and a water/dust resistance rating of IP67.
The Apple iPhone 6 is a sleek and lightweight device. It runs on iOS 8, which is upgradable to iOS 12.5.6. The phone offers multiple storage options, including 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB, with no expandable memory card slot available. Featuring a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, the iPhone 6 provides a resolution of 750×1334 pixels, resulting in a sharp pixel density. The device comes with 1GB of RAM, ensuring smooth performance for day-to-day tasks and applications. In terms of camera capabilities, the iPhone 6 sports an 8MP single rear camera and a 1.2MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. Additional features of the iPhone 6 include a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for secure unlocking and authentication. It is equipped with sensors such as an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, and barometer.
iPhone 6s Plus
The Apple iPhone 6s Plus is a larger and slightly heavier variant of the iPhone 6s. Running on iOS 9, it is upgradable to the latest iOS 15.7, ensuring compatibility with the latest features and security updates. The iPhone 6s Plus comes with internal storage of up to 128GB. Featuring a large 5.5-inch display, the iPhone 6s Plus delivers a high-resolution viewing experience with 1080×1920 pixels. The device is equipped with a powerful 12MP rear camera that captures stunning photos with enhanced details and clarity. To ensure smooth multitasking and responsive performance, the iPhone 6s Plus comes with 2GB of RAM. With a 2750mAh Li-Ion battery, the iPhone 6s Plus offers sufficient power to keep you going throughout the day. As for its basic features, the iPhone 6s Plus includes a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for secure unlocking and authentication. It also features sensors such as an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, and barometer, enhancing its functionality and enabling a wide range of applications.
The Apple iPhone 7 offers a sleek and lightweight design. It provides ample storage options, including 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants, allowing you to store a vast amount of photos, videos, and apps. Featuring a 4.7-inch display, the iPhone 7 offers a resolution of 750×1334 pixels. Equipped with a 12MP rear camera, the iPhone 7 captures detailed and high-quality photos. To ensure smooth performance and multitasking, the iPhone 7 comes with 2GB of RAM. The device houses a 1960mAh Li-Ion battery, providing sufficient power to get you through a full day of typical usage. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor, an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, and barometer.
iPhone 7 Plus
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus offers a larger and slightly heavier design. The iPhone 7 Plus provides ample storage options (up to 256GB), allowing you to store a lot of files. Featuring a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels, the iPhone 7 Plus offers a crisp and immersive viewing experience. Equipped with a dual 12MP rear camera setup, including a telephoto lens, the iPhone 7 Plus captures stunning photos with depth and detail. To handle multitasking and resource-intensive apps, the iPhone 7 Plus comes with 3GB of RAM. The device houses a 2900mAh Li-Ion battery, providing sufficient power to last throughout the day. In terms of basic features, the iPhone 7 Plus incorporates a front-mounted fingerprint sensor, an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, and more.
The Apple iPhone 8 operates on iOS 11 and can be updated to the latest iOS 16.5, ensuring access to the latest features, security updates, and software improvements. With storage options of up to 256GB, the iPhone 8 provides ample space to store your files. It has a 4.7-inch Retina display with a resolution of 750×1334 pixels, therefore it delivers crisp visuals and vibrant colors. Equipped with a 12MP rear camera, the iPhone 8 captures high-quality photos with excellent detail and color accuracy. The iPhone 8 comes with 2GB of RAM to handle multitasking and ensure smooth performance. To keep you connected throughout the day, the iPhone 8 is equipped with a 1821mAh Li-Ion battery, providing reliable battery life for everyday usage. Basic features of the iPhone 8 include a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for secure device unlocking, along with sensors such as an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, and barometer.
Best 6 ACP Free iPhones – How to Get?
As you can see above, all of the best 6 ACP free iPhone models currently offered by ACP companies are reliable and of high quality. As such, anyone would be lucky to have any of these devices. Getting one through your local Lifeline and ACP company is very much possible and you can get it completely free of charge, without any hidden fees. However, to obtain it, you must follow these strict steps:
Step 1: Qualify for ACP (and Lifeline)
This may be the most important step in getting an ACP free iPhone, as without qualifying for the government assistance program there is no way that you will be able to get any of the program’s benefits. As mentioned before, you can get a free phone from both Lifeline and ACP programs. However, to get a free iPhone, you should qualify for both government assistance programs, as companies are more likely to offer iPhones through a Lifeline and ACP combo plan instead of through a Lifeline-only or ACP-only plan. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at both programs’ eligibility criteria.
A household is ACP-eligible if it meets one of the following requirements:
- The household’s annual income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one of the following assistance programs:
- A Lifeline-qualifying program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or a Tribal assistance program
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
- The household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
A household is Lifeline-eligible if it meets one of the following requirements:
- The household’s annual income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one of the Lifeline-qualifying programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or a Tribal assistance program
Only one person per eligible household can apply and receive one Lifeline and one ACP benefit. The person who applies must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor. Moreover, the household must reside in one of the states where the selected ACP/Lifeline provider operates.
Step 2: Prove Your Eligibility
As both government assistance programs offer amazing benefits, the government must make sure that people don’t take advantage of the program(s). As such, you will be required to prove your eligibility during the application process. Only if you have the right valid official documents that prove your low income or program participation, will your application be approved. You will also have to prove your age or emancipation status, address, and perhaps some other personal information.
You can prove your low household income with a copy of a valid official document that contains your full name and annual income. For example:
- Child support award
- Current income statement from your employer or paycheck stubs
- Divorce decree
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
You can prove your program participation with a copy of a valid official document that contains your full name, the name of the program, the name of the issuing institution, and a valid date. For example:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Benefit verification letter
- Statement of benefits
You can prove your age or emancipation status with a copy of a valid official document that contains your full name and date of birth or emancipation status, such as a valid ID, passport, birth certificate, court document, or emancipation certificate.
You can prove your address with a copy of a valid official document that contains your full name and physical address, such as a valid ID, driver’s license, lease or mortgage statement, or utility bill.
You may also be asked to provide proof of life, your Social Security Number or Tribal ID Number, or other personal details.
Make sure to prepare clear copies (physical or digital, depending on your preferred application method) of such valid documents in advance, as you will need to submit them during the application process. Most importantly, never send out original documents.
Step 3: Apply for ACP (and Lifeline)
If you are ready to apply for government assistance, you should first do so through the National Verifier. Later, you can apply through your selected provider.
We recommend you apply through the National Verifier online, as this method is faster, safer, and may result in immediate approval. To do so, follow these instructions:
- Visit https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=nv_home (Lifeline application form or https://getinternet.gov/apply?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply (ACP application form).
- If prompted, log in or create a new account.
- When redirected to the online application form, make sure to fill it out by providing the required information and digital copies of proof documentation.
- At the end of each page, press ‘Next’, and submit your application at the end.
Alternatively, you can apply via mail (not recommended). To do so, follow these steps:
- Print out a Lifeline application at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf and ACP application at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf.
- When applying for the ACP program, it is recommended to include a Household Worksheet, which can be found at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf.
- Fill out the forms and add physical copies of your proof documentation.
- Send the package to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, PO Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773.
If your application gets approved, you will be notified by the National Verifier. You can then choose a provider that offers Lifeline/ACP free iPhones in your area.
Best 6 ACP Free iPhones – Top Providers (2023)
The best 6 ACP free iPhones listed above, as well as any other iPhone models that may be available, are currently only offered by the following three providers. Other Lifeline/ACP providers may also occasionally offer free iPhones (depending on the area and availability), however, so far no other company has confirmed to do so.
AirTalk Wireless, as well as the other two companies on the list, are all owned by HTH Communications and they all provide amazing Lifeline and ACP benefits. Eligible customers can apply for a Lifeline-Only, ACP-Only, or Lifeline & ACP Combo plan. Only the combo plan can get you a free iPhone and this plan also comes with unlimited monthly talk minutes, unlimited text messages, and a certain amount of high-speed data (depending on the state). Moreover, qualifying customers have the opportunity to purchase a highly discounted tablet.
To enroll, visit https://airtalkwireless.com/, press the blue Apply button, and enter your ZIP code. If AirTalk operates in your area, you will be able to select a plan. Then, you will be redirected to the company’s application form. Fill it out by providing all the required information and documentation, just like you filled out the National Verifier form. Once the form is submitted, they will review it, and get in touch with you promptly.
Like AirTalk, Cintex Wireless also offers Lifeline and ACP benefits. Its plans vary between states but in all states, the Lifeline & ACP Combo plan is the most valuable. It offers a free smartphone (iPhone or Android), unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text messages, a certain amount of high-speed data (depending on the area), and the possibility for eligible customers to buy a highly discounted tablet.
To apply, visit https://cintexwireless.com/. Press Apply and when redirected, enter your ZIP code. If the company operates in your area, you will be redirected to the plan offer. Select the Combo plan and continue to complete and submit the application form. If approved, you will be notified.
NewPhone Wireless also offers the best 6 Lifeline/ACP free iPhone models listed above, although the offer may depend on availability. Moreover, it offers a free monthly plan (Lifeline, ACP, or Combo) that offers up to unlimited talk minutes and text, and a certain amount of high-speed data. ACP customers can also buy a discounted tablet. To get a free iPhone, make sure to opt for the combo plan.
Start your application process by visiting https://newphone.com, pressing Apply, and entering your ZIP code. The system will tell you whether or not the benefits are available in your area. If so, you can select a plan and complete the application form. The company will contact you shortly.