Free Tablets and iPhones in California: Your Gateway to Digital Inclusion

Are you a California restaurant looking for a job, healthcare, or educational opportunities? Then hurry up! Now, you can afford a free or low-cost government tablet and smartphone. However, the government is working to fill the digital gap by making affordable tablets, iPads, phones, and internet services. This article is a guideline for students, disabled persons, and job seekers.

Free Tablets in California Your Gateway to Digital Inclusion

Critical Programs: Get a Free Tablet or iPhone in California

You can get a device or discount on phone or internet service in California based on federal programs that are following;

Federal Lifeline Program

  • Lifeline: Lifeline is a federal initiative that mainly provides discounts on phone and internet services. It doesn’t offer free tablets or iPhones, but the participating providers make them nearly affordable. Also, check out Get Your Free Tablet & Smartphone with EBT Today.

Apply now to get your free tablet or iPhone from the government. Choose the best option that suits your needs, and start your application today. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Apply Now Through Government

Apply Now with Lifeline

State-Base Programs

Several state-based programs offer free or discounted devices like phones, iPads, and tablets. The programs are following;

California Lifeline: California Lifeline is a state program that started working on Jan 16, 2014. It offers discounts on home phone and cellphone services to eligible households only. However, it allows only one discount per household, except for teletypewriter users and deaf and disabled telecommunication program participants. Eligible families may get a monthly discount of up to $19.00 towards their home or cell phone service.

Check your Eligibility Now!

However, to check your eligibility for California Lifeline, meet the following annual income requirements. A household size of 1 member must have a yearly income at or below $23,400, which is $48,400 for a household size of 4. In short, for each additional member, we will add $8,400.
Note: This income limit, based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines, is practical from now until May 31, 2025.

California Lifeline Discounts

The California Lifeline offers the following discounts to its participants;
From Jan 1, 2024, the specific support amount is adequate, up to $19.00.

Monthly flat rate service discount of up to $19.00.
Monthly cell phone service discount of up to $19.00.

California lifeline income Limits
California Lifeline Income guidelines

It offers up to a $39.00 service connection discount. The service convergent discount is also up to $39. Your phone services will be free from any public purpose program surcharges and other associated taxes such as federal excise tax, local franchise tax, and state 911 tax.

Non-Profits Lending a Hand

    • Computers with Causes: Several non-profit organizations help people connect, such as Computer with Causes. It usually provides refurbished devices to students, disabled people, unemployed people, veterans, and seniors.

Are You Eligible? It’s Easy to Find Out:

Eligibility for these programs typically hinges on participation in various assistance programs, such as Medicaid/Medi-Cal, CalFresh (food stamps/SNAP), SSI, and others. A comprehensive list of qualifying programs is readily available online, so don’t hesitate to check if you meet the criteria.

For California Lifeline, your household income must fall below certain thresholds, which vary depending on the number of people in your household. However, this information is transparent and readily accessible on the program’s website, allowing you to determine your eligibility quickly.

The Perks of California Lifeline Go Beyond Tablets or iPhones:

California Lifeline not only helps to afford a tablet or a phone but also offers discounts on monthly phone & internet services. Indeed, it reduces your financial burden, ensuring access to communication services.

The Perks of California Lifeline Go Beyond Tablets


Can I get a free iPhone and a tablet through California Lifeline?

California Lifeline does not directly offer free tablets or phones. However, it provides discounts that make them affordable. If you qualify for the California program, the provider you apply through can offer tablet, iPad, iPhone, and internet services.

Do I qualify for a free tablet or phone in California if I am disabled?

Disability doesn’t directly qualify you for a free tablet or a smartphone. However, it is one of the factors. So, if your annual income or participation in assistance programs meets the program’s eligibility criteria, your chance of getting a free tablet or a phone increases.

Can I learn to use a tablet in California?

Of course! You can learn using a tablet in California by visiting libraries and community centers.

Hey California! Let’s Connect

  1. Check Eligibility:  Check the program’s eligibility criteria to see if you meet them.

  2. Reach Out to Providers: Contact your Internet Service provider. They can inform you about their participation in the Lifeline or California Lifeline programs and the specific tablet, iPad, iPhone, and Samsung smartphone deals they offer.

  3. Apply: After determining which programs you qualify for, submit your applications and explore the available tablet and phone options.

Note: The Program details include eligibility criteria, participating providers, etc. Therefore, always consult the official resources before you apply.


As a California resident, you get tremendous opportunities to connect. The programs at the federal & state levels are always willing to help you stay connected. Please keep visiting our website for more updated information. Apply now!


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About the Author

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Rebecca C. Adam’s

Rebecca has a Global Tech University Ph.D. in Information Technology and Social Change. She researches how technology can help people and has worked on projects that improve job opportunities and community involvement, helping over 2,000 people. She shared her findings at the 2021 Technology for Social Impact Summit.

View all posts by Rebecca C. Adam’s