Using an iPhone without a SIM card | iLounge Article

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Using an iPhone without a SIM card

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Q: Can you use an iPhone 3G without a SIM card as an iPod touch? I want my wife to have Wi-Fi access to the web and calendar use but no phone. I will upgrade to a 3GS if she can use the 3G like an iPod touch.

- Christopher

A: This is technically possible under certain conditions. Normally, the iPhone must be “activated” by iTunes in order for it to be used at all, and this activation process requires that the iPhone serial number (IMEI) and SIM card ID be checked with Apple’s servers to confirm that they are valid. This is the same process that you would have gone through when you initially purchased your iPhone.

However, once this activation process has been completed, you can remove the SIM card and continue using the iPhone and even syncing with iTunes without having to re-activate it. The only time that re-activation will be required is when you perform a firmware update on the iPhone, or perform a full “Restore” operation on it to return it to factory settings.

So in short, this means that you can use the iPhone on a day-to-day basis without a SIM card in it, and all of the non-cellular functions should work just fine, including Internet access over Wi-Fi. However, should you ever need to upgrade or restore the iPhone, you will need to insert a valid SIM card in order to complete the activation process with iTunes. In the scenario you describe, however, this shouldn’t be a problem, as you should be able to just put your SIM card back into the iPhone and then carry on from there.

It’s also worth noting that jailbreaking the iPhone completely bypasses the iTunes activation requirements as well, although this is a slightly more advanced process and will probably not be worth the effort if your wife just wants to use the iPhone as a basic iPod touch style device.

 

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Comments

1

Why has Apple not approve the iVidCam app? I love my Iphone this app would be great for apple and all those who have the 3g model, what is wrong with Apple?

Posted by Felix Durousseau on October 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM (CDT)

2

Can’t find the icon explanation in manual.
On the initial screen, upper right hand corner of ipod classic, is an icon that looks like an x or a cross.  What does that indicate?

The problem:
Recently recharged ipod after sitting idle for a while.  When I select a playlist, the sreen shows the song and the bar indicating that the song is playing, however, I have no sound. 
I have checked volumne control and have it turned on and set about 3/4 up the scale.  I tried the earbuds and a mini speaker and neither would produce sound.  Help!

Posted by Judy on October 11, 2009 at 8:02 PM (CDT)

3

I opened my laptop Powerbook G4 and in Itunes 9 I saw this symbol (!) next to a bunch of my songs.  Now they wont play and I cant find them.  I’m scared that I may have lost 4k songs, I know I should have backed them up but I was using the ipod as a backup and now they dont work on the ipod as well.

Any help would be appreciated.  I’m not very knowledgeable computer wise.

Thanks in advance

Posted by Justin McLitus on February 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM (CST)

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