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You can't play music on a pretty silver brick
December 19, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

How can I activate an old iPhone without a SIM card?

I have an original iPhone 2G. It's in great condition and works fine. I'd like to use it as an iPod Touch.

Here's my problem: I restored it, and I don't have a SIM card to get it to activate. And if I can't activate the thing, it's as good as a brick for listening to music.

The phone was provided by a previous employer, and the phone number associated with the iPhone's SIM is in use by someone else, and I don't have it. The good SIM *I* do have is in my iPhone 4S, which is not compatible with the original iPhone.

I'd rather not jailbreak the thing -- I just want to plug the danged thing into my Mac and let iTunes do its thing. (But if it really is that easy to do it, tell me about it.)

How do I get it useful again? Is there a chance someone at an Apple store could get it into a useful state?
posted by the matching mole to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You have a few options. You should be able to get a small 'converter' (plastic frame the size of a normal SIM with a hole that you fit the micro SIM into) and then you can use your 4S SIM with the old iPhone. Here's an example on Amazon - I don't know but it would be worth asking at an ATT or Apple store if they have them (might even be able to get one for free).

If it's easy enough to get to an Apple store I would also consider asking them to activate it - I don't know what their policies are but can't hurt to try.

And finally, you probably have a friend with a normal SIM card - you could borrow that for ten minutes and get your phone activated if they could drop by your house, then just give it straight back.
posted by jacalata at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2011


Have you tried plugging it in to iTunes? I *think* that since it's not being activated on a phone number, you don't need a SIM card.
posted by radioamy at 2:34 PM on December 19, 2011


Jailbreaking an iPhone 2G to "hacktivate" it is fairly easy if you don't mind following a few point-and-click steps, and you wouldn't have to bother with SIMs or Apple Stores. Here's a guide with screenshots; it worked previously for another person asking this question.
posted by dreamyshade at 2:43 PM on December 19, 2011


Would a cheap pay as-you-go sim work? 7-11 sells them here in Canada for about $10.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:42 PM on December 19, 2011


any AT&T (or h20wireless) sim card will work, you can buy one on ebay or amazon for as little as 99 cents delivered. Might take a few days but is pretty simple. The converter mentioned above will work too, with the micro sim in your 4s. The only difference between a regular and a micro-siim is some extra cardboard. You can convert regular sims to microsims with scissors.
posted by skewed at 8:33 PM on December 19, 2011


I'd go the adapter route - jailbreaking an original iPhone isnt THAT hard but hacktivation can cause battery life issues and problems with push notification. Yes, there are ways to possibly get around those issues but the whole process is a hassle.
posted by The Lamplighter at 10:19 PM on December 19, 2011


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