Do i need a sim card for an unlocked phone if using it solely wifi?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pauly1, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. pauly1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #1
    There is an iphone that i will most likely be purchasing very soon. Emailed the person and asked him some questions to confirm and waiting back. The iphone is a 4s 16gb one. Its unlocked and mentioned it could be used with any GSM Carrier.


    The thing is when i get the phone... i will be going back to canada. Im already here in canada but heading back to the usa for a short while to do some stuff get phone and then head back to canada. At the moment, i do not need service on the cell phone but want this unlocked phone in case i get service later on either here in canada or in mexico or when i go back to the usa. I do know if i ever use my phone in the usa... i will be going with t mobile.


    But in the meantime when i get the unlocked phone, will it come with a sim card or not? It says its unlocked and mentions ATT and TMobile.


    So baiscally i just want to use it without a service and thus it would in a way be like an ipod touch. Then later on i would get service. But don't you need a sim card just to get the phone to work with wifi and doing stuff that requires wifi? Or is a sim card not required for that?


    Could i download apps and use skype to talk chat and call without a sim card while on wifi?


    Thank you.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    You'll need a SIM card to get past the initial activation screen, after that you don't need one unless you restore the phone.
     
  3. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2013
    #3
    Okay so its best to get a tmobile sim card then right? Because when i do come back to the usa and use it... it would be Tmobile.

    Also i want to mention this phone is used but the seller mentioned it will have clean esn.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    Yes. On GSM networks, a clean ESN is completely meaningless. It only matters for CDMA networks. Make sure the phone you're buying isn't a Verizon/Sprint 4S. Those cannot be used on US T-Mobile or AT&T.
     
  5. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5

    Hi. The person labeled it as AT and T And T Mobile so know its a GSM network.

    But in general with these phones... they don't give you a sim card correct and you have to buy one always?

    Whats the best way to get the tmobile sim card? At a store or online? If i get it at the store and buy it, would they do it for you even though you are not signing up for a plan?

    I read it cost around 10 dollars for a sim card?
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    They shouldn't come with a SIM card if used. If it does, don't use it. T-Mobile stores will generally give you one for free. You can order one from their website for free (even free shipping). The link for it is a bit hidden, but its there.
     
  7. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #7
    After the initial activation (you can even borrow a sim card from a friend if need be), just throw it into airplane mode and it becomes a much better iPod touch until you come back.
     
  8. pauly1, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

    pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Can i use someones sim card if they currently using the sim card with tmobile?


    Can someone answer this?
     
  9. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #9
    Why doesn't a clean ESN matter on a GSM network? Don't phones get blacklisted for being reported as stolen or for not being paid off? Doesn't seem that much different than CDMA in that respect.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    GMS carriers block a device by its IMEI number.
     
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #11
    Right, yes, that is true.

    I guess the general idea is to to make sure that the phone's identification number (be it IMEI/MEID/ESN) should is clean at least with whatever provider its going to be used on, but hopefully even beyond that.
     
  12. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2013
    #12
    Okay so i purchased the iphone and will have it sent to me. I was told there would be no sim card in that iphone that is sent to me. Its an iphone 4s. From what i read, i would need a micro sim card because that is the only sim card compatible for the iphone 4s.


    So my plan is to get the iphone then put the chip in and then use the iphone but i will not activate any service. its an unlocked iphone 4s.


    So i have to buy the micro sim card and then activate it and then i can use it with wifi etc correct? So basically if i get the iphone 4s but i have no sim card... that means iphone wont turn on?


    Would i be able to use someone else sim card and put it in my iphone 4s just to get it to open... then give the sim card back to someone else? Or does it need to be an unactivated sim card?


    So after i use the sim card to activate my iphone4s, that means i dont need the sim card put inside my phone anymore? I only want to use it via wifi and wont need service for it. Because im going to use a tmobile sim card.


    I see some of these on ebay for 5 dollars and its unactivated tmobile sim card. Would buying one of those be fine? Im also bit confused b/c if i go to a cell phone store to buy one, it would cost 10-20? Are there ppl that go and buy a sim card and dont need to activate a service like me?

    ----------

    Okay i just read this. Someone in a thread mentioned that they bought 2 iphones unlocked on ebay. One of them he could use without putting sim card... the other he could not. He said both were without sim cards though.


    Someone said reason is b/c one of them the seller did a factory reset and cleared everything... the other iphone however, they just erased all their information but didn't do factory reset and thats why.


    So since that person shipping me the iphone is sending it to me without a sim card, most likely this person does factory reset which mean i have to get a sim card to start the iphone? But if they just deleted all their info... i wont need to buy a sim card?
     
  13. nox5 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2013
    #13
    Ask seller to set up as a new iPhone with his sim before he ships it out
     
  14. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2013
    #14

    The seller says they will not be shipping the sim card with it...
     
  15. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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  16. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #16
    https://macrumors.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201265337-Forum-Rules
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #17
    You can still ask the seller to active the phone for you before shipping it out. He/she doesn't have the include the SIM card used to activate. That said, do you not have your own SIM card?
     
  18. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2013
    #18
    so i got the phone a while back. I asked if they could set it with the sim and they did. So i could use it right now with wifi zero issues.


    So right now if i want to use it with a carrier, i have to get a sim card. Is it best to just get a t mobile sim card? I see it on ebay for a bit more than 5 dollars. I think the other carrier there is, is straight talk. I see straight talk cost 5 dollars less. But does their sim card cost more than the tmobile one i find on ebay?


    Bc with tmobile the plan is 55 per month after tax and straight talk is 50 per month after tax but i read tmobile service is better than straight talk?
     

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