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macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
I have an old iPhone 4 which I am not using. Only at home for music streaming.

Can I throw this iPhone in my suitcase while find my iPhone is turned on and in case my suitcase gets lost - I'll be able to track it (I'll leave it on of course)?

Or does it rely on active data connection?

(I'm assuming this works on GPS so this should work but I want to be sure).



macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2014
Unfortunately, it needs a data connection (to pass the coordinates which the device collects via GPS). It does not necessarily need a SIM card though. Even if the phone is in the range of a known Wi-Fi network it'll work just as fine. So you'll need to have a wireless hotspot in the same suitcase in order to track the iPhone.


macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
GPS signals would be blocked in the suitcase. so it would have to use AGPS technologies like cellular towers and WIFI location to send you an educated guess.

once removed from the suitcase and with a sim card, the tracking would be more accurate.

connected to a hotspot inside a suitcase will probably not work. the wifi router's mac address has to be registered with apple maps / skyhook wireless. it would probably give you an inaccurate location of where the ip address is

now i see it

macrumors G4
Jan 2, 2002
The answer is no for what you want to do.

The iPhone needs to connect to the Internet somehow to use Find My Phone.
It won't be able to connect automatically to an unknown wifi, and it won't have a cellular connection.

Find My Phone does work without a SIM if the phone is connected to a wifi.
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