New (used) iphone 5 wants me to "activate" it

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by corko, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. corko, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016

    corko macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2016
    Yes, this is long and it gets a little bit ranty. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

    I got a used iphone 5 off of ebay. I needed a device which could run the latest version of iOS, and this was the cheapest option. I do not need it to make phone calls, or to store my contacts via some over hyped cloud service, or any of that other stuff. I don't need to take it online at all, I just want to use it for development. With that in mind, I wasn't paying attention to the carrier or SIM card or anything else. Just wanted a functional device with a charger.

    So I got a device, seems to be functional. Has a charger, that seems to work. All well and good so far... The phone is demanding a SIM card so that I can "activate" it. The first question this raises is, "Why would it need a SIM card for this?" the second question is, "I don't have a SIM card, how is much is that going to cost me, just so I can use this stupid thing?" the third question is, "What the hell is it really doing anyway? This smells an awful lot like DRM. Is this DRM? For hardware? They're DRMing hardware now? I've heard of some really scuzzy things involving DRM and ink jet cartridges, hardware DRM isn't totally new to me, but this feels like a new low."

    That third question was several questions I guess. ::sigh:: Okay. The question I'd really like answered is: How do I make this work? I would prefer to do it without pledging allegiance to Apple, or giving them any personal information. I would also prefer to do it without buying anything extra. But I will do what I need to.

    Bonus points if it involves chisels, soldering irons, or other forms of electronic torture. I wouldn't mind seeing this thing suffer a bit. Double word score if I get to burn an apple in effigy.

    All right, now you're going to say: "But in order to do iOS development you need an Apple developer account anyway." Yes yes, fine. I know all that, but my intention is to worry about it when I get a little closer to publishing. Right now I'd just like to have a functioning device.
  2. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    borrow a sim card from anyone and do it, or plug the thing into itunes, both work
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Whenever you restore an iPhone it attempts to activate. This is just the nature of the phone despite what your intentions with it are.

    If a SIM is inserted when this happens you don't see this process. But if there is no SIM or it's the wrong SIM (on a SIMlocked device) then it will complain.

    So, whomever sold the phone to you did their job by turning off Find My iPhone and restoring. Since you don't have THEIR SIM the phone is now asking for it.

    See post #2 in this thread. I'm just explaining the WHY of this.
  4. keaton85 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2012
    Your about to develop on an iPhone and your having a hard time understanding how to activate it?

    Over hyped cloud? Umm ok!
  5. corko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2016
    Okay. It took me a while to get back to this since while I do, thankfully, have a laptop which can run iTunes, the networking on it was borked and it just took some time for me to get around to fixing it. And of course it isn't really good enough to just have a computer with iTunes, you also need an internet connection. (Because what kind of DRM doesn't call back to the mothership?)

    However: nope. The only difference is that now iTunes is demanding a SIM card.

    I'm back to my original question - Is there no way around this?
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    No. There is no way around it. Borrow a sim card for 15 minutes from a friend.

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