Using an iPhone as an iPod Touch

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by theabacus, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. theabacus macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Recently I was looking into purchasing a iPod Touch. Can I purchase a used iPhone (already activated) and use it as a Touch? I did some research from Apple about it and ran across the following article:

    The article clears up the question somewhat, but not fully. I realize that a SIM card will be necessary to upgrade the iPhone. However, can I just use a friends iPhone SIM card to activate the phone after upgrades? Do I have to continue to use the same SIM card on each upgrade or can I use any iPhone SIM card every time I upgrade?

    I would like to purchase an iPhone instead of an iPod Touch because they are generally cheaper (1/2-2/3 the cost used...) since people purchase them at a low cost when bundled with a cellphone plan. Also the iPhone has a GPS and if, in the future, I decide I want to pay for a data plan and activate the phone, I have that option.

    Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2009
    well, u can use different sims to activate the iphone...only with at&t sim cards though, unless u unlock it. but actually no its not cheaper. its cheaper with the plan but its over a thousand bucks a year. and for used iphones are pretty expensive too but i guess the one ur getting the guy doesnt have a clue about the price of such a magnificent device. oh its also better than the iphone cuz it has louder speakers, a built in mic, and a camera =)
  3. DPA macrumors 65816


    Upon official purchase of an iPhone (i.e. Apple Store, carrier retail store, or official retailer) you will have to activate the iPhone before you leave the store. If you buy an unlocked one on eBay, you will be paying around the unsubsidized price of that same iPhone. Occasionally you will find someone selling their old iPhone which has been activated before thus not activated currently, and selling it for cheaper than the original price. Then you would just have to unlock it with an unlock client like Ultrasn0w or Blacksn0w. Then, just leave the SIM out and you will be able to use it like an iPod. Plus, you'll have a camera, better speakers and a built-in mic. If you have any other questions feel free to ask them here as this can be a tricky topic.

  4. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    It's cheaper if you purchase an already-activated phone and don't have an AT&T plan, which is what he's actually asking about. This was actually the entire point of the thread. How did you miss this?

    theabacus, this link might help you:

    Scroll down to "Can I Use the iPhone Without Having Phone Service? Like an iPod Touch?" :)
  5. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2009
    so if u paid attention to his post you would know that i didnt miss anything.
  6. theabacus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Thank you for the prompt and helpful replies. So allow me to summarize the thoughts for my own clarification and for others who many view this post.

    An iPhone (not jailbreaked) can be used without a SIM card as long as the phone is already activated. A SIM card is required in order to upgrade the software on the iPhone. Upgrading an iPhone is not required (unless an app requests it) and typically full version upgrades happen about once a year or so. And any live AT&T iPhone SIM card can be used to re-activate the phone.

    Just for verification, I can use any active iPhone SIM card to reactivate the phone upon upgrade, right? I work with iPhone App developers so borrowing a SIM card for a few minutes when I upgrade should not be a problem.
  7. theabacus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Question answered.

    For those who may be seeking the same answer:

    If you want to use an iPhone as an iPod Touch (i.e without cell service), you have to use the same deactivated SIM card that was last used in the iPhone when it had cell service. Note again, that SIM has to be first deactivated by your carrier. Otherwise, iTunes will try (and fail) to activate it as an iPhone.

    You will be able to update the firmware without activating cell service


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