Using iphone as ipod touch

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Ask: How to Use an iPhone without SIM Card (like an iPod)


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By MacLife

Have an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer.

Have an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We have the answer. In this edition of Ask, we'll tackle one of our most frequent questions: how to use an iPhone without a SIM card so it basically functions like an iPod touch.


I want to pass along an old iPhone 4s to my kids to use for texting, FaceTime, or to email their friends. I don't want to have it operate as an iPhone; I only want it to use a Wi-Fi connection. However, whenever I try to set up the phone, it asks me to insert a SIM card. What can I do to make this iPhone only work over Wi-Fi?


You can absolutely use the old iPhone as a Wi-Fi-only device that can still use iMessage, FaceTime, and other apps included on iOS and that you've downloaded from the App Stores. It sounds like you've already restored the device to its default settings, which is the first step. If you haven't, go to the phone's settings and select General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

After restoring, and during the set up process, you will need to insert the card from your SIM only deals card temporarily into the device. Once you've completed the set up process, remove the SIM card from the old device, and you will be able to use it without issue.

You will need a SIM card to set up your iPhone as a Wi-Fi-only device, but only temporarily. After that, it'll work SIM-free.

Note that after rebooting the device, you may get the notification to insert a SIM card; however, this message is easily dismissible using the "Cancel" button in the alert. If you have a non-operational SIM card handy, then you could insert it into the old iPhone to keep the messages from appearing occasionally.

Ask is written by Cory Bohon, a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer.

Got an Apple tech question? Email [email protected]


How to Set Up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Authored by: Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.


Whether this is your first iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you're simply upgrading to a new one or switching over from and Android phone or tablet, this guide will walk you through the process of getting started.

This guide is applicable to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 12 or later.

iOS Logo.

1 Setup Start

  1. Your new iOS device should come with a partial charge which will allow you to perform the initial setup. Press and hold the On/Off button on the side of your device to turn it on.

    The location of the power button will vary depending on the model of iOS you're working with.

  2. Once turned on, you will be greeted by the Hello screen. To begin the setup process, swipe from left to right.
    Arrow showing swipe direction on Hello screen of iOS device setup.
  3. Select your preferred language then your country or region.
    Country/region selection screen of iOS device setup.

2 Setup Method

There are two ways to set up your new iOS device:

3 Activate Device

To be able to use your iOS device, it needs to be activated first. There are three ways to do this:

4 Set Up Face ID and Create Passcode

Depending on what model of iOS device you're working with, you may be prompted to set up Face ID or Touch ID. With these features, you can use face recognition or your fingerprint to easily unlock your device and make purchases.
  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up Face ID or Touch ID, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted in iOS device setup.

    You need a passcode to use features like Face ID, Touch ID and Apple Pay.

  2. Next, set a six-digit Passcode to help protect your data.
    Passcode entry screen in iOS device setup.

    If you'd like a four-digit passcode, custom passcode, or no passcode, tap Passcode Options.

5 Set Up Data

6 Apple ID Sign In

You will need an Apple ID to access all Apple products and services.

  • Enter the email address and password associated with your Apple ID to sign in.
    Apple ID entry field highlighted on sign in screen of iOS device setup.

    If you need to recover your Apple ID's password, need to create a new Apple ID or set one up later, select Forgot password or don't have an Apple ID?

7 Setup Finish

  1. Tap Continue and follow the instructions to set up the Siri voice assistant, or tap Set Up Later In Settings to skip this feature for now.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Siri setup screen.
  2. Do the same for the Screen Time feature which allows you to set time limits for how much certain apps are being used on a daily basis.
    Continue button and Set Up Later In Settings option highlighted on Screen Time setup screen.
  3. Choose whether you want to update your device automatically by tapping Continue, or if you would rather do this on your own, select Update Manually.
    Continue button and Update Manually option highlighted in iOS device setup.
  4. Lastly, you have to choose whether you want to share app behavior with developers to help improve them in the future, and configure some options that depend on the features provided by the device you have.

At this point you should be all set to enjoy your new iOS device.

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Question:Q:Want to use old iPhone as an iPod Touch

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I recently switched to an iPhone 8 from my old iPhone 5s because my SIM card was messed up and wouldn't let me make calls or send texts. I can still use it on Wifi to surf the web and play games basically like an iPod Touch. Everything works fine, but every 5-10 minutes I get this pop up message telling me my iPhone isn't activated. It's not a huge problem but it is very annoying and I cannot figure out how to disable it or if I can. If anyone knows how to tackle this please let me know. Thanks!

User uploaded file

Posted on Feb 13, 2018 5:56 PM


To use that phone as an iPod Touch, it will need to be briefly activated. You can take the sim out of your iPhone 8 and put it in your old phone, activate it, then take the sim out and back into your 8.

Posted on Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM

View answer in context

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM in response to Heapez In response to Heapez

That’s because it’s still listed on your account with your carrier. Either call them to remove it or use your account web login with them to remove it yourself.

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM

View answer in context

Page content loaded

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM in response to Heapez In response to Heapez

To use that phone as an iPod Touch, it will need to be briefly activated. You can take the sim out of your iPhone 8 and put it in your old phone, activate it, then take the sim out and back into your 8.

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM in response to Heapez In response to Heapez

That’s because it’s still listed on your account with your carrier. Either call them to remove it or use your account web login with them to remove it yourself.

Feb 13, 2018 11:25 PM

User profile for user: Heapez Heapez

Question:Q:Want to use old iPhone as an iPod Touch

How to turn a new or used iPhone into an iPod Touch in under 5 minutes!

Now that you've made the switch to an iPhone 7, what to do with your old iPhone? While you can always sell it, any profit is dependent on the quality of the phone. A phone that's seen its share of wear and tear likely has a low resale value. Consider turning that gently used iPhone 6S (and 6S Plus, 6 Plus, 6, and 5C) into the equivalent of an iPod Touch, perfect for kids wanting an iDevice to call their own.

To get started using an old iPhone as an iPod Touch, insert a SIM card into the phone — be sure the card is from the same wireless carrier that the phone uses. Connect the iPhone to an Internet-enabled computer with iTunes. The program will activate the iPhone, letting you use it as an iPod Touch.

If the SIM card used in the above activation is still active, you can remove it from the now iPod Touch and place it back in the device that will continue to be used as an iPhone. Or, if the SIM card isn't activated, leaving it in the device is fine, since there's no paid plan connected to it. Make sure to enable a WiFi network, and you're good to use apps and listen to music as before!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone


As ipod touch using iphone

iPod Touch

Series of mobile media devices by Apple

Pink iPod touch 6th generation.svg

iPod Touch 6th/7th generation in Pink

DeveloperApple Inc.
Product familyiPod
TypeMobile device
Release date
  • 1st gen: September 5, 2007 (2007-09-05)
  • 2nd gen: September 9, 2008 (2008-09-09)
  • 3rd gen: September 9, 2009 (2009-09-09)
  • 4th gen: September 12, 2010 (2010-09-12)
  • 5th gen: October 11, 2012 (2012-10-11) (32 & 64 GB models), May 2013 (2013-05) (16 GB model A1509), June 2014 (2014-06) (16 GB model A1421)[1]
  • 6th gen: July 15, 2015 (2015-07-15)
  • 7th gen: May 28, 2019 (2019-05-28)
Units sold100 million (as of May 2013)[2]
Operating systemiOS
System on a chip
  • 1st & 2nd gen: 128 MBLPDDRDRAM
  • 3rd & 4th gen:256 MB LPDDR DRAM
  • 5th gen:512 MB LPDDR2 DRAM
  • 6th gen:1 GB LPDDR3 DRAM
  • 7th gen:2 GB LPDDR4 DRAM
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen: 3.5 in (89 mm) diagonal (3:2 aspect ratio), scratch-resistant glossy glass covered screen, 262,144-color (18-bit) TN LCD, 480×320 px (HVGA) at 163 ppi, 200:1 contrast ratio
  • 4th gen: 3.5 in (89 mm) diagonal (3:2 aspect ratio),
    multi-touch display,
    LED backlitTN TFT LCD,
    960×640 px at 326 PPI
    800:1 contrast ratio (typical), 500 cd/m2 max. brightness (typical), fingerprint-resistant oleophobiccoating on front
  • 5th, 6th and 7th gen: 4 in (100 mm) diagonal (16:9 aspect ratio),
    1136×640 px at 326 PPI
  • Built-in rechargeable Li-Po battery
  • 1st gen:3.7 V 2.15 W·h (580 mA·h)
  • 2nd gen:3.7 V2.73 W·h (739 mA·h)
  • 3rd gen:3.7 V2.92 W·h (789 mA·h)
  • 4th gen:3.7 V3.44 W·h (930 mA·h)
  • 5th gen:3.7 V3.8 W·h (1030 mA·h)
  • 6th gen & 7th gen: 3.83 V3.99 W·h (1043 mA·h)
Online services
  • 1st gen:
  • 110 mm (4.3 in) H
  • 61.8 mm (2.43 in) W
  • 8 mm (0.31 in) D
  • 2nd, 3rd gen:
  • 110 mm (4.3 in) H
  • 61.8 mm (2.43 in) W
  • 8.5 mm (0.33 in) D
  • 4th gen:
  • 111 mm (4.4 in) H
  • 58.9 mm (2.32 in) W
  • 7.2 mm (0.28 in) D
  • 5th, 6th, 7th gen:
  • 123.4 mm (4.86 in) H
  • 58.6 mm (2.31 in) W
  • 6.1 mm (0.24 in) D
  • 1st gen: 120 g (4.2 oz)
  • 2nd, 3rd gen: 115 g (4.1 oz)
  • 4th gen: 101 g (3.6 oz)
  • 5th, 6th, 7th gen: 88 g (3.1 oz)
PredecessoriPod Classic
Related articlesiPod Nano
iPod Classic
iPod Shuffle
List of iOS devices

The iPod Touch (stylized and marketed as iPod touch) is a line of iOS-based mobile devices designed and marketed by Apple Inc. with a touchscreen-controlleduser interface. As with other iPod models, it can be used as a music player and a handheld gaming device, but it can also be used as a digital camera, a web browser and for messaging.[7] It is similar in design to the iPhone, but it connects to the Internet only through Wi-Fi and does not use cellular network data, and so is not a smartphone.

The iPod Touch was introduced in 2007; some 100 million iPod Touch units were sold by May 2013.[2] The current iPod Touch, released on May 28, 2019, is the seventh-generation model.

iPod Touch models are sold by storage space and color; all models of the same generation typically offer identical features, performance, and operating system upgrades. An exception was the fifth generation, in which the low-end (16 GB)[a] model was initially sold without a rear-facing camera and in a single color.[8]

The iPod Touch has been the only product in Apple's iPod product line since the discontinuation of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle on July 27, 2017, after which Apple revised the storage and pricing for the iPod Touch with 32 and 128 GB of storage.[9]



Main article: iOS

See also: iOS version history

The iPod Touch runs Apple's Unix-based iOS operating system used on the iPhone, and includes bundled software to browse the Internet, view maps, send and receive email, view media. Users type on a virtual keyboard displayed on the screen. Apple operates online stores, allowing users to buy and directly download music, videos and third-party software. From launch, the iPod Touch was described by journalists as an "iPhone without the phone",[10] and each iPod Touch model to date has been introduced with the same release of iOS as the contemporary iPhone model.

In June 2011, iOS 5, the fifth major release of iOS software, was announced at Apple's WWDC 2011, which added notification, messaging and reminder features.[11] Apple limited some features, most notably the voice control system Siri, to the iPhone.[12]iOS 6, which was released on September 19, 2012 for the fourth and fifth generation iPod Touch models, contains 200 new features including Passbook, Facebook integration and Apple Maps. The fifth generation iPod Touch gained the ability to take panoramic photos, a feature shared with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.[13]

On June 8, 2015, it was announced at the WWDC that the iPod Touch fifth generation would support iOS 9, along with other A5 Chip devices. This makes the iPod Touch fifth generation the first iPod Touch to support four major versions of iOS.

Early iOS updates prior to iOS 4 have been paid for owners of supported iPod Touch models. Apple received criticism for this decision and for excluding certain features from the iPod Touch software that the iPhone included.[14][15] Apple's position was that they could add features for free to the iPhone because the revenue from it is accounted for on a subscription basis under accounting rules, rather than as a one time payment (as iPhones were often sold with a carrier contract).[16] At WWDC in June 2010, as of iOS 4, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had "found a way" to make subsequent OS upgrades available free to iPod Touch owners.

Setup and synchronization[edit]

iPod Touch units running iOS 4 or earlier require a Mac or PC to be set up for the first time. Downloading apps or media from the iTunes Store and App Store does not require a computer, though media not purchased through the iTunes Store still has to be added through a computer.

New iPods bought after October 12, 2011 have iOS 5.0 or later preloaded, and can be set up wirelessly,[17] without the need of a PC or Mac.

Purchasing content[edit]

To purchase content on the iPod Touch, the user must create an Apple ID or have an existing account. With this account one may download music and videos from the iTunes Store, apps from the App Store, or books from the Apple Books Store. An Apple ID account created without a credit card can be used to get free content, and gift cards can be used to pay for apps instead of using a credit card.

Third-party applications[edit]

The only official way to obtain third-party applications for the iPod Touch is through Apple's App Store, which is a branch of iTunes Store. The App Store application, available in all versions of iOS from 2.0 onwards, allows users to browse and download applications from a single online repository (hosted by Apple) with the iTunes Store.

Sideloading apps outside the App Store is done through the Xcode application, and is intended for developers and enterprises, though tools for sideloading outside of Xcode exist, and are mainly used for applications not allowed in the App Store.

Design and hardware[edit]

The iPod Touch is generally similar to the iPhone models prior to the iPhone X (excluding the second generation iPhone SE). Compared to a same-generation iPhone, an iPod Touch is thinner, lighter and less expensive, while lacking some hardware and software features. Steve Jobs once referred to the iPod Touch as "training wheels for the iPhone".[18]

All iPod Touch models lack biometric authentication, 3D Touch, NFC, GPS, an earpiece speaker and a noise-cancelling microphone. Depending on the generation, the iPod Touch may have a smaller or otherwise inferior display and camera(s). Newer models (5th, 6th, and 7th generation) lack the ambient light sensor that makes automatic brightness available. The first generation iPod Touch lacks a built-in speaker, and the first, second, and third generation iPod Touch lack a microphone, a camera, and a flash. Starting with the 4th generation iPod Touch, a camera and microphone were added, and starting with the 5th generation iPod Touch, an LED flash was added.

The iPod Touch has no cellular modem, and therefore cannot directly make phone calls on the public switched telephone network. However, it can make VoIP calls such as FaceTime, and send iMessages to other iPhones, Macs, iPads, and iPod Touch models with an Apple ID. The 5th generation iPod Touch and later can forward and receive standard phone calls through a separate iPhone (a feature introduced in iOS 8), with the Wi-Fi Calling feature. The two devices must be linked to the same Apple ID, and the iPhone's carrier must support this feature.[19]


Main articles: Dock connector § Apple 30-pin dock connector, and Lightning (connector)

Apple Lightning connector

The iPod Touch can communicate with a computer through Wi-Fi or USB using a cable and a dock connector.

iPod models released before 2012 feature a 30-pin dock connector (known colloquially as the iPod dock connector), which carried analog signals.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh generations of the iPod Touch feature a new digital dock connector, called Lightning, which was introduced alongside the iPhone 5, fourth generation iPad and first generation iPad Mini, and the seventh generation iPod Nano models. This new connector is smaller than the previous one allowing for a slimmer form factor, and is reversible. Various accessories are available to connect the Apple Lightning connector to the older 30-pin dock connector or USB,[20] although not all old accessories will work, because the Lightning connector cannot handle analog signals.[21]

User-made modifications[edit]

See also: iOS jailbreaking

Like all of Apple's iOS devices, the iPod Touch is a tightly controlled or closed platform. Communication between apps is limited and controlled, and Apple is the only authorized software vendor for firmware and applications. Hackers have attempted to "jailbreak" all iOS devices to enable forbidden or unsupported features, such as multitasking in iOS versions before 4.0, themes for the home screen, and enabling the battery-percentage indicator (limited to the iPhone prior to the seventh generation iPod Touch). Jailbreaks for the iPod Touch first surfaced a month after the original model was released in September 2007, when hackers released JailbreakMe 1.0 (also called "AppSnapp") to jailbreak iPhone OS 1.1.1.[22][23] This allowed users to install third-party programs on their devices before Apple permitted this with iPhone OS 2.

Apple's warranty statement implies that an iPod Touch after jailbreaking or other modification made by unofficial means is not covered by Apple's warranty. Jailbreaking is a violation of the terms and conditions for using iOS. While the jailbreaking process can normally be undone by performing a restore through iTunes,[24] there is a risk of rendering the device unusable.


See also: iPod Touch model comparison

4th and 6th generation iPod touches

As of April 2021[update], there have been seven models of iPod Touch devices produced.

  • 1st generation (2007–2008) Supported until June 2010 (iPhone OS 3.1.3)
  • 2nd generation (2008–2010) Supported until March 2011 (iOS 4.2.1)
  • 3rd generation (2009–2010) Supported until September 2012 (iOS 5.1.1)
  • 4th generation (2010–2013) Supported until February 2014 (iOS 6.1.6)
  • 5th generation (2012–2015) Supported until September 2016 (iOS 9.3.5)
  • 6th generation (2015–2019) Partial support only (iOS 12.5.5)
  • 7th generation (2019–present) Fully supported (iOS 15.0.2)


Upon launch in 2007 the first generation iPod Touch received mostly good reviews for its display, its full Web browser, and YouTube support. However it was also criticized for being a "stripped down" iPhone, for lacking external volume buttons, and for having a lower-quality display.[25][26][27]

Notable competing products as of 2009 included Creative's ZEN X-Fi2, Sony's Walkman X Series, and Microsoft's Zune HD;[28][29] and as of 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Player[30] and Sony Walkman Z Series.

Later models received a more lukewarm reception, with reviewers questioning whether an iPod Touch made sense as a product in a time where smartphones had become more affordable.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab1 GB = 1 billion bytes
  2. ^Models with order number starting with *B only; models with order number starting with *C start at iPhone OS 3.
  3. ^Up to 4.2.1 only.
  4. ^Models with black bezel only; models with white bezel start at iOS 5.
  5. ^iPods with model number A1509 (lacking rear camera) start at iOS 6.1.3.


  1. ^ abcdefgh"Identify your iPod model - Apple Support". Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  2. ^ abSmith, Mat (May 30, 2013). "Apple: 100 million iPod touches sold since 2007". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  3. ^"New A8 iPod Touch Clocks in at 1.10GHz, Includes 1GB RAM and Bluetooth 4.1".
  4. ^Brandon Chester. "Apple Refreshes The iPod touch With A8 SoC And New Cameras".
  5. ^O'Hara, Andrew (May 29, 2019). "2019 iPod touch: First look, initial impressions, & benchmarks". AppleInsider. Quiller Media, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  6. ^"Apple - iPod touch - Technical Specifications". Apple. Apple Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  7. ^"iPod touch - Features". Apple. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  8. ^"Apple cuts prices on iPod Touch line, refreshes 16GB model". CNET. June 26, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  9. ^"Apple removes iPod nano and shuffle from website hinting at discontinuation". 9to5Mac. July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  10. ^Sadun, Erica (September 5, 2007). "Apple announces iPod touch: iPhone without the phone". TUAW. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  11. ^"Apple announce iOS 5 and iPhone release date". Apple. October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  12. ^Lawler, Richard (October 4, 2011). "iPod touch still maxes out at 64GB / $399, available in white October 12th". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  13. ^Gunther, Cory (September 19, 2012). "What's new in iOS 6? Here's the changelog". SlashGear. R3 Media. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  14. ^Block, Ryan (January 17, 2008). "iPod touch users: if you bought after Jan 1 the new apps are free – maybe". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  15. ^Arya, Aayush (January 24, 2008). "Early Adopter Tax Resurfaces with the iPod touch January Software Upgrade". AppleMatters. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  16. ^Dalrymple, Jim. "Accounting rules behind iPod touch update charge". Macworld. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  17. ^"iOS 5 - See new features included in iOS 5". Apple. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  18. ^Fildes, Nic (September 19, 2007). "iPhone finally arrives but it's neither cheap nor G3". The Independent. UK. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  19. ^"Make a call with Wi-Fi Calling". Apple Support. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  20. ^"Apple iPhone 5 features". Apple. September 12, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  21. ^McGlaun, Shane (September 13, 2012). "iPhone 5 won't work with some accessories even with Apple Lightning adapter". SlashGear. R3 Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  22. ^Wilson, Ben (October 10, 2007). "Official iPhone 1.1.1 jailbreak released with easy-to-follow instructions; does not require TIFF exploit". CNET. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 19, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  23. ^Keizer, Gregg (October 29, 2007). "Hacker Software Can Install Unauthorized Software on iPhones". PCWorld. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  24. ^"iPod and iSight Warranty"(PDF). Apple. p. 1. Retrieved December 24, 2008.
  25. ^"Review: Apple iPod touch (8GB/16GB/32GB)". September 17, 2007.
  26. ^"The iPod meets the iPhone: A review of the iPod touch". September 17, 2007.
  27. ^"Apple iPod touch - the Gadgeteer".
  28. ^"Sony Unveils Slimmest Walkman Yet". September 16, 2009.
  29. ^"Sony debuts X-series Walkman with Wi-Fi, touchscreen OLED, noise cancellation".
  30. ^"Samsung Galaxy S Wi-Fi hands-on (Photos)".
  31. ^Benjamin, Jeff (February 26, 2020). "The Rewind: iPod touch 7th-gen – a legit Apple Arcade console?". 9to5Mac. Retrieved November 16, 2020.

External links[edit]

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iOS 15 On iPod Touch 7! (Review)

Is it possible to use an iPhone without a SIM card as an iPod touch?

You can use any SIM card associated with the carrier that your device supports to activate the phone. Simply place a SIM card from the last carrier with which you used your iPhone into the device, and activate it. Then remove the SIM card. You can now use the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS as you would an iPod touch (Wi-Fi only, no cellular service).

Note: You can use the activated SIM card from your new iPhone to do this.

To re-activate an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS that displays the "Connect to iTunes" screen:

  1. Insert a SIM card from the carrier with which you used your phone. Note: If you are using the same carrier, you can use the activated SIM card from your new device to do this. If your device is unlocked by your carrier, you can use any SIM card.
  2. Connect the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS to iTunes on a computer connected to the Internet. iTunes will then activate the device. You can remove the SIM card at this point and use the iPhone as if it were an iPod touch.

Similar news:

No, really. Come on, Yul. Don't you believe. Hire. So what.

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