Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've just upgraded to an iPhone 4S, and I want to use my old 3GS like an iPod touch. I have updated the software using iTunes and now on iTunes it says:

There is no SIM card installed in the iPhone you are attempting to activate.

How do I get around this?

share|improve this question
The one piece of information missing from this question is to which carrier the iPhone 3GS was locked to at the time of sale. If it was factory unlocked, then you won't need a SIM card to activate after each restore. Otherwise, you will need a SIM from that carrier (it need not be an active SIM) or will have to jailbreak and unlock the phone yourself. – bmike Feb 23 '12 at 2:49

Is there a SIM card in it?

If not, go to a store and pick one up for a couple of pounds/dollars/rupees/whatever, pop it in, activate it, and hey presto you have an iPod touch. You need to keep the SIM card in otherwise it will not function.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.