I just got a new iPhone 5/5s/5c and it comes with a fresh install, or factory reset, of iOS 8.1.

I didn't get a SIM card with the phone, and it will not let me activate/use it without one.

I am concerned about the finicky behavior, and even the technical aspects of this.

Do I just simply buy any nano SIM and pop it in and it should be okay? Or is there a specific one I need to buy?

I do not have service or Apple ID but I can make one. I do not wish to pay for service (such as calling/texting) since I only want the device for gaming and other stuff (Skype and other VoIP) to communicate, such as Wi-Fi for internet, etc. Can this be done?

Can anyone clarify this for me?

  • 1
    You might want to just exchange the phone for an iPod touch, it's the same thing less the calling features. Also just to clear it up your post says you got a 5/5s/5c... that's actually 3 different models. which did you mean?
    – Tyson
    Dec 26, 2014 at 1:42
  • Yeah, but going through the trouble is pointless if I can have the same functionality of the 5. It's a 5s. Also, I think the 5s has more powerful hardware for gaming (CPU/GPU, memory-wise, etc.). This is why I am wondering. The owner I got it from said it previously used a Sprint SIM, so I was wondering if getting one of those will suffice in the activation process. Dec 26, 2014 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


I work as an IT for my company and part of my job is to manage the mobile phones (iPhones), as long as the phone is not carrier-locked, any nano-sim is ok to unlock it. In my experience, even if the SIM is not activated can be used.

  • Does unlock mean the same thing as activate? I am just trying to activate the phone, not use service from any specific company (e.g. AT&T). A SIM is needed in the activation process, so I am genuinely wondering if any SIM will simply let me activate and use the phone, once I finish the activation process. By "use" I don't mean service such as calling/text; I mean the operating system, apps, etc. My question specifically meant that. Dec 26, 2014 at 0:54
  • Certain models may be carrier locked. Meaning it might need a sim from that carrier. All depends where you go the phone from (channel). Carriers will unlock phones to work on other carriers when the contract has been completed. They don't just do that tho, customer must request.
    – Tyson
    Dec 26, 2014 at 2:30
  • @Tyson So if I get the right SIM for that carrier (Sprint), all should go well in the activation process, no? Dec 26, 2014 at 2:56
  • yes it will, the SIM doesn't need to be activated for service to make the phone activate. I've had success just walking into a store and asking for a SIM, some carriers charge for them.
    – Tyson
    Dec 26, 2014 at 3:03
  • 1
    Just type sprint sim 5s into amazon search, buy it and your done.
    – Tyson
    Dec 26, 2014 at 7:34

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