I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS 5 a few days ago. The upgrade went smoothly; however, I'm having trouble activating my phone.

My wireless provider is O2 in the UK and my O2 SIM is in the phone, but when I connect to iTunes I get this error: "There is no SIM card in the iPhone you are attempting to activate. Please disconnect and insert a SIM card in the phone."

I've also tried activating over WiFi, but am getting an error message like "Activation servers are temporarily unavailable".

iTunes on my Windows x64 laptop is latest ( and I've tried rebooting both my laptop and my iPhone several times.

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

  • I'm having the exact same problem. I'm in the US and with AT&T as my carrier. The iPhone itself is reading "no service". Replaced my SIM for a new one(so that's obviously not the problem). Had a Genius bar appointment earlier today. They couldn't even recognize my phone on their computer for some reason. She theorized that maybe the fact that the new update software installed over my jailbroken software and is causing the problem. The girl at the Apple store suggested I try to put the phone in recovery mode once I got back to my own computer.
    – user13725
    Nov 16, 2011 at 6:29
  • Tried it...(while it's plugged into iTunes, hold sleep/wake and home button like you're rebooting the phone but release the sleep button once the phone turns off and the screen goes black. Make sure to keep holding the home button throughout. iTunes will bring up restore box). Alas, it is still having the same issue. Let me know if you figure it out. I'm planning on going back to the Apple store tomorrow. Good luck. Cheers.
    – user13725
    Nov 16, 2011 at 6:29
  • Have you tried contacting O2? Does the sim work in another phone? Nov 16, 2011 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


here is the thing most of the answers work for those who have shsh blobs saved before but the thing is what if one has accidentally upgraded his/her iphone to the newer version and unable to activate it. in my country it doesn't work but he easiest way to activate your phone even without sim card is to call an emergency number like 911 or 112 and before you hear any voice press the power button and then on the notification bar area click again on the phone icon and hangup and you will see your home screen and well the rest is the rest.for video help search something like " Activating iphone with out sim card" on youtube. hope i contribue something and sadly i couldn't get mine to work.

  • 1
    You raise a very good point, the system is designed to not be easy to jailbreak. Not saving an shsh severely limits the ability to roll back an update. However, I don't see how that good idea is related to the question at hand. Are you presuming the OP has jail broken their device and is having issues because of that non-standard modification?
    – bmike
    May 15, 2012 at 22:24

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