I have bought a new ipad 2 3G and at the present time I am using it without SIM card. I have managed to make it work barely. I can navigate the web, read emails and download apps, but I cannot use iMessages or Facetime. The device will not appear on Find my device either.

iCloud.com says NO DEVICE. I have followed all instructions to associate my device with my Apple ID. I have indeed registered it manually on https://register.apple.com.... but the device is not showing associated with my AppleID even when I click to see my AppleID data.

What am I mssing? THanks.


Following on from previous answer (I can't seem to comment) it hooks to whichever one is available. For an iPad that has had a SIM card in it, it'll hook to your phone number. If you have the SIM, re-insert it and ensure it's all working, then head to iMessage and Facetime settings and add the email address to both of them. After that, you should be able to take the SIM back out and it continue functioning.


You should be able to go to Settings -> FaceTime, and use your Apple ID to login there. A phone number is definitely not needed for FaceTime and iMessage (I use iMessage and FaceTime with a friend who only has an iPod Touch -- so no phone number -- and it works just fine).

  • thanks. this is was what I thought... but apparently it is not the truth. – SpaceDog Dec 27 '11 at 23:41
  • I definitely know that I am able to iMessage with a friend with only an iPod Touch... – houbysoft Dec 27 '11 at 23:44

Facetime and iMessage are linking to your phone number, so it is impossible to use them without SIM. One of the reasons is - security. You don't normally want any other devices receiving your iMessage-s (logged in with email only).

I think that might be obsolete already, there are emails-only iMessage anyway.

  • I have another ipad, that one wifi, and it works perfectly. I also have an iphone and both apps work without a sim card. how can that be? – SpaceDog Dec 27 '11 at 20:51
  • sorry, i think, you must activate it on phone first. My FaceTime though, uses email as alias to my phone number. On the other hand, you can definitely create an FaceTime account on your Mac with email only! (from Mac App Store . FaceTime App). Perhaps you could then add the email alias in the settings of the iPhone to work without SIM. Tell us if it helps. I have still no idea about iMessage without phone number though. – Alexei Vinogradov Dec 27 '11 at 21:24
  • which phone number? As far as I know iPad 3G with a micro SIM will not have any iPhone number, right? I mean, if it has it would be possible to use it as an iPhone, I mean, people would be able to call it from other mobile phones using 3G and I don't think this is the case. Anyway, I will try other workarounds. – SpaceDog Dec 27 '11 at 23:31
  • 2
    FaceTime and iMessage are not bound to the phone number exclusively. They can be bound to only an email address, as long as it's registered on Apple's servers. – Loïc Wolff Dec 28 '11 at 8:55

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