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Thread: What can I do with an iphone 3G without service / sim ?

  1. #1
    Default What can I do with an iphone 3G without service / sim ?
    I am now running a 1st gen. touch, originally pwned but went legit when the appstore was released. I would love to replace it with an iPhone to get GPS and camera capability, but really don't want to get a contract and I can live without voice and 3G Data service.

    So my question is, if I bought an iPhone someplace (like eBay), can I use its features such as GPS, camera, WiFi browsing, apps from the AppStore, etc. if I have no contract with AT&T or other carrier (and therefore no SIM).

    I have read about the dreaded no-sim message, but don't know if that keeps you away from the apps that don't require service. The most important app to me is probably GPS so I am particularly interested in that. If the phone must have service to run the apps I want, would a cheap voice contract with T-Mobile do the trick ?

    If I must unlock or jailbreak, I don't mind, but I don't know about the activation part and that concerns me.

    I have searched to no avail (mostly no-sim related posts). A list of what would work without a sim/contract would be great.

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life ALL DAY's Avatar
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    ^Yeah, you can do pretty much anything with it without a contract, minus voice and 3G of course. To use any App that required an internet connection, you would have to be in a place with WiFi. Therefore GPS wouldn't be truly useful since you would have to be in a hotspot all the time, which is not really possible when moving/driving.
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    rdfisch (2009-02-03)

  4. #3
    Re: the GPS function ... I was hoping I could at least use one of the apps that saves a "track" of points ... and "play it back" later when I am connected. Does the GPS receiver function without other connectivity so that is possible ?

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    Livin the iPhone Life ALL DAY's Avatar
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    Now that you say that, I'm actually not sure if the GPS is independent or not... You can indeed enter a start location and end location which will give you a series of directions to go through step-by-step, but that obviously wouldn't be true GPS.

    EDIT: Well, what I got from the interwebz was that it is assisted GPS, which needs some type of connection, however it will still work without anything I guess, as long as you can get a connection to the satellite, it will just be slower to determine your location.
    Last edited by ALL DAY; 2009-02-03 at 08:45 PM.
    Respect your elders.

  6. #5
    I dont know about the gps being truly independant to work with out a connection to edge/3g or wifi. But how on earth are you going to load the map from google maps without it?

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ichwohneinloche View Post
    I dont know about the gps being truly independant to work with out a connection to edge/3g or wifi. But how on earth are you going to load the map from google maps without it?
    Well, I bit the bullet and bought an iPhone (from AT&T). I considered getting one on eBay, but it wouldn't be saving any money compared to buying it from AT&T and paying the $175 cancellation fee after 30 days.

    I tried removing the SIM and tested the GPS before I JBed it. It does work, although it takes longer to get its fix, and I think is quite taxing on the battery. Do remember that this is a legally activated phone however (I don't know if that makes a difference).

    To answer "what's the use without map": just being able to know my Lat & Long is a big saftey issue for me. I motorcycle and ski deep in the woods alone, often where there is no cell signal. I carry a 5 watt ham radio so this would enable me to get a message out with my location in an emergency. Also, looking at saved tracks when I get back is fun. All doable without cell, data or wifi

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rdfisch View Post
    To answer "what's the use without map": just being able to know my Lat & Long is a big saftey issue for me. I motorcycle and ski deep in the woods alone, often where there is no cell signal. I carry a 5 watt ham radio so this would enable me to get a message out with my location in an emergency. Also, looking at saved tracks when I get back is fun. All doable without cell, data or wifi
    Ah, see I didnt realize thats what you were going to do with it.

  9. #8
    Well you can run games, videos, and all the other things, you just cant make calls or sms...thats probably it. You can still use the internet.

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