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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Old iPhone as iPod

Old iPhone as iPod
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mduell
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Jun 19, 2009, 11:40 PM
 
I got an old iPhone (4GB 1G, previously on contract with AT&T and upgraded away from) to use as an iPod and it wasn't usable (had sat in a closet for a year) so I plugged it in and immediately did a restore and an upgrade to 3.0. Now it won't let me do anything, just says there's no SIM and offers to let me make an emergency call. What do I need to do to use it as an iPod?
     
kylef
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Jun 20, 2009, 05:26 AM
 
On the assumption that you don't have a SIM to activate it, a jailbreak is in order. Not sure if I'm allowed to give direct links, but search 'iPhone Dev Team' in Google. Top link. This will bypass the activation procedure and allow access to the phone. You can even stick any old SIM in, assuming it is AT&T.
     
mduell  (op)
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Jun 20, 2009, 12:34 PM
 
Ugh, I was hoping to avoid the whole jailbreak scene. From googling I'm under the impression that old-iPhone-as-iPod is supported/allowed. I'll see what the Genius Bar says.
     
mduell  (op)
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Jun 20, 2009, 11:19 PM
 
Genius bar says I need to activate an AT&T SIM in the phone, then turn it to airplane mode. What a hassle, Apple.
     
shifuimam
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Jun 20, 2009, 11:33 PM
 
Jailbreaking is retardedly easy. Unlocking I don't know so much about...but jailbreaking my iPhone 3G took all of forty-five seconds from start to finish.
     
Big Mac
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Jun 20, 2009, 11:44 PM
 
It's not like you're on AT&T or anyone else's network with it right now, so why not jailbreak it?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Simon
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Jun 21, 2009, 03:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
What a hassle, Apple.
It's a locked phone, has always been, and that's the way things are. You knew it, I know it, everybody knows what the deal is. If jailbreaking is too much hassle for you, than maybe you should just stop being cheap and buy an iPod touch (or any other music player). But for the love of God stop complaining about it here. I know you like complaining for the sake of it, but really, it gets old. And it's a waste of forum space.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
maybe you should just stop being cheap
     
Simon
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:28 AM
 
Spheric, what dear concern. And from you. I'm touched.

Seriously, there is no real issue here. What's the value of an old 4 GB iPhone used as an iPod touch? Nothing basically. The refurb store has a $99 8GB nano or a $179 8GB touch. I'm guessing used iPods are a good deal cheaper. If you don't want to jailbreak that old iPhone, you might as well toss it. Nothing to lose sleep (or forum space) over.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:31 AM
 
     
Simon
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:37 AM
 
Yeah. Amazing, aint it?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:46 AM
 
Is there a problem, Simon?
     
Simon
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Jun 21, 2009, 04:49 AM
 
Not that I'm aware of. But I'm certain you'll enlighten us.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 21, 2009, 05:16 AM
 
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 21, 2009, 05:19 AM
 
mduell,

it sucks royally that your iPhone is effectively reduced to a paperweight after you've paid AT&T over a thousand dollars for it over two years.

I'm surprised AT&T doesn't make provisions for just unlocking the damn thing after two years, like almost every other provider in the world appears to.

I suggest you just stop being cheap and put Simon on ignore.
     
Simon
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Jun 21, 2009, 05:28 AM
 
Spheric, I suggest you read the thread. The OP got the phone to use as an iPod. He never bought it from AT&T. The OP has been supplied with the instructions on how to use that iPhone as an iPod.

And BTW, AT&T does make those provisions you talk about.
     
SSharon
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Jun 21, 2009, 10:39 AM
 
Apple has a knowledge base article on using an iphone as an ipod which says you just need to leave the original SIM card in even if it no longer has service. This explains why iphones always come with new SIM cards preinstalled.

Very dumb if you ask me.
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mduell  (op)
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Jun 21, 2009, 01:10 PM
 
I want to use this iPhone for software development because it's the slowest iPhone platform device Apple has released. It didn't seem relevant to mention that at the beginning of the thread; I failed to forsee all the "you're so stupid"/"you're so cheap" posts.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
It's not like you're on AT&T or anyone else's network with it right now, so why not jailbreak it?
I don't want a jailbroken iPhone for a few reasons:
1) Hassle with every point upgrade
2) Not representative of a standard iPhone (extra background processes, etc)
3) Doesn't work with OS 3.0 ("The jailbreak does not appear to be out right now")

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It's a locked phone, has always been, and that's the way things are. You knew it, I know it, everybody knows what the deal is. If jailbreaking is too much hassle for you, than maybe you should just stop being cheap and buy an iPod touch (or any other music player). But for the love of God stop complaining about it here. I know you like complaining for the sake of it, but really, it gets old. And it's a waste of forum space.
Carrier locking is not the issue. I don't want to use the phone with any other carrier. I don't to use the phone with any carrier. It's not a cost issue except to the extent that I don't want to pay $80/mo to not use it as a phone.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Seriously, there is no real issue here. What's the value of an old 4 GB iPhone used as an iPod touch? Nothing basically. The refurb store has a $99 8GB nano or a $179 8GB touch. I'm guessing used iPods are a good deal cheaper. If you don't want to jailbreak that old iPhone, you might as well toss it. Nothing to lose sleep (or forum space) over.
I don't want a G2 iTouch. I want a G1 iPhone. If you don't like the thread you don't need to comment in it.

Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Apple has a knowledge base article on using an iphone as an ipod which says you just need to leave the original SIM card in even if it no longer has service.
Thanks, found that now. Off to the AT&T store I go.
     
kylef
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Jun 21, 2009, 01:19 PM
 
^ quickpwn.com is a scam site. You are looking at the wrong place.
     
shifuimam
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Jun 21, 2009, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
mduell,

it sucks royally that your iPhone is effectively reduced to a paperweight after you've paid AT&T over a thousand dollars for it over two years.

I'm surprised AT&T doesn't make provisions for just unlocking the damn thing after two years, like almost every other provider in the world appears to.
I really just wish that all cellular providers in the US were forced to unlock customer's phones after the service agreement is complete - at which point you've essentially paid off the phone, and it's yours to keep. I understand carrier locking when the phone is still under contract, but after that contract period is up, what's the point?
     
Angelo78
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Jun 21, 2009, 01:57 PM
 
mduell,

It's a pain that the iPhone needs a SIM card just to act as an iPod. I just jailbroke my first gen iPhone after upgrading it to 3.0 and I can confirm it works just fine. Seeing how it's not something I'm going to use everyday I'm not bothered with the update issues. Although, I can see where you're coming from with that concern.

On a side note I wish Apple would either enable the camera in the 3G phone to record video or let someone port over the Cycorder app. The frame rates aren't good in low light but it's just fine in normal conditions. I had thoughts of jailbreaking my 3G just for that app, but I'm not going bother. My old phone is one thing but the one I need to use everyday isn't getting messed with.
( Last edited by Angelo78; Jun 21, 2009 at 04:28 PM. )
     
JTh
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Jun 21, 2009, 05:36 PM
 
FWIW, thank you to SSharon/Mduell for pointing out the support article.

I want to give my 1G to my brother to use as a Touch, and I was told that there was simply no way around it (short of jailbreaking).
     
thibaulthalpern
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Jun 24, 2009, 02:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
Apple has a knowledge base article on using an iphone as an ipod which says you just need to leave the original SIM card in even if it no longer has service. This explains why iphones always come with new SIM cards preinstalled.

Very dumb if you ask me.
This is not dumb. This is the way most GSM phones work. You remove the SIM card and it disables basically all functions.
     
idykenano
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Jun 24, 2009, 02:40 PM
 
I recently bought a slightly used iPhone 3G to use, without a data plan (yes, because I am cheap). Before I could get to the AT&T store to have them block my data transfer (which has been done at this point) I *really* wanted to get onto my apartment's wifi and play some games on the iPhone. From the factory settings, I got the "Insert SIM" screen we all hate. I was however able to pop my SIM card into the iPhone for literally just a second or two with it plugged into my computer, "activate" the iPhone, and then remove the SIM card.
So, if you have an AT&T SIM card you can use for just a moment, you can activate past the "Insert SIM" screen and continue to use an unlocked/nonjailbroken iPhone for its non-phone features.
     
SSharon
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Jun 24, 2009, 11:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
This is not dumb. This is the way most GSM phones work. You remove the SIM card and it disables basically all functions.
Just because that is the way most phones work doesn't mean it isn't dumb. The SIM card doesn't need to act like a key to a car. It makes perfect sense that the phone options wouldn't work, but the iphone is way more than a phone.
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kylef
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Jun 25, 2009, 05:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by idykenano View Post
So, if you have an AT&T SIM card you can use for just a moment, you can activate past the "Insert SIM" screen and continue to use an unlocked/nonjailbroken iPhone for its non-phone features.
By putting in a SIM card you aren't unlocking the phone..
     
Simon
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Jun 25, 2009, 05:53 AM
 
By inserting an AT&T SIM you are making sure iTunes will allow you to use the 2.5G iPhone at all.

However, the iPhone will not be unlocked as a phone. Also, this has nothing to do with jailbreaking.

Once the SIM is removed the iPhone will not be a phone at all actually. However, since the OP wanted to use the iPhone as an iPod, this method is a viable option. Another one is the already suggested jailbreaking.
     
idykenano
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Jun 25, 2009, 10:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by idykenano View Post
I recently bought a slightly used iPhone 3G to use, without a data plan (yes, because I am cheap). Before I could get to the AT&T store to have them block my data transfer (which has been done at this point) I *really* wanted to get onto my apartment's wifi and play some games on the iPhone. From the factory settings, I got the "Insert SIM" screen we all hate. I was however able to pop my SIM card into the iPhone for literally just a second or two with it plugged into my computer, "activate" the iPhone, and then remove the SIM card.
So, if you have an AT&T SIM card you can use for just a moment, you can activate past the "Insert SIM" screen and continue to use an unlocked/nonjailbroken iPhone for its non-phone features.
My mistake, I meant to write nonunlocked/nonjailbroken. Inserting the SIM doesn't modify the phone, sorry for the confusion.
     
ort888
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Jun 25, 2009, 11:59 AM
 
An old iPhone is worth way more then an iPod Touch.

Sell it on craigslist. Use profits to buy an iPod Touch with much more storage space. Use the extra money to go out for a nice dinner or something.

Problem solved.

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Le Flaneur
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Jun 26, 2009, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I really just wish that all cellular providers in the US were forced to unlock customer's phones after the service agreement is complete - at which point you've essentially paid off the phone, and it's yours to keep. I understand carrier locking when the phone is still under contract, but after that contract period is up, what's the point?
Exactly. And similarly, why is an iPhone sold for a "non-commitment" price still locked to ATT?

There are some senators looking into this situation right now. Write John Kerry.

Imagine purchasing a corded or cordless phone that required you to use it with a specific telephone company, or a computer that required you to obtain internet access from Time-Warner or Comcast. Unthinkable, right? Why are cellphones so different?
     
finboy
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Jun 26, 2009, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Exactly. And similarly, why is an iPhone sold for a "non-commitment" price still locked to ATT?

There are some senators looking into this situation right now. Write John Kerry.

Imagine purchasing a corded or cordless phone that required you to use it with a specific telephone company, or a computer that required you to obtain internet access from Time-Warner or Comcast. Unthinkable, right? Why are cellphones so different?
Imagine not reading & understanding your license agreement when you bought the phone! Unthinkable.

You don't want to depend on the SIM or carrier, don't buy the phone. How hard is that to understand?

Whatever the senators do, whatever it is, it will end up costing everyone more in the end.
     
Le Flaneur
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Jun 26, 2009, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Imagine not reading & understanding your license agreement when you bought the phone! Unthinkable.

You don't want to depend on the SIM or carrier, don't buy the phone. How hard is that to understand?
How hard is it for you understand that no other service industry conducts itself this way, that similar rules for landline telecommunications were ended in the US in the 1970s, that European cellphone carriers currently aren't allowed to operate this way, and that there is an ongoing investigation into monopolistic behavior in the cellphone carrier market?

Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Whatever the senators do, whatever it is, it will end up costing everyone more in the end.
Of course it will. Whenever companies aren't allowed to operate as they see fit, it follows irrefutably that the customer suffers ;-)
     
shifuimam
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Jun 26, 2009, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Imagine purchasing a corded or cordless phone that required you to use it with a specific telephone company
Which is exactly how telecoms used to operate in the United States, before the big breakup in the 80s.

It's time for carrier locking to stop. I understand that when you buy the phone, you get it cheap because you're locked into a two-year contract. That's fine. Let me buy the phone cheap, pay back my debt over two years, and then unlock the damn thing.
     
ort888
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Jun 26, 2009, 02:57 PM
 
All of this crap the big telecom companies are pulling now is going to look ridiculous and archaic in a decade.

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Spheric Harlot
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Jun 26, 2009, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
All of this crap the big telecom companies are pulling now is going to look ridiculous and archaic in a decade.
I thought that a decade ago.
     
MikeD
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Jun 26, 2009, 08:27 PM
 
Anyone keeping their old iPhones just for the sake of saying, 'Hey, I have a 1st gen iPhone!!'
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msuper69
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Jun 27, 2009, 04:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Anyone keeping their old iPhones just for the sake of saying, 'Hey, I have a 1st gen iPhone!!'
Not me. I sold mine for $250 and used the cash toward the 3G.

I do however have a shrink-wrapped copy of OS X 10.0.
     
musiclovesryan
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Jul 1, 2009, 08:04 PM
 
That's a great idea, especially cuz of all the features the iphone has that an ipod doesn't.
     
Bearsfan34
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Jul 13, 2009, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Anyone keeping their old iPhones just for the sake of saying, 'Hey, I have a 1st gen iPhone!!'
I kept the original 8GB iPhone in the immediate family until I got the 3GS, then passed it off (jailbroken/unlocked for AT&T) to my sister-in-law. I thought about selling it off to make the money, but the joy & excitement seen on her face after handing it over made it all worth it.
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Le Flaneur
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Jul 13, 2009, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post

I don't want a jailbroken iPhone for a few reasons:
1) Hassle with every point upgrade
2) Not representative of a standard iPhone (extra background processes, etc)
3) Doesn't work with OS 3.0
As a T-Mobile subscriber (and iPhone owner), I know what you mean. #1 is definitely a hassle. #3 is no longer true. As for #2, I don't think there are any extra background processes if you don't want them -- you don't have to install Cydia (the alternative app distribution system). However, you don't mention some other, significant disadvantages: push notifications don't work (at least not on the 2G), you lose visual voicemail, but more importantly you don't get the 3G speeds, and jailbreaking isn't the piece of cake that people say, especially if you run into some weird errors during the restore process.
     
   
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