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"No SIM card" messages and failed activation: fixes

"No SIM card" messages and failed activation: fixes

We previously reported that a tiny handful of iPhones shipped without SIM cards, while significantly more units have generated the error message "No SIM card," preventing proper activation though SIM cards are physically present.

The latter issue may, in some cases (as noted), be caused by an improperly seated. For these instances, Apple's iPhone manual states:

"Try re-seating the SIM by pushing an unfolded paper clip into the small hole on the top of the device to open the SIM tray."

iPhone Atlas reader Esteban Martinez had success with re-seating his SIM card, though the process had to be repeated several times. He writes:

"My iPhone came complete with SIM installed, and once I had downloaded and installed the latest version of iTunes, it took less than 20 minutes to activate the phone and it worked perfectly. This was Friday evening. By Saturday morning the phone was showing the 'No SIM' message. Upon consulting Apple's iPhone support page, I learned how to eject the SIM tray using a paper clip and proceeded to reseat the SIM, after which the iPhone again worked perfectly. But then on Sunday I again got the 'No SIM' message and I had to reseat the SIM again. Monday morning so far so good, still working, but now I am left wondering if the SIM is defective or if something is wrong in the phone preventing the SIM from making good contact."

In other cases, however, the problem may be software-related. In these cases, the following process may be useful:

  1. Power-down the iPhone by holding the sleep button (on the top of the unit) for several seconds
  2. Reset the host Mac or Windows system
  3. Plug the powered-off iPhone into the Dock or connect it via the USB cable

iPhone Atlas reader David Deal who used this method writes:

"Once the computer was finished booting I plugged the non-booted iPhone into the dock.iTunes launched looked at the iPhone and then started the activation process. It worked not sure if it was the restart, or how I plugged it in, but now it works great."