Older iphone- Can I use it for Wifi only?

I’m being given an old iphone that works fine, it’s just a little cracked on the front.

I don’t need or want it for a phone - can I use it for Wifi only?

If I can use it for Wifi only, what feature and use limitations will exist, apart from the phone? Does it work pretty much like a mini-computer, in that if I can do it on the Web, I can do it on an iPhone with wifi only?

I have an iPhone 3G which no longer has cellular service since I switched providers and got a new phone. The iPhone still works fine with wifi; I can still download, install, and update apps, etc. If you want to use it as a phone, i think there’s a Skype app you can use with wifi.

an iphone without phone service is basically an ipod touch.

But with speakers and a microphone.

I wouldn’t really classify it as a mini-computer because it can’t run the same programs your computer can. It’s more of a device in its own category. You can get thousands of apps for it, though, and most anything you’d want to do on a device that small, you can.

I have an iPhone 3G 16 and an iSpot - and no phone plan. For outgoing calls I use Skype.

For $25/month I have unlimited, mobile WiFi access and with GoogleVoice and Skype, the best phone ever - no one can call me unless I let them by running Skype (and give them my Skype name).

All other calls (to my GV number) go directly to Voice mail, which shows up immediately in my GMail inbox. Same goes for SMS text.

Can you call them back on their phone through Skype? (Not to their Skype account, but their actual phone number)

Yes. Forgot to mention that I pay a couple of bucks a month for that, so I guess I have a ‘phone plan’ of a sort.

I have a buddy who is an iPhone fanatic. When he upgraded to the 4G he still had his old phone lying around. He gave it to his wife to use as an iPod.

…but there was a problem - his old phone kept trying to attach to the AT&T network. He discovered that if he pulled out the old phone’s SIM (SIMM?) card the old phone worked (as an iPod) just fine.

You can just set it to “Airplane Mode” under “Settings” to stop this. (You can still use wifi in Airplane Mode.)

Uhh, that’s not what Apple says. From that iPhone support article:

“While airplane mode is on, [this icon] appears in the status bar at the top of the screen. No phone, radio, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth signals are emitted from iPhone and Global Positioning System (GPS) reception is turned off, disabling many of iPhone’s features.”

…which, after all, is the whole point of “airplane mode” on a cellphone - turning off all of the phone’s transmitters/receivers.


I switched to android and gave my iphone to my daughter to play games on. I never tried it with a sim card because that went in my new phone. It works fine on wifi without a sim. The only difference (aside from the inability to make calls) is that it pops up a “sim not detected” message if you reboot the phone.

The latest iPod touches have speakers and a microphone.

I do this all the time. I just spent a whole week using my iPhone’s wifi while in airplane mode because I was in Asia and didn’t want any roaming charges to show up.

If you go into airplane mode, wifi is turned off at first, but wifi is actually separately controlled, so you just turn it back on.

…actually, I now see that your link says exactly the same thing:

That is not terribly difficult or expensive a do-it-yourself repair. If it is just the glass, you only have to replace the ‘digitizer’, not the LCD. IFixit sells parts and has step by step instructions. You can find parts even cheaper on eBay…

If you do have service through AT&T and you put an active sim card in the phone they will force you to pay for a data plan :mad: …

Otherwise, as others have said, you basically have an ipod touch - with GPS if it’s a 3g/3gs

I’ve read that if you keep the “Cellular Data” off, then AT&T won’t know that you have an iPhone, and thus won’t automatically add a data plan. I’m not sure how true this is; my AT&T account seems to always know which phone has which SIM in it, and only one is a smart phone (the iPhone). In any case, I plan to try the experiment when I upgrade the 3GS to an iPhone 4, and give the 3GS to my wife.

I keep my old 3G on a speaker dock in my bathroom now. It’s connected the the house wi-fi and I stream XM or Pandora while I’m getting ready in the mornings. It’s basically just an Ipod Touch now. The Apple store transferred my account from the old phone to my new one, and I haven’t had any additional data charges for the old phone.

The concerns expressed above are for people that still want to use valid, working, AT&T SIMs in their older iPhones, though, without a data plan. AT&T’s policy is that all smart phones will automatically have a data plan added to them, no exceptions.

For example, my stay-at-home wife has no need for a data plan, but I’d like to get rid of her iPod Touch and her old Sony phone by replacing them with my used iPhone 3GS. There’s WIFI in the house, so no data plan needed. According to AT&T, though, once they detect that she’s on an iPhone, they’d add a data plan to her line.

What’s the advantage of having a SIM card in the phone if you’re going to only use it over wifi?