Back when I was doing my Rogers iPhone research, see here, I asked numerous representatives from Rogers (both on the phone and at the Rogers store) whether I would be able to use my iPhone as an iPod Touch-like device if/when I cancelled my iPhone service. The uniform answer was no! – that the iPhone would be bricked (wouldn’t even turn on beyond a warning screen) if I removed the SIM card.
Two months after purchasing my iPhone I set out to finally transfer all of my remaining contacts from my old Nokia phone to the iPhone. This required me to remove the SIM from my iPhone and put it back into my Nokia phone (the Nokia would not turn on without the SIM). In doing so, I tested Rogers’ theory that the iPhone would be completely bricked with the SIM removed. I discovered this was untrue.
While I couldn’t, of course, use the functions that required the SIM, the telephone and SMS functionality for example, I was able to do all of the following:
- Surf the Net – using WiFi connections
- Send/Receive email – again, using WiFi connections
- Use All my Installed iPhone Apps – whether they were local apps or net-oriented apps – they all still worked
- Take Pictures
- Sync with iTunes – my music, podcasts, contacts, pictures etc. all continued to sync just fine.
- Install Apps – I downloaded a test app (the Facebook app) using iTunes – it installed properly and was completely functional on the SIM-free iPhone – again using WiFi
Essentially, all functionality that does not require the telephone to work, worked just fine. So, the statements of Rogers representatives were completely untrue. Whether I could have activated my iPhone through iTunes in the first place without the SIM installed is a question I do not have the answer too. But, its nice to know if I ever cancel my Rogers iPhone service, I’ll still have a functioning iPod Touch-like device.