Sometimes the most simple things are those that work the best. That’s exactly what Sherif Hashim illustrates with his little workaround to activate an iPhone without the original SIM card.

Simply using a $3 PhoneBook card, a SIM card usually used to transfer your contacts from one phone to another, Sherif was able to activate 2 iPhones.

Check out the video below to see how it works. Warning: sound is terrible!

  • dude

    what is the purpose of this…yeh i know so that it is activated..but then what? if i cant use my sim in there?

    • Nano

      for people like me who want to use an iphone just fort the music capabilities.. its actually cheaper for me to buy an iphone used than an ipod touch. I restored an iphone and now cant “activate” it without a proper sim card. unfortunately for me i dont kno anyone with an At&t phone/sim.. now my problem is I dont find a radioshack or any store for that matter that sells a phonebook sim :\

  • SoCoMagNuM

    Doesnt iphone 4 use micro-sim?

  • Chris

    You can cut the sim to fit iPhone 4

  • Redford

    Nice vid! This is just temporary remedy to make use of your phones other features (play music/ video etc.) while waiting for the unlock.. The process is only activation and your phone will still be left like an “Ipod touch” if it’s committed to a certain network carrier. Call/SMS function etc. which involves data transmission to network carriers wll not work.. You will still need to run jailbreak & install unlock program (i.e: ultrasnow or whatever official) to make ur call function work.. I’m just thinking, will this one may help in solving the issue of jailbroken 3GS whom owners doesn’t want to have their unit’s drained (low battery) since it will show “Insert valid sim” once the unit is charged again? hmm?

  • Jason

    Where to get the phonebook card??

  • saravanan

    those who need the iphone activation sim card u can contact me to my no or mail me to
    mobile no: 9941665669

    • Jason

      R u selling this sim card?

    • Nay

      Heyyy i wanaa buy activtion sim card
      may I knw whr u frm??

  • Yuumoon

    I can not making any phone call because my IPhone 3Gs blocked ,any help please

  • Neil

    @Yuumoon, ever hear of a land line?

  • Yuumoon

    Neil, Yes I do. Why?

  • Rachel

    Where do we get these? I can’t find them anywhere!

  • You can buy directly from our website

    Our this website is dedicated for Phonebook Card only.

    We Accept payments via Paypal and Ship Worldwide via UPS Express Service reaching you within 4-5 Working days.

    Regards, DITS.

  • FT

    Hey – if you activate it with one of these phone book SIMs can you then use the wireless feature so you can go to the jailbreakme site and JB the phone? I’ve got an iPhone4 from the UK but not the original (O2) SIM and need to get it JB/unlocked. Let me know…

  • hazzy

    Hi Guys,

    I tried this technique with an “Iphone Univesal Activation Card” i got from the UK on eBay. However I am still getting the same “unable to activate – SIM not compatible” message from iTunes that I get with normal SIMs.

    Are there different types of these activation cards? Any other reason it would not activate that you can think of?

    iPhone 3GS on 4.0.0 s/w



  • Dawitt

    Hi guys

    I have a 16gb 2g iphone and updated to 3.12 and later i can only do emergency calls and needed a vaild american sim card which i cannot get as i’m in Australia.

    I found out that you can download (iPhone1,1_3-2.1.2_7D11_Restore.ipsw) while in itune click restore and hold (alt option) on mac and open file and it will down the file and you will have the original iphone screen back and then download (blackra1n) that will unlock your phone.
    so its unlock and jailbroken

    i now have upadated to 4.0 on my 2g iphone

  • Hi,

    we are a Worldwide distributer for these sims and have activated thousnds of iphones, not to mention about 90 in our store in the UK

    So lets clear a few questions up for you.

    ok, the activations sim card has ONE PURPOSE

    1. Launch iTunes

    2. Insert activation sim in iPhone

    3. Connect iPhone to PC via cable

    4. iPhone will now change from “Slide For Emergency” to “Slide To Unlock”

    The activation sim has now done its job, and you can use the menu system on the iPhone.
    Now for anyone wanting to use their sim from their network, you now have to jailbreak and unlock it.

    You need to access the menu ie Wi-Fi / Safari etc to be able to do this, that is why you need the activation sim.

    Once unlocked you can use your sim.

    We have made a guide for you to do all this and you can download it from

    there are 2 types of card:

    Standard size activation sim card for iphone 3gs and 3g :

    and the micro activation sim for iPhone 4 / iPad:

    I hope this info helps you guys out.

  • Liryc

    Are there any stores to get a Phonebook Sim Card?

  • Wez

    Just toilet people know and the store representative, Apple are trying to stop this andcare nearly there.

    For now you just need an extra step after getting the device working which stops the apple block kicking in. You need to download a hack from cydia to do this.

  • Hey, u stole my uk iphone lololol

    Thanks mate mine worked.. if anybody wants my phonebook sim in the uk send me an email >>><<< will send first clss

  • FT

    I am sending this from my in and u/l iPhone 4 🙂 Only poss because of phone book SIM from fonefun guys above. Shipped to NZ in a few days and allowed me to use iPhone, browse to jb site and go from there. The U/L instructions were excellent and made it even easier.100% recommend you get your phone book SIM from these guys.

    • Do you still have the phonebook sim? I’m in NZ and would love to borrow it. 🙂


    I dont get it, why not use redsn0w instead to activate it??

  • psf

    guys, you can find the phone book SIM card on

  • sgumd12

    Tried the DITS Phonebook sim card to activate my iPhone 4. Does NOT WORK!!!

  • sgumd12

    Does anyone know of another way to activate an iPhone 4, other than signing up for the 2-year plan through AT&T off course?

  • FT in NZ

    Yeah mate. Read my post above 🙂
    1. Make sure you’re on OS4.0.1 NOT 4.0.2
    2. Buy a phone book SIM from fonefun
    3. When it arrives CAREFULLY follow the instructions they give you to first activate it and then JB and carrier unlock it.
    4. Enjoy your iphone4 carrier unlocked and 100% functional

    Happy days mate

  • sgumd12

    Cheers mate 🙂

  • FT in NZ

    No worries – let me know if you get stuck. @fishiebznz on twitter



  • JT

    Does this still work or Apple blocked it?

  • Shirley Jones

    I used jailbreak me then ultrasn0w my phone say different sim emergency calls only but I can receive calls can anyone help PLZ
    Ms Sexzy

  • Amir54

    Phonebookcard does only work for “””iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPad”””
    It dosent work for iPhone 4 Or 2G

    As written on

    How can I activate my iPhone 4?

    Thanks for any help

  • FT

    It does work mate – I did it a few months ago now. See above…

  • Amir54

    When i connect my iPhone 4 to itunes it ask me about zip code and last 4 digits in SSN.
    Is it not anyway around that? I ordered a card from ebay… when i use this card with my phone and start itunes i got only a big white page where only I can read “iPhone” rest is all blank.. and it dont activate it.. can it be that SIM card i´m using now is not good for iPhone 4? Is it any other way to do this?
    My iPhone have 4.0.1 so if im able to activate it then I will be able to Jailbreak and Unlock it..

    Now Im stuck in this activation prosess 🙁

    • Aditya

      ask the person whom you had brought it from..Iphone 4 s are locked to the particlur will need the SSN and zip code of the earlier owner..

  • Habib

    hi Amir54,,, i have the same issue, i have iphone 4 stuck for activation. asking zip and ssn. it asks the same number if i change the sim…did you try phonebook sim ?? did you find any way out ?? i saw some forums saying phonebook will not stuck also.

    or if some one else have the solution

    please let me know..

  • Amir54

    Hi Habib.
    Yes I have tried a kinda Phonebook SIM. The SIM is white and no company name is written on it but the iPhone accept it but iTunes dont. When i connect the iPhone with iTunes it shows a blank page where only “iPhone” is written.. Else is all blank.

    Looks like we have to wait for Dev Teams new jailbreak. Hopefully it will help us..
    Who knows..

  • Habin

    Thanks,,,did u get to phone menu with that sim??i dont care about itunes,i need phone yo be activated…does that works??
    Actually the seller has the ssn but he is not willing to give stuch with activation.
    If dev team launched new jailbreak from safari then our phones are brick,we have to activate to get to the menu,

  • Amir54

    No.. I could not activate my iPhone 🙁
    I got only a blank screen when im using the phonebookcard.
    No menu and notthing else…
    Dev Team will use the bootrom expolite, so hopefully it will be a new pwnagetool or so..
    Not safari based I hope.
    I have downgraded my iphone to 4.0 but still stuck in activation mode!!!

  • Habib

    well mine is 4.0.1 that i checked with tinyumbrella..its unlockable but im stuck with activation. when i called apple, they asked me to restore it and try with other sim. now if i restore it will definitely update also and i dont want that caz i dont have SHSH blobs for this version saved on cydia.
    i asked seller if he can call att and ask to activate on call but no way. my mistake is that i connected the phone with his sim.

    i got second iphone sealed, i removed sim and connected with used sim, and got activated.what i learned is that if you buy sealed iphone DO NOT CONNECT THE PHONE WITH PREINSTALLED SIM..remove the sim and use any activated old sim.

  • Habib

    in addition to my last post, i saw activation sim called 1oneSIM . it comes with network configuration software. their link is

    i talked the contact person, he told that it works but he will reply me once he confirms whether the sim will can do initial activation or not. so im waiting his response. ill update when ill get response from the guy..

    Mr.Amir if you wish to send me your mail ID we may discuss the issue…

  • Amir54

    You can save 4.0.1 bolbs by using tinyumbrella.
    I used tinyumbrella to download bolbs for 4.0 at that time I had 4.0.1 installed and after that I was able to downgrade to 4.0 but that dosent helped me so much cause I cant find any software to hactivate iPhone 4 – 4.0 too.
    I called apple and they told me to take my phone to on of iPhone dealers in my city and they will be able to activate it for me. So far i havent get the chance ti visit any dealer but maybe they are able to lock/activate it to any other SIM.
    This activation prosess is now saved on apples server which someone should be able to change I think.

  • Habib

    no i dont think i can save SHSH for earlier version now.its too late.the seller told me the same way to go to att to activate but im not in US..:-( i cant do anything..i hope new jailbreak SHAtter arrives soon…lets hope

  • Amir54

    My email ID is:

    If you start tinyumbrella and connect your iPhone then click advanced and then choose IOS 4.0
    and cydia then click save SHSH.

    Then you will be able to get bolbs for 4.0 i guess. Thats how i did it. On my other iPhone using 4.0.2 I was not able to do so.. It told me its too late.

  • Habib

    yes i did that but it never saves the old version..see i have 4.0 on my other iphone,at tinyumbrella i tried to save SHSH for both 4.0 and 4.0.1 but in only saved 4.0.2…
    you can only save SHSH for any version untill apple is signing that version.if apple stops signing then you are late.

    i think you must have saved when apple was still signing 4.0….

  • Heloooo….
    Can The ebay send the sim card to Indonesia ??

  • Heloo…..
    My iphone has been unlocked because i dont have the original simcard……
    Anyone can help me ??

    I have read the
    Can it send to Indonesia ? and how much the price is ?

    Thanks for the answer

  • Kunal Kalra

    i have an iphone 4g with AT&T contract bought from US…. can i used it in india with our normal service provider…. any one knows how can i unlock my iphone 4….. i m in big trouble…….tottly confuse plz help me

  • wlj3004

    This method no longer applied. Apple already patch it. Sebastian, please update this article.

  • i want a phone book sim card to unlock my iphone

  • Carlos

    Will the phonebook sim work with the 2g

  • Anonymous

    HELLO, I JUST RECIEVED AN IPHONE 3 BUT I NEED A SIMS CARD DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN GET ONE?? Will an iphone 3 work through verizon or only at&t

  • Hi i would need such an Phone Book card, but i´m located in Australia, somebody any tipps where i can get such a card from?