Monday, October 13, 2008

iPhone 3G "No Service" Error

I had heard about it, read about it... and now saw it first hand.
My iPhone 3G is now showing me the dreaded "No Service" error.

It lasted exactly 3 months - bought on July 11th, died on October 11th.

In places where it always worked perfectly with max strength 3G signal, it now shows no service no matter what I try.

Everything else is still working perfectly (wifi, etc.) but when it comes to GSM/3G... nothing works.

At first I though it could be my SIM card. I took it off, cleaned it, tried it again. No luck.
So, I tried it in another phone, and it worked instantly.

To make things worse, sometimes the iPhone didn't even detected the SIM card has inserted/removed.
I had to reset it several times, and/or enable/disable Airplane mode for it to work and ask me the unlock code.

Sometimes I also got a "Waiting for activation" popup message... which sounded even stranger.

I googled around the internet, to find thousands of similar issues - some of them related to jailbroken iPhones; which is not my case: I've never used anything but the official Apple firmware, and currently on the 2.1 version.

I reset the network settings, I restored the iPhone... nothing made any difference.

Time to take it back to Vodafone. I just hope they can fix it and return it soon - as it's a pain not to have email/internet with you at all times...


  1. Did you find solution for the problem? I got exactly the same problem with my iPhone. Not jailbroken or anything and all of the sudden no service. Any help?

  2. @guillermo

    I took it back, and they did a full reset and re-flashed the firmware.
    They also replaced my SIM card (which was a very old one, over 8 years old) with a new one.

    All in all, it was back working ok.

    I still suspect there's some "glitch" in the SIM card socket, as I still had one "no sim card" error after that. But as it has been working fine since... I'm not taking it back unless it becomes frequently annoying.

    So, you can try doing a full reset + reflashing, and exchange your sim card for a new one if it's an old one... and see of that helps.

  3. Wrong! I purchased my brand new Iphone, they gave me a brand new sim, and had this problem within the first 24 hours. I thought it was a version 2.1 issue, so i immediately updated to version 2.2. Still same occasional error. I went back to AT&T where they gave me another SIM card. AT&T rep, "Some SIM cards only have a life span of thirty seconds, some work for years." Great explanation moron. Got a New SIM, no problems for the first couple of days. Now, once again, same NO Service issue. What seems to be happening is this. The phone will work fine. Then all of the sudden it might go itno this NO SERVICE state. At this point the only way to get the phone working (everything but the phone portion works) again is to turn off the phone, pull out the SIM and then reinsert it.
    I'm goign back to AT&T today and raising hell. Very disappointing.

  4. @John
    Sorry to hear about that.
    My iPhone has been working fine since... (and I've also updated to 2.2 by now)

    I was suspecting it was a hardware problem in the sim card holder... but as it hasn't failed again, I don't know what to think of it.

    Hope they can replace/fix your problem soon.

  5. Just wanted to add that I had this problem on my first iphone and couldn't fix it. Also never used anything other than official firmware. Literally one day I picked it up and it had a no service error.

    Gave up on trying to get it to work eventually and bought a new phone.

    But interestingly, I took my broken phone abroad turned it on once I got off the plane and it was working on the international network perfectly.

    Came back to the UK and no service again.

    Personally I think O2 did something, it's almost like my old phone is blocked from the network.

  6. That's really weird... :/

    Well, I'm currently also facing some weird issues, my iTunes PC crashed, and while installing iTunes in a temporary computer, I deauthorized it and now none of my installed Apps work.

    (They say the "fix" involves reinstalling iTunes, reauthorizing it, and syncing the iPhone to get it to work properly again...)

  7. I have exactly the same problem, but i have an iphone 3gs, 3.1.3 jailbroken, and sudenly i got the no service problem, i have tried everything, now the only thing left its take it to the company and see what they can do :(

  8. Have you tried a different SIM card?

  9. i have an i phone 3g with updated os 4.0.1 which shows no service everything elce is working fine but sim is not working how can i make it work can anybody help?

  10. Again, my first suggestion would be to try a diffent SIM.

    If it works, it's most likely your SIM card. If it still fails try a full restore.


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