Can I regift my iPhone 2g updated to a 3G to my 10 y/o niece to use in another state to use as an itouch without hooking up the iPhone capabilities as a phone. She is too young to have a phone. I just want to know if she could have Internet and email capabilities without phone service. Would it need a wi fi spot for this!? Or data plan!? Thanks for any advice!
Short answer: yes.
For all intents and purposes, an iPhone is exactly an iPod Touch with the addition of cellular network circuitry and technology. Take that away and you’ve got an iTouch (as my kids call it, though of course Apple calls it an iPod Touch). In fact, my oldest has a defunct iPhone 3 that she’s using as an iPod Touch for just the same reason: she’s a bit too young to have unfettered, unmonitored access to the Internet just yet.
But then again, once she’s within range of an open wifi network — or gains a password to a closed wifi network — then she’s online with the little gizmo. This would be true if she had an iPod Touch too, of course: they also have built-in wifi capabilities, a Web browser, YouTube app, and thousands of apps that require Internet access.
You’re in a different place, however, because you want the device to have Internet and email capabilities, and the good news is that it does if it can connect to a wifi network, either at home, school, or anywhere else a signal can be detected.
The biggest difference between an AT&T iPhone and a decommissioned iPhone that’s acting as an iTouch — , iPod Touch — is that when there’s not a wifi network available the iPhone can still get online if there’s a cellular signal, whereas the disabled unit relies 100% on wifi: If there’s no signal, there’s no Internet.
Because you’re not using the cellular network at all, you won’t need any sort of data plan. In fact, if you only ever access the Internet on your iPhone when you’re on wifi networks that you’ve joined, you don’t technically need a data plan for your active iPhone either, though I’m not sure AT&T offers that as an option.
I hope this helps answer your questions. Thanks for asking!