Verizon Galaxy S3 “No SIM card” error

The new Verizon Galaxy S3 smartphones are creating quite a problem. A lot of people (including myself) are getting SIM card errors (sometimes intermittent) but it doesn’t seem to be related to the SIM card problems. For some, they get the SIM error when switching from 4g to 3g areas and for others it just happens all the time. And if you were thinking of forcing the phone to switch to 3g all the time, well that isn’t possible. And if you take your phone to a VZW dealer that has 4g LTE in the area then you can’t exactly reproduce the error and might end up looking like a raving idiot. This is what the error looks like:

The intermittent “No SIM card” error is causing a lot of dread for Galaxy s3 owners by cutting off all communications on their phone

It happened to me on initial activation of the phone and all tech support said was to go to a verizon store and get a new SIM card. After doing hard resets, taking the card in and out several times, changing location for best signal I still get the same no SIM error –

“A SIM card is needed to operate this phone. Please turn off your phone and insert your SIM card.”

No matter what I do, it just says the SIM card isn’t installed.

My next option is to go get a new (free) card but from what others have said, that doesn’t solve the problem – at all. It isn’t about the SIM card, it is about something else and all you get from Verizon is:

“Your request has been escalated to the System Performance Team and there seems to be a network system issue in your area . These issues are usually resolved in 24-72 hours.”

Many have reported returning their phones after replacement SIII phones and replacement SIM cards keep throwing the same intermittent error. I will do the same if this doesn’t get corrected soon as like most people I NEED reliable communication in today’s modern life. Is this a software or hardware issue? Is this going to be the next big Verizon scandal like the iPhone antennagate?

Please share your experiences in the comments below!

UPDATE: I was trying to activate a 4g phone in a 3g area. Apparently you can not do that. I called Verizon to confirm and Shayla said that is true. We will soon see if that is the issue but it is odd that the error it throws at you is the “no card” error rather than just saying you need 4g coverage to activate – shouldn’t that be highlighted in the instructions? After all, Verizon is known for coverage in the sticks – apparently you just can’t activate one there ;)


UPDATE: Getting a new SIM card solved my problem, so far.


43 thoughts on “Verizon Galaxy S3 “No SIM card” error

  1. Have the same issue since getting the phone 3 days ago does not work well in my hone where it’s only a 3 g area but works fine in 4g areas, ive replaced SIM card 3 times and got a new phone error still exists. Very disappointed because I love the phone but can’t use it as a phone only as a tablet.

    • dang, that isn’t what I wanted to hear about my new phone! Thanks for the input, now I need to find out what the return policy is for verizon smartphones, 7 days from activation or purchase? as I pre-ordered I wonder when the clock starts ticking. This is totally unacceptable!

  2. I have same issue. I already went through sim card replacement and phone replacement if this issue continues i will have to go with another phone

  3. I m having an issue with my new s3 where oftenly twice a day sim card error displays on my cell. Then i need to rw insert the sim againn. However this can not be the permanent solution. Kindly advice

  4. I m having an issue with my new s3 where oftenly twice a day sim card error displays on my cell. Then i need to rw insert the sim againn. However this can not be the permanent solution. Kindly advice me on the same how to get rid of it

    • It sounds like hit and miss but a lot of people are having the same problem. Verizon needs to address this quickly or expect their flagship phone to be a dud. Sorry to hear about your problem but you are in the same boat as a lot of us!

  5. I have tried a replacement phone and 2 sim cards all 4 combinations had the same issue. It seems that turning on “Airplane Mode” for a few seconds and turning it off will get you some signal in a pinch but it dosnt last. Do you have your “Power saving mode” enabled? when i disabled this feature it seemed to stay connected longer but would be very warm in my pocket and eat battiery like no other. Personally i think this may be a coverage issue and weighted prefrence for the 4G network(disabling the 2 other anntennas in powersave mode[bouncing often with power saving disabled]). To say the least proper testing should be done before release.
    -Very Disappointed

  6. Here it is August 19 and I got my first Smart(?) phone, Galaxy S III, from Verizon and the staff at the store tried & tried & tried to get the sim to work and couldn’t. They had a technician from Verizon on the phone and he said the “porting of the phone number” was in “pending” status, and the phone would work the next day. Well it’s the next day and guess what, no phone yet!

    Now that I found this post I will educate the Verizon store today. Very disappointing the people selling these phones weren’t “Smart Phone” enough to to find this post!

    Probably have to succumb to the iPhone craze, even though the 3G is slower and the screen size is smaller.

    – me too, Very Disappointed a monster company can have this situation in today’s technology!

  7. Hey guys I figured out the problem!! I was scouring the internet to find a fix for mine and stumbled upon this thread, I thought all hope was lost, then checked
    and realized that my SIM card seemed to be in the slot, but found out that I had to literally force it in further for my phone to recognize it. You should push until the red circle is filled and you hear a click.
    Maybe this isn’t your problem, but it worked for me and it seems that employees at Verizon may not realize this either. Hope it helps some if not all! good luck!

    • I pushed and I pushed, and it clicked. didn’t know about the red dot thingy though – thanks for the tip! perhaps there was a tiny chad or something on the sim that prevented it from completely seating but I could see the scratches on the gold contacts so something was happening.For me all I needed was a new card, I haven’t had the problem since but for some apparently it is a real issue.

  8. My wife and I just got our S3’s on Thursday and the no sim card error started that evening. We took it back to the store today and they replaced the sim card on both of our phones. Here just a few hours later, mine started giving the no sim card error AGAIN! We are in a 3G area and I think that might have to do with some of it because it will say “searching for service” and then nothing happens. The sim card being pushed in isn’t helping either… I will post if I get a better solution!

  9. I’ve been having the same problem. I used it at home for 3 weeks or so and brought it up to school in Ithaca and have no service. Just yesterday my friend had a medical emergency and I wasn’t able to call was absolutely unacceptable. I called verizon and was one the phone with them for 2 hours and was told that samsung does not recognize this as a problem and that they will replace me phone. The problem is however, at least 5 other people with verizon on this campus can’t use their S3’s either. I can’t get my money back, i Can’t change phones, and now i’m stuck with this p.o.s. when i should have just waited for the Iphone.

  10. Myself and another friend of mine in Engineering both have the same phone and have the same problem… I have replaced the SIM card and the technician at the Ithaca store said he was aware of the problem, and that they would be pushing out a software fix hopefully by September. From verizon wireless forum threads, looks like this will be in October.

  11. Wow, I’ve been on the phone for three days about this, been through 3 sim cards, and now they are sending a new phone. Based on this verizon information, they are admitting it is a software issue? I don’t want to give up the phone…and if it worked when needed it would be perfect.

  12. My phone does not give an option to input your sim card pin and automatically loads. This makes the sim not be registered on the network and offline. I am very frustrated and don’t know what to anymore.

    Can anybody help me on this?

  13. I have the same issues too bought me a galaxy s3 returned it and when I found out they send out a update and it fix the issues so I went back and bought the s3 again unfortunately that didn’t solve the issues. My question is are they or are they not gonna solve the issues cause its no point of paying so much for a phone that doesn’t seem to work all the time

  14. This only happens when I am at my college (which is all day 5 days a week) and it happens literally like once every 3 minutes so it takes 5+ minutes just to can also forget about calling…

  15. My S3 has done the same SIM card error since I bought it…finally gave up today, went to Verizon and demanded a completely different type of phone. After much argument Verizon gave in and let me pick out a new phone..I have the LG Intuition being sent to me as we speak, it’s not quite as fast as the S3 but if it doesn’t drop calls, loses SIM and gets good service I don’t care…

  16. I also just returned 4 new Galaxy S 3 phones for the no sim card issue. No new fixes or even an explanation as to why this happens. I believe it happens when there is a 4G/3G problem and it seems to occur mostly at the same locations. It happened to ALL 4 new phones and almost exculsively at my house. I returned the phones and went back to my droid x.

  17. Everytym I m inserting a SIM iin my galaxy S3 it’s showing insert SIM card . I changed 2 SIM cards n still the same problem n those Sims are working in all the other phones . Suggest something wat should I do?

  18. My phone worked also in 4G, when I go to Tallahassee, to the FSU games, it gets sims card error, I think its the 4g vs 3G issue. Verizon better get a patch software to fix for real, or we all will be on their case with returns, petitions and complaints. Mine was god awful Saturday at an FSU game. I intend to call Verizon and demand a fix asap or demand a different phone as well.

  19. Mine is doing it too. I just got a replacement one and it worked at first then about an hour later it started the same thing all over again. Guess they still haven’t fixed this yet. Does anyone know if this is just a Verizon problem or are Sprint users having the same problems?

  20. I am also facing the above said problem but the problem just appeared after 4 month i bought,
    “Please insert sim card to access the network” always getting displayed above message also a circle cutt by a diagonal is being desplayed on top right corner on network icon location.
    I checked my cim card on other phon it is working fine probabily there is some software or firmware issue, anyway i wanna solution for the issue ..

  21. I have purchased s3 i like the phone but problem is this that i have to buy a new sim card i cant use my regular num on this phone and have to caey two mobiles

    • Well guys I live in London and have the S3 for less than 3 months and I’m having the same “insert Sim ” problem I replaced sims and the same problem I’m on T Mobile network over here!

  22. This is a very annoying trend. I’m in Ireland, I have the s3 for not even 2 weeks and all of a sudden this happened today, out of no where. Judging by these posts I’m guessing my best bet is to demand a new type of phone? This is a serious pity i love the phone.

  23. This started happening to me and I don’t know if this is the solution, but when I opened up the phone, there was pretty uniform dusting of pocket lint in it. Some of that lint may have worked its way into the SIM card slot and wedged itself between the SIM card and the reader.

    I don’t know if this will work, but I took a microfiber cloth and wiped the inside of the phone after carefully prying the back cover off – it’s very thin. There is a slot you can put a fingernail into to pry it off.

    I also wiped the metal contacts of the SIM card and then I blew air into the slot. Blowing air didn’t seem to clean the rest of the phone – the lint stuck to the phone, so I don’t know if blowing the card reader will do anything. I just tried it now on a problem that only pops up every few weeks, so it may be a while before I can tell if that solved the problem. But it definitely looked like it could be a potential cause.

  24. I was out today and had the same problem Insert Sim, but the stupid thing was I was trying to use the Navigation software and didn’t know where I was going. Vodafone don’t care and this is after having the phone for 2 weeks.

    Well done Samsung

  25. I just bought a Galaxy 3 from Verizon there is no place for a sim card. NOW WHAT? I can’t use this in my area I want to use my sim card i already have. price to good to pass up guess I just need to send back BUMMER

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