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Revamped version of the iPhone 3G with faster processing speeds. Repair of this device is similar to the 3G, and requires simple screwdrivers and prying tools. Model A1303 / 16 or 32 GB capacity / black or white plastic back.

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Why can't I receive GPS position when in Plane Mode


I noticed that when I am in plane mode, when I haven't got any network connection, I can't receive any GPS position. As soon as I turn on network, GPS works great.

My question is, isn't it possible to receive GPS Position without network ? For instance with a Navigon software...

Or is it only network based...



I did some tests yesterday, and I figured out that it was my phone which had some problems. In fact, I wanted to use TomTom or navigon without data transfer. It firstly didn't work, until I did a Soft Reset!

This corrected the problem, and now it is possible for me to catch GPS Signals wihout having any WiFi or 3g/Edge connexion.

Thanks for your advices !!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Chosen Solution

Cell phone GPSs - and I assume the iPhone implements it the same way - aren't "real" GPS devices. A standalone GPS does two things: receives time codes from multiple satellites, then does a complex series of calculations to convert that information into a position fix. The signal reception part is easy; the calculations are computationally intensive.

In order to conserve battery power and space, cell phones only do the first part. They receive the raw time code signals, then relay them to a server maintained by your phone company. The server crunches the numbers, figures out the cell phone's location, and relays that back to your phone. If you're not on the network, your cell phone's GPS won't work.

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Also, the map isn't cashed into your phone and it needs to retrieve the map from the 3G network


it's not always a hardware issue - sometimes it's only a software restriction ($$$$) - i've had a motorola e1000 which was hacked and the normally a-gps (assisted gps) was working like a normal gps without connecting to the network

i used maps that i made and calibrated myself - so agps could work


They are real gps devices!


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Most Helpful Answer

here is the official statement from apple

the plane would also act as a faraday shield and block a large amount of the signal.

(there are also the possibility of a bad way to use the gps and that could be a reason why this function is disabled)

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Ok, this explains the non-GPS ability for the plane mode.

When I have no network connection (like abroad with data turned off on foreign cell networks), and no wifi...

GPS's still not working.

In fact, is GPS working without a Data Plan ?


yes, certainly!


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You can get a GPS fix in flight mode. The chances are that you're trying to get a location inside a plane which will block the GPS fix (as planes act like Faraday cages. Nothing in the iPhone's software actually prevents you getting a fix. The chances are, if you get a GPS lock outside the aircraft, then keep it next to the window while in filght, that it will maintain a GPS lock OK (getting a lock is harder for a GPS than maintaining one it already has). Therefore Alan's answer is not correct.

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Feel free to beg. It won't change the answer. And it's not like it will take more than 2 minutes to test for yourself.


I strongly agree with Nick.

There is a different between compromising the device, the Faraday cage, and the device giving itself a command.

I think people are not considering how radio waves travel and how receivers work.

I also think that people are interchanging the Global Positioning System (GPS) for Google Map or Apple Maps. It is also possible people over giving the software more credit for the tracking process than the hardware and systems that are need to make it work on devices.

If you are looking to block your radio waves from your devices check out my products at


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Stephane will be eternally grateful.
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