News: Some Shiny New Pixel 3s Aren't Registering SIM Cards & Google Is Dragging Their Feet on a Fix

Some Shiny New Pixel 3s Aren't Registering SIM Cards & Google Is Dragging Their Feet on a Fix

You just brought a brand new Pixel 3 from the Google Store, and you insert your SIM card only to find the phone won't recognize it at all. No matter what you do, the SIM card won't register and your Pixel won't connect to your carrier network. That's what happened to me and several other Pixel 3 owners. The good news is a fix is coming, the bad news is Google doesn't have a date for that fix.

After speaking with a Google Support Specialist, I learned that Google is aware of this situation. They believe it's a software issue that will require an OTA update to fix. Usually, Google only sends out one software update a month: the monthly security patch. According to the two different Google Support Specialists, Google doesn't want to change this behavior, so instead, they will "include the fix for the SIM card problem with this month's security patch."

But here's the trouble: At the time of this writing, we have seven days left in the month. Ideally, Google would send out the October security patch before the end of the month. However, when I asked about a date for this patch (and the fix for this significant problem), they weren't able to give me anything specific. This means between now and the end of the month, we should expect the patch to be pushed out so that we can finally use our phones.

Well at least I can make emergency calls?

The Pixel 3 launched on October 9, and many people who preordered had the phone in their hands by October 17. So if this takes until Halloween, that means people like me will have been stuck without cell service for two full weeks. Thankfully, I have other phones to use, but what about people who are relying on their Pixel 3 or 3 XL as their only phone?

At least to me, this doesn't make sense. Without SIM card functionality, the phone is practically useless — particularly when you're away from home. You'd think a fix for this problem would be Google's top priority, but they're taking their sweet time.

We'll update this article as we learn more, including when (or if) a fix is finally issued. In the meantime, let us know in the comment section below if you're experiencing SIM-gate on your Pixel 3 as well.

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Cover image and screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks


Hi Jon - I am having this exact problem with my new Pixel 3XL. I tried using different SIM cards which are confirmed active/operational, to no avail. Very frustrating. Has there been an update yet? I'm waiting on feedback from Google tech support but so far they don't seem especially keen to help...!

I am in the same boat. Tried 4 different SIMs that all work fine in our four other phones and the Pixel 3 doesn't recognize any of them.

Just like the previous post, I too am 'waiting up to 24 hours' for my support specialist to email me. On hour 20 right now without an email.

You figure for $1K you might get a working phone and tech support via phone.

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