My iPhone 4s (ios7) was locked when it was stolen, and the thief turned the phone off right after he stole it. I immediately activated Lost mode through Find My iPhone, but it seems like he took the sim card out. I believe that Find My iPhone is pretty much useless once the sim card is removed before the lost mode of Find my iPhone gets activated. My question is that when one takes a sim card out from an iphone, does that automatically unlocks the phone? Or would they be able to unlcok the phone without losing the data (assuming that he doesn't know my passcode)? My phone probably is already sold by now, but I'm just wondering if he/she would be able to access to my photos, notes, and etc.
thanks in advance!
Did the iPhone have a passcode on it? From your description it appears that it did. Did you have iOS7 on it along with having Find My iPhone activated? It appears from your profile you had iOS 7 and you talk about using Find My iPhone.
Removal of the SIM card does not unlock the device, it just makes it where it can no longer connect to the cellular network. With iOS 7 and Activation Lock, and with your passcode lock, the thief will not even be able to successfully restore the device, let alone activate it. Even if he was to restore it, it still will not activate without your Apple ID and password. Attempts to activate will require connection to the Internet which will connect it to Find My iPhone which will institute your Lost command and show it on the map. The device is useless to the thief, but they still may try to sell it. They do that and the Activation lock will do the same thing for the unsuspecting buyer.