Question about the Verizon iPhone 5 (Automatically Unlocked?)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mikethewxguy, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2007

    I have a quick question regarding the Verizon (A1429) iPhone 5.

    I live in Germany (US Military) and would like to purchase the Verizon model, so that I am able to use LTE in South Korea (my next assignment later this year)...but I have read conflicting reports on whether the Verizon model comes AUTOMATICALLY unlocked right out of the (sealed) box? Does Verizon need to make in UNLOCKED upon purchase? Or would I be able to simply put in my nano sim card here in Germany and that is that?

    I had purchased 2 unlocked iPhone 5's directly from apple online...1 of them arrived (for my wife) but the other one has been lost in the mail as of right now and I'm not sure when/if it will show original plan was to get by with GSM here in Germany and also in South Korea...but now I am having 2nd thoughts and want to add the LTE possibility if I can by purchasing the Verizon model.

    Should it come automatically unlocked, I'll likely purchase one off ebay or have a family member or friend back int he states purchase one for me and mail it to me.

    Thanks for any help on the Verizon model!

  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    The phone is completely unlocked on the GSM side of things, so yes. Put in a South Korean SIM card, and you're good to go.
  3. macrumors Nehalem


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Yes, all verizon iphone 5 models are fully unlocked for any GSM carrier.
    Just make sure they dont send you a Sprint iphone 5 instead.
    Those are also the same model number A1429 but they are locked to sprint.
  4. macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I sent a couple of Verizon iPhone 5s to Europe, bought at BestBuy all came already unlocked and work without any issues with european SIMs.

    Make sure you buy the "right" LTE band iPhone 5 for the network you want to use it on:
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2007
    Thanks for the help everyone...much appreciated!

    I'm still a tiny bit confused on which A1429 model I need to purchase. Do I need the CDMA model A1429? I keep reading that there are CDMA versions and GSM versions of the A1429.

    While I'm here in Germany, I'll be using it on a GSM network. When I move to South Korea later this year, I will want to use it on an LTE network.

    Thanks for the clarification.....I have a buddy of mine ready to make the purchase as soon as I get back with him.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    Both the verizon and sprint iphones are model A1429. The verizon one is unlocked. That is the one you want. The A1429 is both CDMA and GSM. Verizon unlocks the GSM bands. Now will you be able to use LTE in South Korea with the Verizon phone? I do not know. But you will be able to use the GSM bands. If a South Korean carrier uses LTE on one of those bands, then yes, you will have LTE.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2007
    Thanks dartsrer...I think I got it now. From what I have read, in Korea...I should be able to use the LTE (on the Verizon model).

    Thanks so much!
  8. macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    Just in case you didn't know, the GSM model does support LTE bands as well. If the GSM model supports all the LTE frequencies you need, I'd buy that model, it'll have a higher resale value later on.
  9. mikethewxguy, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2007
    I'm sorry to beat a dead horse here everyone...but I still would like some feedback on which phone I need to have my buddy purchase for me.

    He tried to purchase the hone from Verizon, and they would not sell him one off-contract (it was a new Verizon store that had just opened, so maybe that is why?)..nevertheless, he then went to the apple store in Indianapolis and they wanted him to double-check with me before he purchased as they told him that he was buying the wrong model #....

    I had told him I wanted the Verizon CDMA A1429 (Unlocked/No contract). Is this still correct?

    My plan:

    Germany until May: GSM w/ nano-sim (already have it)

    South Korea after May: LTE (if affordable) or GSM w/ nano-sim

    The CDMA model offers more LTE bands in S. Korea, so I thought it would be best....

    Somebody please stop me if I am making a mistake and I need to have him pickup a different model other than the Verizon CDMA A1429! :)

    Also, resale does not really matter to much to me at this fact, I have actually read that the CDMA A1429 may bring in way more than retail in South Korea anyway because of the additional LTE bands it offers...I guess LTE there is much more widely used/available than in the States.

  10. macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2013
    did it work

    hi mikethewxguy,

    ich have a similar problem (will be in germany for a few months, but then in the us) and I think about buying the same model. so wanted to follow up on this:

    did your verizon unlocked A1429 CDMA model work in germany?

  11. macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2010
    I can't think of any reason why the Verizon iPhone 5 wouldn't work on GSM networks in Germany. As others have said, the Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked out of the box. Just pop in a SIM for any GSM carrier worldwide and the phone should work for voice, SMS, and at 3G or HSPA+ speeds for data with no problem. LTE may or may not work depending on the bands the carrier you're using is utilizing for LTE.

    The Verizon iPhone 5 tends to favor the LTE bands used by carriers in Asia and, of course, Verizon's LTE network in the U.S.

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