Which Unlocked iPhone 5 to get?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by seanhess, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #1
    I've read that the Verizon iPhone is also GSM unlocked, but that the "unlocked" iPhone 5 that Apple sells won't work on Verizon.

    Is there a version of the phone that works on all networks?

    Virgin Mobile's (Sprint network, I think) pricing is really good, for example. Is there a phone that would work both with them and Straight Talk (AT&T)?

    Would I get LTE on any of the prepaid networks?
     
  2. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    No, there's no such thing as an i5 that would work on all GSM and CDMA networks.
    Pick one network you want to use it on and buy the correct iphone based on with who you need to use it on.
    No LTE on prepaid either.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #3
  4. dave006, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #4
    No confusion. It is just a matter of you understanding all the possible combinations of networks that would need to be supported by a single iPhone 5.

    Back to your original set of questions. The Verizon iPhone 5 is a model A1429 and will work on Verizon CMDA / LTE and also has an unlocked Nano-SIM slot so it is compatible with all GSM carriers in the US and many GSM carriers World Wide. You just will not be able to use LTE everywhere. LTE support is based on the bands the individual model supports. So a Verizon or Sprint model A1429 does not support the LTE bands used by AT&T and the Canadian carriers in North America, however you will have access to their other networks connection options.

    The Sprint iPhone 5 is also a model A1429 but the Nano-SIM slot is locked to prevent use on any US GSM carriers. Sprint will unlock the Nano-SIM slot for international travel if you meet their requirements. The

    The Unlocked iPhone 5 that Apple just began selling in the US is the model A1428 aka the same as the AT&T iPhone 5. You can't use a model A1428 from Apple or AT&T on Sprint or Verizon. Sprint will not allow you to use a Verizon iPhone 5 on their network and Verizon will not allow a Sprint iPhone 5 on their network. Yes they are both using the same model A1429. It is their choice to decide which devices are allowed to be used on their networks. In this case it is not a hardware issue but a business issue.

    The real question comes down to how do you plan to use your iPhone 5 and where do you want to use it. As a reminder check the Apple link to see what LTE networks are supported by the various model combinations world wide.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    Dave
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #5
    Very useful thanks!

    So if I get an apple unlocked, it will work on any GSM carrier including T Mobile, but will only give LTE on AT&T.

    If I get a Verizon phone, it will also work on any GSM carrier, including AT&T and t mobile, but LTE will only work on Verizon.

    If I get a sprint phone it will only work on sprint.

    Is that all correct?
     
  6. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #6
    You got it all right.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #7
    Verizon/Sprint LTE bands: international usage

    Hi,

    I want to clarify one point. Specifically, the Verizon/Sprint iPhone 5 (A1429) supports LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25. LTE bands 1, 3, and 5 are used by a number non-US carriers, per the Apple LTE information page.

    I want to clarify/confirm that the Verizon/Sprint iPhone 5 has no built-in restrictions that would prevent it from connecting to LTE bands 1, 3, and 5 when travelling outside the USA.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #8
    And...I'll answer my own question

    The Verizon/Sprint iPhone 5 has no restrictions that would prevent it from using LTE bands 1, 3, and 5 outside of the USA, per these articles:

    Want global LTE roaming on iPhone 5? Don’t buy it from AT&T

    Why the Verizon iPhone 5 is a Globetrotter's Best Friend

    If You Want Global LTE Roaming, You Should Carefully Consider an AT&T or Verizon/Sprint iPhone 5 Model (updated)

    To be clear: the travel scenario I'm envisioning is one whereby you buy a SIM card in country you are visiting, not international roaming.
     

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