5s A1533 purchased in China [not same as N.A. a1533]

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tehdee, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. tehdee macrumors member

    May 7, 2006
    midway through a 5 month stint in China, my trusty iphone 5 is no more..

    conflicting information abound however, in trying to research a new iPhone purchase.

    in theory, the a1533 model (available through the Chinese apple store) should provide LTE functionality in the US and most global markets.

    however there is information contradicting this, explaining that ANY 5s sold in china (be it a1533 or a1528) does not support LTE-- and is in fact a 'china only model' and not the a1533 which appears in North American Apple Stores.

    a cursory glance at the model numbers indicates that the a1533 sold here is MF381CH/A* while the a1533 sold in north america is ME305LL/A*

    does this support the theory [or fact] that the a1533 model sold in china is different than the a1533 sold in N.A.!?

    obviously wanting to ensure LTE compatibility with Canadian and Swedish carriers [where I reside], I am wary of making this purchase...

    thank you kindly for any input as to my predicament.
  2. tehdee thread starter macrumors member

    May 7, 2006
  3. Loqui1286 macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2013
    Your best bet is to call Apple directly. Even if someone answers you on here they could be wrong. Ask Apple directly.
  4. Fedmahn Kassad, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

    Fedmahn Kassad macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    New York City
    See your first link - the Apple LTE compatibility page.

    The APAC 5S works with a variety of LTE bands - 1,2,3,5,7,8,20, and the TDD bands: 38,39,40. This means that it will generally work with carriers in Asia as well as a few carriers overseas.

    I'm not sure that the 5S models sold in China are unlocked, as some models are here. However, if they are, your next step is to find out what LTE bands are used by carriers with service you might need.

    For example, find out if Rogers has LTE on bands 1,2,3,5,7,8,20,38,39,40.

    The Chinese 5S does support fewer bands than the NA models, but provides great flexibility in that it supports more Asian carriers. That's not to say that the NA model doesn't support as many - from what I have researched (given that I may return to Asia), the NA model will work fine with many LTE providers in Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea.

    China Mobile only supports 38,39,40 in the mainland. China Unicom has limited coverage on bands 1.

    Long story short: if you're only in the mainland and don't plan to travel much, it's fine to get the Chinese 5S. If you travel a lot OR want a phone with greater compatibility going forward (since CN Unicom and CN Telecom are rolling out LTE on non-TDD bands), get the NA model.

    My personal opinion: get the NA model, unless you absolutely need LTE right now in mainland China.

    Shameless self-plug: I'm dying to return to Shanghai lol.

    Also see this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

    Scroll to the Asia section and compare what you need with European and NA networks.

    Edit: I just reread your post. You're only there for 5 months? Definitely do not get the Chinese model.

    Edit 2: It seems that I misread your post. You're asking if the Chinese 5S supports LTE? The guys over in that Apple thread are definitely giving weird information. As per the Apple site, it should, but there is no model 1528 on the Apple website.

    I still think your best bet is to not buy one in China. Get a cheap Nokia for 100 rmb.

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