Are CDMA and GSMiPhone 6 the same hardware?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mjmar, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

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    #1
    On apple's website it lists iPhone 6 model A1549 (CDMA) and A1549 (GSM), I'm just wondering - do these phones use different network chips, or are they exactly the same hardware just locked to different carriers?
     
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #2
    It's either slightly different hardware, or the same hardware flashed with a different baseband. In any case, it's really unlikely you'd get a "GSM-only" iPhone to work on a CDMA carrier.

    Also, A Sprint iPhone will not work on any US carrier other than Sprint, at all. But that's due to software locking on Sprint's part, and a refusal to do any unlocking.
     
  3. hughiee macrumors member

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    #3
    These 2 models are compatible to the GSM network but the CDMA version for Verizon has the added radio for CDMA on its network.

    The Verizon model is unlocked internationally (GSM). The Sprint version has the CDMA and TDD (China) radios but it may be locked on the new iPhone 6. I haven't been able to confirm yet so please chime in.
     
  4. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

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    #4
    they are the same hardware. different basebands. there is only one firmware for iPhone 6, and one for 6+ iPhone 7,1, and iPhone 7,2.
     
  5. michikade macrumors regular

    michikade

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    #5
    The A1549 models are essentially the same. The Sprint model is locked to Sprint in the United States regardless of whether it is "unlocked" or not - unlocking is for international carriers only. The AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon models can theoretically all work on each others networks so far as LTE radios go but 3G / Edge / etc may not work across networks because that's where the gsm / cdma difference really shows its face.
     
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #6
    Same stuff. Only difference is which network it works with.
     
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #7
    So basically maybe in a few years when everybody is nothing but LTE we can maybe get back to a single model that could be ported anywhere? I know AT&T is shutting down the EDGE network soon, so I'm guessing in 5 years or so 3G networks might get canned.
     
  8. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    VZW LTE works on a unlocked Tmo 6 i got from the apple store. plugged my sim card in and it popped up. Weird. Likely i had data services only and no CDMA voice/text services.

    If its the same model number, its the exact same phone. Its just the verizon branded phones have their IMEI listed on the VZW database so it can be activated on that carrier cuz verizon doesn't like u bringing other peoples phones to them.
     
  9. jmantn macrumors 6502

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    #9
    It's now a law that forces carriers to unlock phones if customers own the phone and it's no longer under contract. Technically speaking I'm unsure of the details but what I just provided was a sure fire scenario where you would qualify.

    As a former Sprint employee I can tell you that Sprint is starting to make their reps aware of this new law.

    You can always Google 2014 cell phone unlock law and if you read some of the professional reviews for the iPhone 6 multiple reviewers take time to note Sprints model supports more bands then any other phone and they state for this reason the Sprint iPhone was a good choice as you could use it with any carrier practically that operates on some kind of LTE.
     
  10. rigormortis, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #10
    before you repeat what people have been saying since the iPhone 5, about the gsm radio only being able to run on gsm, because the verizon iPhone has an added cdma radio. perhaps you should do the experiment. you would be surprised.

    i found out that its no longer true. and verizon sims ENABLES cdma on iPhone 6

    i purchased my iPhone 6 128 gb t-mobile version. i stood in line wondering if it was true that this time around it would be locked. the store manager said it wasn't locked. i took my new iPhone and wanted to see how unlocked it was. i had a spare AT&T sim on me. neither sims were associated with an account, they weren't "live" sims. when i put the sims in my iPhone, it asked for a carrier update. and the about screens changed to reflect which carrier the phone was working for. this means when an iPhone 6 sees a new sim, it just automatically refreshes its baseband by itself.

    well. guess what. on a lark, i decided to put my "live" sim out of my verizon iPhone 5 and guess what. it worked. i was shocked. i thought that maybe the iPhone 6 was like an iPad air / iPad mini retina, and you could only use it for data.

    so i figured it was natural , eh , it was okay, that data worked.

    so then i decided to try and make a phone call to a regular land line, (Diamond Dan's Pro Wrestling Hotline (317) 335 HOTT) , and guess what. the CDMA radio came active, and the phone call went through. it acted just like my iPhone 5. the 3g/LTE connection went to 2.5 (showing just verizon in the upper left hand corner) and it worked

    as far as i can figure out the only difference between a t-mobile and a verizon iPhone 6 is now verzon's white list of verizon devices.

    what this means is that verizon cannot and will not put your non vzw iPhone 6 IMEI or MEID numbers on your account. you can't sign up for verizon with a non-vzw iPhone 6, and you can't transfer your service to a non-vzw iPhone 6. but as far as being compatible , for data and making telephone calls it works.

    i posted another message on this forum and i have tried notifying ask maggie on cnet of my discovery. but no one yet has verified my claim

    i don't know if Volte works. i didn't test that. i didn't test if putting in a "live" AT&T sim will lock out "live" verizon sims. because my 2 other sims i have for t-mobile and AT&T are not active.

    when you are running the sim in an iPhone 6 plus ( the phone i had to test on ) , my verizon website no longer listed the iPhone 5 as being on my account. replaced was a generic graphic with NON VZW PHONE and SIM CARD # XXXXXXXXX in its place.

    i guess it is possible if i had a real live AT&T or t-mo sim that the phone would of stayed in GSM mode only . that is something i did not try.

    i also sent several text messages to my coke rewards using short code #2653 and the sms worked as well

    another item i did not test was visual voice mail
     
  11. scaredpoet, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #11
    As a former Sprint customer, it's no surprise to me that a Sprint employee, current or former, is ill-informed of the law.

    Current law makes cell phone unlocking legal, but does not force carriers to unlock cell phones on request. The law recently enacted only resolves a legal issue where under the DMCA, the practice of cell phone unlocking without the carrier's express consent might have been illegal.

    Source:

    http://www.leahy.senate.gov/downloa...-consumer-choice-and-wireless-competition-act

    The law does not force or compel carriers to unlock phones, however. In order to head stricter legislation off, the carriers voluntarily agreed to a set of standards, and agreed to make their policies clear to users. Even if that policy is "no way, no how, are we unlocking your phone."


    Sprint's official stance is that they will start unlocking cell phones after February 11, 2015. But the current policy of no domestic unlocking stands.

    Sources:

    http://consumerist.com/2014/04/23/s...ock-any-phone-you-buy-after-february-11-2015/

    http://www.sprint.com/legal/unlocking_policy.html


    I did. As the above sources indicate, Sprint is not currently unlocking phones, and Sprint directly claims in writing that "Apple devices cannot be unlocked to accept another domestic carrier's SIM card."

    (For the record, I find their claim technically dubious. We already know from the process with other carriers that's doable and easy to do, if the carrier allows it to happen. But that's the cover they're using for why they will not unlock iPhones when someone asks them to: Because they allegedly "can't.")

    Cite your sources. Please link to one review which positively confirms that the Sprint iPhone 6 or 6+ - or any other iPhone model for that matter - can be used on another domestic carrier.

    In the meantime, I'll correct you because I don't want someone to use your info and make a huge mistake: Model A1586 of the iPhone 6 and Model A1524 of the 6 Plus has technically the most LTE bands, and it happens to be the one that Sprint uses. But it's not a Sprint exclusive. And the Sprint version is hobbled by Sprint's unlocking policy, which prevents it from being used on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, C-Spire or any other U.S. carrier.

    No one should be buying a Sprint-locked iPhone unless they only plan on using Sprint as their US carrier.
     
  12. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #12

    sprint posted a new unlocking policy , it says if you are a sprint device please dial *2 to submit a request to have your master subsidy unlock code.

    but sadly it has fine print that says they do not unlock apple devices. sigh

    the ctia announced a voluntary agreement to be in effect in feb that all carriers will unlock devices on customers requests. some people are confusing this voluntary agreement as the unlock law. so far no sprint - mvno pre paid carrier has said they are allowing unlocks that i know of
     
  13. michikade macrumors regular

    michikade

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    #13
    Are cdma and gsm iPhone 6 the same hardware?

    Apparently T-Mobile thinks Sprint phones will work:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1411362288.296932.jpg

    Of course, Sprint's actual written policy states that iPhones can't be unlocked domestically yet but starting with what I presume to be the iPhone 6S / 6S+ they will - any device introduced after February 2015 will be able to be unlocked domestically.

    If this is the case, if Apple holds to what they did this year, the Sprint phone may be the one to get because has the hardware to work off of more frequencies. Dunno if Apple will start making them all the same internally for next year, though, due to the unlocking compatibility. That'd be freaking nice if they're all the same next year - it wouldn't be as hard to find the phone you want if there is one less variable.
     
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #14
    Yup. pretty much what I said in my post.
     
  15. rigormortis, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #15
    yeah i should of edited it better. i mainly wanted to say that ctia is just a voluntarily agreement and not an actual law

    ----------


    there you guys keep going. keep applying iPhone 5s specs to the iPhone 6.
    looks to me that models #1549 (i phone 6), which are both are GSM and CDMA under #1549 - both have channels 25 and 26. unlike last years 5s., last years 5s had one device that worked on 25 and one device that worked on 26 . there is another model # 1586 that uses bands 38,39,40,41, but is that the sprint model??? back in the iPhone 5s sprint used channel 25 and 26, but i guess they are starting to work on channel 41 ? so that is why there is a new model?? the iPhone 5 s did not have channels 38-41

    i wouldn't trust sprint , with their history of locking and refusing to budge. and its need of special sprint firmware.

    both the cdma and gsm iPhone 6s having the same model number just shows you that i think i am right and that if you do the experiment and stick in a verizon sim card in a t-mobile phone, it suddenly works like a verizon phone.
     
  16. michikade macrumors regular

    michikade

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    #16

    Yes, the one with more bands, the second model, is the sprint version. Channel 41 is one of the Sprint Spark channels.

    I was applying 5 to the conversation because we were talking about whether Sprint was unlockable and I found that on T-Mobile's website -- to me, T-mobile is spreading misinformation as of the writing of this post because Sprint says straight out that they won't unlock an iPhone for domestic use.
     
  17. hughiee macrumors member

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    Sep 25, 2012
    #17

    Thank you for this information on the CDMA and GSM same model number with T-Mobile iPhone 6 being able to activate the Verizon SIM for LTE data, text, and voice services. I did not know this would work using a VZ SIM on a T-Mobile iPhone 6 but you have confirmed for us already.

    I purchased a device-only VZ iPhone 6 and changed out the SIM to an active AT&T SIM card before powering up the model A1549. It works fine without any carrier update. The iPhone 6 Gold 64GB VZ Part No. is MG652LL/A.

    On a different subject regarding a 6 Plus for At&t I set up for At&t SIM asked if I wanted to accept the carrier update while setting up and syncing on iTunes.
     
  18. Kurt871 macrumors member

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    #18
    Can someone explain to me why there are even multiple models? Why not just sell one model that supports the most bands and call it a day? It seems like plenty of people are purchasing the Verizon CDMA model because it supports more bands than the GSM version AND THEN using it on a GSM network. Why bother with multiple models?
     
  19. Mjmar thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    So in a nutshell, you're saying that all model A1549s are created equal and my AT&T iPhone 6 is capable of connecting to Verizon's CDMA network, even though on Apple's website it only shows the CDMA version of A1549 as being able to connect to those bands? Are you sure that the call you made on Verizon was not using VoLTE rather than CDMA?

    If you look at the "Cellular and Wireless" section on this webpage you will see what I am saying:
    https://www.apple.com/iphone-6/specs/

    ----------

    I would assume that cost is a factor.
     
  20. rigormortis, Sep 22, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #20


    this time around there are only two models of the iPhone 6 ( and 6 plus)
    a gsm / cdma model ( that is listed as a verizon phone solely by its serial number). like i said before, you cannot activate a new line of service or transfer an existing line of service to the new MEID/IMEI. but if you stick in the verizon sim card, it becomes a verizon iPhone

    the other model is a sprint cdma version that runs sprint firmware


    yes the call i made did not use VoLTE, because it was a landline. Verizon Volte only works when you call another VoLTE device.

    ( stuff i said about verizon iPhone 6 only getting VoLTE DELETED )



    i spoke too soon. it just took a while for Volte to become enabled!!!!!!!
     
  21. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #21
    yesterday i tested visual voice mail, and found out about 30 seconds after the phone got connected to the verizon tower , that visual voice mail came up and that works too.

    so the only feature that does not work on the unlocked t-mobile phone with a live pre-activated verizon sim card, is simply officially signing up or officially transferring service to an iPhone 6. as long as you stick the sim card in a t-mobile phone and don't tell them, then it works
     
  22. iphone5att64 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2012
    #22
    I'm glad I found your posts before returning my AT&T phone for a Verizon phone. How do you get a live pre-activated Verizon SIM card? Can I just request a Verizon sim from a Verizon store, borrow a Verizon phone, activate a new line on it, and then move the SIM to an AT&T phone?
     
  23. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #23
    yeah as far as i can tell if you sign up a post paid plan another verizon device, like an iPhone 5 and then stick it into the UNLOCKED (t-mobile) iPhone 6, it works. verizon might not like you! but it will work.

    yeah you need to borrow a phone

    im worried about my contract and i got $130 left of the ETF to pay before 10-25-14 so i am paranoid about using my iPhone 6 full time and getting caught or having verizon call me

    we tried the sim at the apple store today. but the apple store guy's iPhone 6 was an AT&T model which was locked to AT&T and it said invalid sim
     
  24. JCat1 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2014
    #24
    This thread has captured my interest. I just finished getting my ATT 6+ (A1522 GSM) unlocked and I am about to go over and try my friends Verizon Sim Card. I'll Keep you updated.

    I am moving to Japan in 2 weeks and really need my phone to work. Ive got my fingers crossed.

    Is there any chance you can check the regulatory page in your TMO phone and see if Japan is listed? (Settings>General>About>Legal>Regulatory) I would very much appreciate it.:D
     
  25. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #25
    It seems insane that Verizon would turn away a potential customer if the iPhone 6 works just fine on their network.

    Has anyone tried to bring a non-Verizon-bought iPhone 6 to Verizon and gotten a refusal? If the phone works, why would they turn down $thousands in new revenue?
     

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