Confused about 5S GSM version US vs EU

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Freida, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Freida macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #1
    Hello guys,

    I'm little bit confused about the GSM versions and wanted to ask for clarification. I'm going to US and was thinking to buy the phone there as its cheaper. Someone told me that it won't work but I looked at Apple website and can't see why not.

    Here is what Apple has:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3939

    Basically 4 types:

    GSM
    CDMA
    GSM for China
    and one more

    So if I get the GSM (there are two models) then it should work fine in EU, no?
    And if not, then what would limit me or what would not work? I remember that when I went to US with my iPhone 4 I purchased in UK then all worked fine there so what is actually the limitation if any?
     
  2. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    i believe you would want the CDMA/GSM one (verizon model) for full rest of the world compatibility. but that may be for the 5 only. i think the 5S has all bands for both models for easy compatibility.
     
  3. Freida thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #3
    so if I get the 5S in US then it will work fine in EU?
     
  4. biohead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton, UK
    #4
    The GSM part of the phone will work fine in the EU - the LTE bands however are different. The US model lacks band 7 - which is being used throughout Europe. If your carrier uses band 7 (quick check: here) then you won't be able to use LTE/4G.
     
  5. Freida thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #5
    I see,

    well all network providers seem to have this:
    20,3,7 so if 7 won't work then it will work fine on those 3 & 20, right?
    That way I should have LTE regardless :)
     
  6. Manatlt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I have the US model and I am on O2 UK's 4GLTE network. O2 uses band 20 and the US model supports it. :)

    The US model supports all 4GLTE bands for UK networks.

    Most European networks outside UK simultaneously use band 3 and 7 so while you will get LTE in areas, when you across a band 7 antenna your US model will not pick up on it. So expect patchy LTE signals in Europe.
     
  7. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #7
    The gsm would works just fine in 3G, but it could have some problems with LTE, depending on which country do you live.
    Here in Italy, for examples, carriers use three LTE bands, 800 , 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz (3, 7 and 20). They mostly use 800 MHz in the open space and 1800/2600 MHz in towns.
    Us models support 800 and 1800 MHz but don't support 2600 MHz, so you could have a poor coverage/poor performance on LTE in towns.
     
  8. Freida thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #8
    thank you guys,

    I won't risk it then and will buy it here so its safe :))
    Thank you for the clarification :)
     
  9. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #9
    theres nothing to be safe about. You will get LTE coverage in the UK. The US model supports the most LTE bands of any other model sold worldwide. If i were buying an iPhone overseas, i'd take a US model anyday. Don't even worry about CDMA that's non-issue in Europe.
     
  10. Freida thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #10
    Hmm, decisions :)))
    Thank you, now I'm off to debating whether or not to pull the trigger :)
     
  11. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #11
    I would recommend you buy the AT&T version of the iPhone. Like others have said and stated, it is the one with most band support. Also, you don't get CDMA which in Europe matters not.
     
  12. JackSpearo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #12
    I bought the AT&T version full price with the accidental protection. 64 GB gold. I live in Spain and I have Movistar as my carrier, which is 7. So this means I'll never have 4g LTE unless I break my phone and get it replaced here? I think they said they would replace it anywhere in the world. I mean, of course I wouldn't break it for that, I'm just sorta upset right now because I didn't know about the 7 thing ...
     
  13. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #13
    Not sure they would change your broken iPhone with a different model ....
     
  14. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #14
    LTE bands 3 and 20 are the most used LTE bands in Europe. You don't need 7.
     
  15. JackSpearo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #15
    They said they would change it even if I was living in Spain, so I imagine they would give me a Spanish version. I checked the website and Movistar definitely runs on 7. So I guess I'm SOL, for now at least
     
  16. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #16
    In Spain they use 7, and also here in Italy band 7 is used (along with 3 and 20).
     
  17. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #17
    Yeah, but in a few years time every 4G network will be 3 and/or 20.
     
  18. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #18
    I think you will find that EE which presently using band 3 will eventually use all three bands so will 3 which bought spectrum from EE.

    O2 and Vodophone are like to be limited to band 20 and 7.

    It would be unwise to get a phone for Europe which did not support band 7.
     
  19. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #19
    Why ?
     
  20. JackSpearo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #20
    well I sorta didn't know that at the time. It's ok though, a year from now, I'll accidentally drop it off my balcony and get a Spanish one...
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    Apple can also refuse to service any iPhone from out of your region.

    So in Europe they might not replace your US phone.

    That said unless you use the 2600MHz band in your country the US model should be fine.
     
  22. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #22
    In a few years, he will use a different phone.
     

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