Difference between model numbers?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wildonrio, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. wildonrio macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2008
    Here are the different model numbers and specs below, found here under "Cellular and Wireless". To avoid confusion, I'm only listing the 5.5" models, although the 4.7" are analogous:

    Model A1522 (GSM) (Probably the AT&T / T-Mobile version)

    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)​

    Model A1522 (CDMA) (Probably the Sprint / Verizon version)

    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)​

    Model A1524 (???)

    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)​

    As you can see, Model A1524 is clearly the model to get as it has the most available bands. The problem is, I can't figure out which carrier this is tied to. Is this the Verizon one? The Sprint? The "unlocked" version (if that even exists at this point)? If anyone knows how to tell which models tie to which carriers, please let us know.
  2. m3nphls macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    If you go to http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE you can see that A1524 belongs to Sprint if you buy in the US. Don't do that because you will not be able to get it unlocked for use on other carriers in the US.

    If you decide to buy in the US, get the Verizon one because it will be compatible with Verizon, T-Mo and AT&T LTE. If you can go to europe and buy unlock, then go for the A1524.
  3. brian1868 macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    it's Sprint, Japan and China.
    We here in US only have the first two that are unlocked
  4. wildonrio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2008
    Thanks guys! Looks like the A1524 model offers these extra "TD-LTE" bands:

    38 (TD 2600)
    39 (TD 1900)
    40 (TD 2300)
    41 (TD 2500)

    How useful are these internationally? Which countries need them in order to have LTE speeds?
  5. Münchener Guest

    A1549 vs A1586 to use in the US and in Europe?

    Hi guys!

    I'm currently in France, and I will have the chance to buy the iPhone 6 here, or I can just wait to buy it in the US when I return next month.

    Assuming that a factory unlocked iPhone is in stock in both countries, and regardless of the price difference, which version would be a better buy? A1549 or A1586?

    I've read that they both have the exact same wireless specs, but the A1586 have an additional 4 TD LTE bands. If this was accurate, the A1586 would be a better buy, but the thing that confuses me is that the Apple LTE info webpage appears to claim that only the A1549 is compatible with the LTE bands/frequencies of AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon.

    Does anyone know if the A1586 would work in the US exactly as a A1549 would, or I will lose/complicate the LTE capabilities?

    I've also read that the A1586 is the "global" version of the iPhone 6. Why wouldn't Apple sell just one version worldwide and simplify enormously the logistics?

    Thanks for any help you can provide! I am sure there are many people trying to decide which iPhone model to buy.
  6. lie2me macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    From what I read recently about China having its own flavor of LTE (the TD-LTE) where TD stands for Time Division communication channels (FD stands for Frequency Division communication channels), the phone with the TD-LTE bands would be destined for China or an international version of the iPhone 6. Previously, Apple had special iPhone 5 models for China.


    "I've also read that the A1586 is the "global" version of the iPhone 6. Why wouldn't Apple sell just one version worldwide and simplify enormously the logistics?"

    All these extra modulation techniques are like adding a new radio to the cell phone. There may be additional chips added or additional filters added to allow for the extra frequency bands.

    If each adds $10 to the cell phone costs and Apple sells 10 million phones in the US, wouldn't it be smart to design and manufacture phones in the US without the China requirements to save 100 Million dollars? My costs per phone (less) and the number of phones sold (more) are obviously off. But it illustrates the point.
  7. Münchener Guest

    I'm starting to think that the most probable answer as to why Apple sells a seemingly lesser version of the iPhone in the US is to keep Europeans and Asians from buying them much cheaper than in their own countries. Apple seems to be deliberately confusing people about the LTE compatibility, when the existing evidence appears to confirm that all versions are the same, except for the extra LTE bands on the A1586 (which would make this model the better one).
  8. lie2me macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Frequency Bands

    There is not much CDMA voice channels used elsewhere. The US carriers Sprint and Verizon got started with CDMA voice and stuck with it. GSM voice channels are used more in foreign countries. Previously, CDMA phones could not be used in foreign countries because they lacked the GSM capability. Then cell phone makers started adding GSM capability into CDMA phones so that they could be used internationally. Add to this fact that there are many different frequency bands over which wireless signals can be used that different countries use.

    Thus, iPhones for ATT have channels dedicated to this carrier which can be used in the US as well as internationally. The ATT phones were probably the least expensive for Apple to make in the past. Add in the different GSM channels that are needed to support T-Mobile and you get a more universal GSM phone. Combine the Verizon/Sprint CDMA channels together with the GSM channels and you get a more universal GSM/CDMA phone.

    Then add on data communication channels to the voice channels and this further complicates the picture.

    Apple iPhone 6 follows the lead set by the iPad AIR in that they are more universal than the iPhone 5S. A sim card in most cases is all that is needed to move it from one carrier to another.

    The model numbers are used on the iPhone 6 because some of these phones are locked to the carrier until the contract is paid off in full. Tmobile iPhones and factor unlocked are full price but can move between GSM carriers but they don't have the CDMA radio. Verizon and sprint iPhones are locked to the respective carrier until paid off in full.

    In most foreign countries, they don't have contracts so the phones are sold full price up front. Tmobile introduced this philosophy in the US.

    Moreover, many people do not travel internationally all that often and need all the radios. Why not sell a lesser version at lower costs/prices in the US if this is the case?
  9. Münchener, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

    Münchener Guest

    You are right, there's a point in selling a little lesser version for a less price in the US. I don't know, but I assume the A1524 could be a few dollars more expensive to manufacture, and why spend that for the US market, where the only need for that model is Sprint?

    What I –and many other people– complain about is the obfuscation/disinformation regarding LTE compatibility on the Apple info page. They clearly claim that the LTE bands for the US carriers T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are only to be found on the A1522, while the A1524 is only compatible with Sprint/C Spire/US Cellular. However, the A1524 model appears to be just an A1522 plus 4 extra LTE bands, being a better model and being compatible with all US carriers. And the opposite is also true, and that's where I place the main important point: Apple is claiming the A1522 model to be not compatible with Europe and Asia LTE, which is probably a plain lie.

    If Apple says the US, cheaper iPhone 6 models are not LTE compatible for Europe and Asia, most Europeans and Asians won't buy it in the US, and instead would spend more money in their own countries. But, and here is the thing, Apple's claim on LTE seems to be untrue: any unlocked US iPhone 6 would be LTE compatible with most European and Asian carriers, save for a few that need to use the 4 LTE bands that are the only difference between the A1522 and the A1524. That's really my point on this issue.

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