GSM vs CDMA

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by IfartedInTheMaking, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. IfartedInTheMaking macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2016
    #1
    I'm going to be preordering my iPhone 7 tonight and just wondering which one should i go with. I will be going with the apple upgrade program. I currently use T-mobile and was wondering if i should preorder the ATT version or the Verizon version. I do travel over seas at time and would like to be able to use my phone world wide. Thoughts?
     
  2. max.ine macrumors regular

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    Aug 16, 2016
    #2
    GSM would probably be best, since CDMA doesn't seem to exist in Europe.
     
  3. IfartedInTheMaking, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    P.S i live in the US
    and also will the new iPhone 7 be unlocked for any carrier?
     
  4. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #4
    Info is pulled from PCMag.com

    GSM = CDMA = LTE in the sense that they are all radio systems (technologies)

    Carriers use either GSM or CDMA for 4G (as displayed on some AT&T phones that are not LTE) and below.

    AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM
    Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular use CDMA

    GSM can use voice + data at the same time (means you can talk on the phone and google an answer)

    CDMA cannot.

    Partially pulled from Wikipedia
    LTE is a different beast, it's based around GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies and provides a higher speed than your typical GSM and CDMA networks. It also works alongside those networks. So back in 2007-2012 when choosing the right carrier was that important, as the emergence of the iPhone and Android phones brought simultaneous data and voice to the limelight, most people tended to jump towards AT&T for the GSM network because, as stated above, it could do that.

    LTE is still in its infancy but people have been working hard to get voice over LTE (VoLTE), once it matures and VoLTE is available, it won't matter which carrier you go to. They are working on it because they end up saving a lot of money by being able to phase out the older GSM and CDMA towers in favor of shiny new LTE towers. (Less running cost)

    If you get a GSM phone you can only connect to towers for voice calls that transmit GSM signals (AT&T and T-Mobile towers, roaming on the off network that's not yours at really low speeds)

    If you get a CDMA phone you're stuck with CDMA towers, roaming on the other carriers.

    LTE towers provide access for both, but you'll still roam on LTE networks if they don't belong to your carrier and the speeds will be just as slow as roaming on GSM or CDMA).


    TLDR; if you want voice and data at the same time, limit yourself to AT&T(good network) and T-Mobile (ehh network), if you don't care Verizon is a great network but the bill is a bit over priced compared to other carriers, Sprint has some of the cheapest bills but they also don't have an extensive network like Verizon or AT&T.

    I'm open to corrections on this, but this is what I remember from 3 colleagues who deal with cellular networks quite a bit.
     
  5. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #5
  6. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #6
    didn't see the post from MR yet.
     
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #7
    In other words, buy the Verizon version. It works with everything.

    Nit pik: I thought we were past having different model phones tied to carriers... especially with no subsidized deals anymore.:rolleyes: I wonder why Apple would bother to make separate phone guts anymore when one could cover all bases?
     
  8. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #8
    "A customer that purchases an iPhone 7 from Apple's website and selects AT&T as their carrier, for example, would be unable to later use the smartphone on Verizon, Sprint, or any other CDMA network, even if the device is unlocked. By comparison, all iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models worked on both GSM and CDMA networks."
    --- Post Merged, Sep 8, 2016 ---
    IMHO, that's a mighty big nit in 2016/2017. We should be waaaay past this by now.
     
  9. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #9
    Didn't see the post yet, I thought they did something magical with CDMA networks, not that the bands were removed from the GSM model, thanks for the clarification.
     
  10. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #10
    You bet. Happy to help.
     
  11. IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    They should just have the Verizon/sprint model if that's the case. It would be able to work with any carrier
     
  12. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #12
    It doesn't make much sense why they would do that, but neither did Microsoft with Windows 8. Probably lower cost to manufacture.
     
  13. IfartedInTheMaking, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Does anyone know if the iPhone 7 comes factory unlocked or i gotta wait
     
  14. CAWjr macrumors 6502

    CAWjr

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    #14
    The only reason I would see for wanting one of the GSM/CDMA phones is for resale or if you ever think you may possibly jump to Verizon or Sprint. If you never intend to go to Verizon or Sprint, then buy the GSM only model. Even when you travel overseas, that phone will work as CDMA is only still used in the US by those two major carriers & other smaller local & affiliate carriers.

    Really, it all comes down to this. If you are on ATT/T-Mobile, do you want to jump through the hoops & hurdles to get a CDMA phone that you may never even need to use the CDMA radio in?
     
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #15
    If you pay full price from the Apple store it will be unlocked. Verizon is unlocked no matter what, and other carriers may or may not be unlocked if you buy from the carrier store.
     
  16. noobinator macrumors 601

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    #16
    Unfortunately if you are not a current Verizon customer you will probably not be able to buy a Verizon version. Thus, I'm stuck ordering the T-Mobile version.
     
  17. IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    isn't that only if you purchase it from your carrier store? I think you can purchase any carrier from the apple website
     
  18. noobinator macrumors 601

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    #18
    Last year and years past you had to put in verizon credentials to order a verizon version if ordering from the apple store.
     
  19. IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    that means that you are unable to preorder the iPhone for tmobile on the apple website
     
  20. noobinator macrumors 601

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    #20
    You can order the t-Mobile version without credentials. As far as I know the Verizon, ATT, and Sprint models make you enter your credentials.
     
  21. bmms8 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Hmm i don't remember that tbh. Esp if i want to buy outright but if so then i will enter in my ATT details and select in store pick up and try to get a VZ model instead at that time
     
  22. IfartedInTheMaking thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    You can enroll in the iPhone Upgrade Program online with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless.
    To enroll with T-Mobile, visit an Apple Store.
     
  23. noobinator macrumors 601

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    #23
    I'm so confused what's going on here. I'll read other replies but I wasn't aware you could pre-order a VZW iPhone tonight unless you are a current VZW customer.
     
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #24
    Not quite certain about pre-ordering (although that should be part of it), but you should be able to do it through Apple if you are just buying it for full price basically.
     
  25. bmms8 macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Im also a bit confused. Why won't apple let you purchase a full price VZ phone?
     

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