I thought all 5s Models were the same?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AnthonySager, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. AnthonySager macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2010
    The local Apple Store (120 miles away) has all the Verizon models in stock but nothing AT&T. I thought they made it to where all were the same. Can't they just pop in a different sim and walla?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Psychically the Verizon and AT&T models are the same, but only the Verizon's ESN is registered on Verizon's network and will be allowed to connect to it.
  3. anonnymouse macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    Partially correct. The GSM and CDMA "models" have the same LTE bands for use in many more countries with one phone than with the iPhone 5, but the Sprint A1453 has one additional band that makes it a different phone than the AT&T/VZ A1533. The 5s is pre-packaged as a specific carrier's phone, so even the A1533 is split into separate SKUs. The AT&T and VZ phones are otherwise the same.

    It would be nice if Apple could leverage the logistics to allow a single model to service either AT&T or Verizon, but I imagine carrier deals have something to do with it.

    It's a bit of a logistical nightmare back-of-house too, with 95 different SKUs between the various 5s and 5c combinations. I'm quite sure that Apple would simplify the stock mix if they could to ease the supply chain, but there's a reason they can't (again, probably carrier requirements - but I could be wrong).


    [edit: Intell got it more correct than I did]
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's mostly contractual. Each carrier agrees to buy a certain number of phones. Apple likes it because they have some guaranteed sales. However, the carriers don't want a "Verizon" phone being sold to someone to use AT&T, etc. so each carrier gets an allocation. Those of us on AT&T or T-Mobile can circumvent that a little bit as we can use any of the Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile phones on our networks if we buy them device-only (and thus unlocked) from Apple, but we're a small part of the market. Most people buy their phones on contract, and each carrier wants its own "share" of Apple's production.

    With Sprint and VZW there's yet another wrinkle in that since they are CDMA, they can block any phone that doesn't have an ESN registered to their voice network.
  5. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2011
    Yea I g fed up with Verizon. Bought a T-Mobile iPhone 5S and plan on switching t them when my contract with VZ ends in two weeks. I tried putting my VZ sim into my new phone but it wouldn't connect to their network. So I'm using my iPhone 5 until my contract ends and I sign up with t-mobile.
  6. springsup macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2013
    There were open access rules that were supposed to prevent junk like this from happening, but it seems Verizon is just ignoring them.

    It's not just the iPhone; they're doing it with the Nexus 7, too.

    My advice would be to sue Verizon. It may sound drastic, but that's how it works. Companies make up crazy illegal policies, and people just accept that they must have the right to do that and give up. Eventually somebody will sue, the company will have to pay a small fine, and they get on to inventing the next crazy illegal policy.

    By doing this, they keep this perception that other iPhones are incompatible with their network (or that theirs are incompatible with other networks). This makes people less willing to switch. You might think that's bad for Verizon's ability to attract new customers; but they're a big enough carrier that the reduction in people leaving the network makes it worthwhile.

    I've got to say I'm glad I don't live in the USA; companies gouge people there like nobody's business. Stuff like open access (for ALL of the spectrum) should be common sense, or if not it should be guaranteed by law.

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