Opinions wanted - CDMA iPhone vs. GSM iPhone, which would YOU prefer?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by foreignconcepts, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. foreignconcepts macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2008
    #1
    *Before I get into my reasoning for asking this, let me say that I'm asking for comments and opinions based on technology alone - NOT the coverage, or anything else relating to each company and how they serve their customers... or not serve their customers, however you see it.*

    I'm not so sure I'd be interested in a CDMA iPhone if Verizon were to offer it. I don't want to say CDMA is "old" technology, because it's being built on just as much as GSM is, but I feel it has limited functionality in the sense that it is limited to North America. What if I end up somewhere not on this continent? GSM is pretty much a worldwide standard, with the exception of a few markets (ie - parts of Asia use CDMA 2000). It's probably safe to say that even Canada will be eventually turning off their CDMA transmitters on their towers (and by eventually, I do mean years from now, but still), as the two large CDMA providers went to GSM last year before the Olympics.

    I want some opinions from some techies here. GSM iPhone vs. CDMA iPhone. If both were on the market, carriers aside, what would you choose?
     
  2. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #2
    Resale value sucks on CDMA phones. However given the no data and voice at the same time, I choose GSM. May change if i keep dropping calls though.
     
  3. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

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    #3
    GSM. I hate having to contact someone to switch phones. I like being able to swap my sim from my iPhone into my laptop for mobile broadband at no extra charge.
     
  4. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #4
    I don't see how you can leave out coverage.

    If you need reliable calls and the GSM or CDMA coverage has holes, then the choice has to be by which has the coverage you need.

    Or if you only have GSM EDGE (no 3G) coverage where you live and work, then for sure you'd want the CDMA model for the EVDO speed and incoming call priority.

    OTOH, if you were somewhere with reliable UMTS-3G coverage at excellent speeds, the GSM model could be a no-brainer.

    If you're one of those whose job depends on simultaneous voice+data, then again the GSM model would be the choice (as long as you have 3G coverage).

    You don't have to contact anyone to swap Verizon CDMA phones. You can do it yourself either on the web or simply by dialing *228 and using your PIN. I've done it several times a day when trying out code on development handsets.

    It can take less time than shutting off a GSM phone, prying it open to get to a SIM under the battery, and then powering up another phone.
     
  5. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #5
    GSM

    Not only for resale value, but for the versatility when traveling abroad and switching between phones. It is the reason why I have no intention to leave AT&T.
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #6
    GSM, I travel alot and CDMA is a pain. Also, back home in Honduras, no CDMA networks, so screw CDMA, dead technology that should just die.
     
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #7
    Agreed. I would also choose GSM for the same reason.
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #8
    I wouldnt bother with CDMA carriers or their phones either.
     
  9. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #9
    Another consideration: your job and GSM TDMA noise.

    Example: my son is an audio engineer and he has to turn off his iPhone at times to avoid the dreaded GSM buzz.

    Example: ditto at the office around some conference room phone sets that pick up the buzz.

    That part of GSM is ancient technology in comparison to the CDMA based radios used for CDMA2000 networks and for UMTS-3G.
     
  10. Exegesis48 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #10
    The way i see CDMA vs GSM is much the way i see AM vs FM. Granted they are not truly comparatively the same, there are some similarities.

    CDMA is actually a newer technology than GSM, but operates more like AM. It provides a greater range, which is why it became popular in North America in the first place. Greater range means greater coverage, which is ideal in an expansive landscape (as we have here).

    Whereas GSM is an older, but more evolved technology. It operates much like FM, greater clarity, more feature rich, but at the loss of range. I prefer GSM, because if implemented properly, in my opinion, it is more capable of delivering a better user experience. Hopefully one day someone with the means/capability will saturate North America with the GSM towers it needs.

    I sincerely hope that I sounded like I know what I am talking about (because I don't).
     
  11. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    #11
    The GSM version of the same model tends to have better battery life with longer talk time than the CDMA variant.
     
  12. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #12
    CDMA because ATT service isn't good (in my area) However, i think the iphone (if it does come to verizon) will be LTE.
     
  13. tastychicken macrumors member

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    Sep 30, 2008
    #13
    GSM for me. I like being able to switch phones on the fly.
     
  14. Dyspareunia macrumors regular

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    #14
    GSM <--- usable planet-wide, not like CDMA where it services only a puny fraction of the world.
     
  15. pika2000 macrumors 68030

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    Jun 22, 2007
    #15
    Just to clarify, I'm sure when people today refer to GSM, they mean HSDPA/UMTS, and CDMA means EVDO, the 3G technologies. HSDPA is technically WCDMA, but since HSDPA providers usually use GSM as their 2G fallback, those terms are mixed and interchanged frequently.

    GSM for obvious reasons (worldwide coverage, simultaneous voice and data, etc), preferably unlocked. The only time I would accept a CDMA phone if it's given to me for free, including the monthly payments.

    Even if I don't travel outside the US, I would still pick GSM over CDMA. Do people want to buy a computer/laptop that can only be used in the US? Doubt it.
     
  16. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

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    #16
    GSM for me, can't give up my ability to use the phone functionality and data functionality at the same time. Also I get great coverage from my iPhone 4 in most all places. Though I will admit I have a MicroCell in my house because I live in a early 1900's Victorian home and the walls are pure rock solid plaster and i'm convinced this causes signal degration because as soon as I walk outside I get full bars. Just something weird about my house.
     
  17. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #17
    Americans tend to lump GSM and UMTS-3G together and call it GSM.

    The rest of the world tends to separate them, as they know that UMTS-3G is a different technology tacked onto older GSM systems. There are also countries that are combination CDMA2000 and UMTS-3G with no GSM at all.

    (I use UMTS-3G to differentiate that from UMTS-LTE, which is once again a totally different technology, but using the same umbrella UMTS name.)
     
  18. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #18
    supposedly verizon is testing voice over evdo for voice and data at the same time. but verizon's data network is maybe half the speed of AT&T's at this time until LTE phones come out.

    i've seen informal studies done and verizon's network averages out to under 1mpbs with AT&T twice that
     
  19. zephxiii macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #19
    I would prefer an UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ iPhone, not a GSM one (though would like to have GSM capability).
     
  20. phobic99 macrumors 6502a

    phobic99

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    Mar 3, 2008
    #20
    I've had no problems reselling my 2 Droid 1s, HTC Droid Eris, Droid Incredible for close to what I paid for them.

    While their speeds aren't the fastest, I do like Verizon's coverage. It's really nice to have a full 3G signal on a 2000 mile road trip so I can stream Pandora/Subsonic in my car with my Droid X. Using my iPad 3G I can clearly see that AT&T's 3G coverage is inferior for my needs.

    Besides, I need to take advantage of my unlimited data plan until Verizon puts the caps on it. :(
     
  21. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816

    SAD*FACED*CLOWN

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    #21

    hmmmm maybe since you're so tech savy that may be the case...most people I know who's CDMA phone breaks or malfunctions (sprint or Verizon) have to go into a store to swap devices (if they're lucky) and more than likely have to ship it off to recieve a replacement...and because of this most CDMA users don't keep old phones sitting around because they view them as disposable...GSM is by far more convenient for flexibility when switching phones for any reason...and don't get me started on traveling overseas and needing to change sim cards on the fly
     
  22. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816

    SAD*FACED*CLOWN

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    #22
    just my observation from being a long time GSM user...yes the buzz near speakers used to be a horrible pain in the arse...but for whatever reason I haven't had the GSM buzz since I started using iPhones back in '07
     
  23. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

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    #23
    GSM all the way. Phone is unlocked so I'm good to go whenever/wherever I travel.
     
  24. Zcott macrumors 68020

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    #24
    CDMA has a grand total of 14% of the worldwide market. So, anything but that.
     
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #25
    That's what, about double the world Apple computer market share?

    If people chose everything by such percentages, they wouldn't own a Mac.
     

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