iPhone 11 Sim-free iphone 11 different hardware/bands than carrier phones?

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
Can someone clear this up for me?...it's my understanding the Sim-Free phones actually have different hardware..ie. different
bands than the regular 11 phones....I picked up my 11 pro max 256gb Tmobile phone at Apple Store just now, but since I travel internationally a lot, I want to make sure I have the best phone for travelling and may return this one for a sim-free...2 guys at the Apple Store confirmed what I thought...but 2 other people seemed clueless about these hardware differences (including the manager)...

there seems to be no down side to having the phone with more bands to potentially give you better data connections abroad, right?..the frustrating thing is i'm on the iphone upgrade program and for some dumb reason I couldn't select that phone when placing my pre-order online.

Thoughts??
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
There are three versions of each phone. Looks like US, World and Chinese models. You have the US model. Sim free is the same phone.
Thank you for this VERY KEY information...I think a lot of people do NOT realize this at all...

So, my question is, is the SIM FREE phone that you can get only in Apple Store the "World phone"?..ie A2218

Once again, if you're paying $1000+ for these phones, why would you NOT get or want the "world" version??
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
You have the same phone as the sim free. All the US models are the same.
so you mean we CANT buy the world phone version here in the US?....it's a waste of time going back to swap for the sim free? (ie. no difference in the bands)
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
You can still most likely use this phone internationally.
yes, it seems like it...but won't perform as well as the "world" version..

Just to be clear, there's no special advantage of the SIM free over the carrier ones? (except maybe ATT which sounds to be more idiotic about locking)
- - Post merged: - -

You can still most likely use this phone internationally.
yes, it seems like it...but won't perform as well as the "world" version..

Just to be clear, there's no special advantage of the SIM free over the carrier ones? (except maybe ATT which sounds to be more idiotic about locking)
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
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1,526
United States
I checked the LTE bands a few days ago and the US one is only missing like 2-3 of the European one, and it looked like those specific bands were only used in certain countries or were newer deployments for certain uses. The US version will be fine in every country, just check for specific LTE bands of the countries you plan to visit.
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
I checked the LTE bands a few days ago and the US one is only missing like 2-3 of the European one, and it looked like those specific bands were only used in certain countries or were newer deployments for certain uses. The US version will be fine in every country, just check for specific LTE bands of the countries you plan to visit.
ok thanks...so no advantage to swapping this phone i got for the Sim free?
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2016
354
305
So Calif
Don't worry.
I have never had a problem using T Mobile service around the world for free.
Used my 6+, 7+, Xs Max in most of Europe, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Asia.
The only country I could not use it was in China and North Korea.
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,333
1,526
United States
ok thanks...so no advantage to swapping this phone i got for the Sim free?
US version doesn’t have bands 11, 21, 28 or 32 compared to the European one. Not sure about the Chinese one. Keep in mind the phone should work in all countries for voice and non-LTE data.
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
US version doesn’t have bands 11, 21, 28 or 32 compared to the European one. Not sure about the Chinese one. Keep in mind the phone should work in all countries for voice and non-LTE data.
right! that's the point...these missing bands are a joke
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2016
354
305
So Calif
As the PC Mag article says - it deters people from buying them here and selling oveseas where they fetch more money.
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
it's idiotic that they are gearing their product strategy based on "phone scalpers"...what about the legit customers?
 

jokerz126

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 26, 2010
185
16
Look up the actual bands that I posted, it doesn’t seem like any are necessary in Europe. The main LTE networks there use bands found in the US version.
ok got it..thanks for that

I don't know why I cant understand this...but for my small brain....the SIM FREE version would give me no benefit over the Tmobile one I picked up today? ( i don't plan on leaving Tmobile any time soon so I'd get them to unlock after 40 days if needed).
 

sneeks

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2007
747
22
Glasgow, UK
ok got it..thanks for that

I don't know why I cant understand this...but for my small brain....the SIM FREE version would give me no benefit over the Tmobile one I picked up today? ( i don't plan on leaving Tmobile any time soon so I'd get them to unlock after 40 days if needed).
Looks like you’d end up with exactly the same phone with the same available bands.
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2016
354
305
So Calif
Like I said, T Mobile works almost globally without incurring any extra fees for international data/texting.

Try that with any other carrier - they will charge you by the day, week or month.

Never had an issue with T Mobile internationally...

If you really must communicate from jungles, deserts, communist countries - get yourself a satellite phone.
 

Squeak825

macrumors 6502
Sep 5, 2007
339
153
it's a waste of time going back to swap for the sim free? (ie. no difference in the bands)
Correct...SIM free phone is the exact same phone as yours.


Just to be clear, there's no special advantage of the SIM free over the carrier ones? (except maybe ATT which sounds to be more idiotic about locking)
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No special advantage....
SIM free phone is the exact same phone as yours.
ok thanks...so no advantage to swapping this phone i got for the Sim free?
No advantage....SIM free phone is the exact same phone as yours.
I don't know why I cant understand this...but for my small brain....the SIM FREE version would give me no benefit over the Tmobile one I picked up today? ( i don't plan on leaving Tmobile any time soon so I'd get them to unlock after 40 days if needed).
No benefit...SIM free phone is the exact same phone as yours.

Actually, I have A2161 maybe because it’s the pro max?
Correct. That is the US version of the Pro Max