US vs UK iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ruler22, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. ruler22 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2010

    I am interested in purchasing the iPhone 6 when it comes out - however I also may be getting a work visa to work in the UK for 1-2 years (currently live in the US) in say the next few months and was wondering the best way to handle the phone purchase.

    I know there are different models sold in the US vs UK, and wasn't sure what version was best to buy unlocked? I know there are differences that can prevent LTE usage from one to the other in some cases, but not sure if one covers a bit more than the other? Obviously the 6 isn't out yet so the exact specs aren't known, but if we assume there bands that are covered are similar to the 5s, that's what I'd be interested in.

    Currently have ATT in the US
  2. Jaguarr40 macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2014
    Sarasota, Florida
    I would assume different models or not if you purchase in the U.S. and also purchase the right SIM for where you will be, The phone will work fine. LTE is going to depend on the Carrier you get on also where you will be but the phone will be LTE capable.
  3. ruler22 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2010
    What I'm referring to is here:

    While the above site has an overview of the information I'm looking for, I'm not sure how to interpret it (aka if one model is missing X LTE band vs one model that includes it - what difference does it make to me?)
  4. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2013
    You want a phone that plays well in the frequency bands 3,7, 20, 42 and 43. See this wikipedia page (, scroll down to 'Europe' and find the UK in there and it will tell you what carriers operate on what frequency band. This is for LTE, but you can find something similar for 3G as well.

    When the iPhone 6 comes out, check out this page ( that is equivalent for the phone. Scroll down to 'celluar and wireless' and it will tell you which model operates on what frequencies. Get the phone that matches the frequency to the UK carrier and you'll have no trouble.

    It might be a bit of a hassle, but it's worth it. The £ is strong and stuff is expensive compared to the USA. Just don't rush in to it and find yourself with an expensive brick when you get over here :)

  5. ruler22 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Thanks. Is there one that plays better (overall) in both markets, or am I right in assuming that a UK phone will be a little handicapped in the US in regards to 4G LTE (with a SIM for the US), and likewise a US bought phone would be slightly handicapped in the UK?
  6. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2011
    That is correct, the european models of the iPhone are incompatible with LTE in the U.S and vice versa
  7. nox5, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014

    nox5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2013
    In UK iPhones are more expensive than in USA and have less LTE bands. I think Verizon iPhone 6 will have all LTE bands and will come factory unlocked.
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

    The European iPhone 5s has LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20. The US GSM model 5s has LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25.

    You'll have to figure out which bands are used by the carriers you're interested in using and see which one is the best choice. I'd pick the US model, as it's only missing band 7. But if the carrier of your choice in the UK mainly utilizes band 7, then that wouldn't work out very well.
  9. soft-touch macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2011
    Go for US iPhone. You got nothing to worry about.
    End of Discussion!!!

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