Verizon versus Unlocked - international a must!

c2cali

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 4, 2015
9
2
Hi there,

I have had an iPhone 5 for the last almost 3 years, yikes, as I work on cruise ships. I was happy to learn my iPhone was unlocked due to the Verizon/LTE spectrum agreements, but I only got crappy 3G from some of my sim cards when I traveled internationally... apparently due to the bands. I am software smart but hardware stupid.

So its getting slower, etc... and I finally broke the screen by an unlucky drop, even with a case. Time to buy a new one, which is frustrating because I know there is a new one around the corner. None the less, about to travel to Spain and Germany for a month, and I will want to buy a sim card there.

Should I buy the unlocked version from Apple, or the Verizon again from Verizon? I am sure it's also unlocked per se, but... will its bands work better with Europe and Australia's 4G better than my 5 did? If I buy the unlocked version and pay full price, will it still function perfectly with Verizon who is still my main carrier?

I know I need to just wait til September but I can't... :( or won't lol.

Thoughts/ideas??
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,991
14,637
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Well, I can't make that decision for you, but here are the facts…

1. Any Verizon LTE capable phone will be automatically unlocked at purchase. That started for the iPhone with the 5 and has not changed.

2. The SIM free model that Apple sells is actually the Sprint model. It just comes fully unlocked. The Sprint model (SIM free model) has the most bands out of all the models Apple sells.

3. The SIM free model will have it's IMEI whitelisted for all carriers. That means you can activate it on Verizon, but an actual Sprint model that has been unlocked would have to be activated on Verizon using an already activated SIM (because it's IMEI is NOT in Verizon's whitelist).

Those three little facts hopefully should help you make your decision.
 

c2cali

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 4, 2015
9
2
So obviously the TOTAL UNLOCKED version is the best choice, for working internationally and domestically on Verizon... if price is not an issue. Is that basically what you're saying?
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,991
14,637
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Yes. The SIM free version is the best choice as it has the most bands out of all the models Apple sells.

Bands: TD-SCDMA 1900F and 2000A
UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (2100, 1900, 1700/2100, 900 and 850 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (1900, 1800, 900, 850 MHz)
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and B (2100, 1900, 1700/2100, 800 MHz)
and TD-LTE (38, 39, 40, 41) and FDD-LTE bands (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29).

Both CDMA EV-DO and GSM connectivity.
 
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