Which iPhone 7 model for traveling abroad?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Doc69, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    I'm confused by the new LTE page for iPhone 7 (http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/).

    While I understand that the T-Mobile/AT&T models A1778/A1784 does not work with Verizon or in countries that use CDMA, how come that the Verizon/Sprint models A1660/A1661 does list any other countries than China, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and USVI? Shouldn't the A1660/A1661 models work in all the countries of models A1778/A1784 plus these additional four?

    And what about the "carrier free' model that is usually released several weeks after the initial release? Will that one work in the most countries? I travel a lot and would like to be able to use my phone mainly in Europe but also in China and Japan. I use T-Mobile here in the US.
  2. Jetro macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2016
    I'd get the Verizon or sprint model for the Asian countries. You'll need some kind of cdma antenna.
  3. rtr1985 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2012
    I can confirm that a "device only" 7+ Sprint model worked fine when AT&T sim was inserted and then device powered on.
  4. SHKLMRE macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2013

    Second to confirm! Worked totally fine for me.
  5. Dirtydutch macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2015
    And there seemed to be quite a few plus Sprint models at the Apple Store the last few days, with a reservation tho of course
  6. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    The verizon phone should work in all countries that the ATT/Tmobile phone works in
  7. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    Exactly my situation. T-mobile is great when you travel. But then if the phone doesn't connect, it's worthless. Since I preordered through T-mobile (for the free phone), I'm stuck with the GSM version. I really hope it will still work in Asian countries (notice the wording on the webpage "For a list of carriers that have certified their LTE network on iPhone, refer to chart below1. Many more carriers may also offer LTE on iPhone")

    Why oh why did Apple have to put clearly inferior modems in some of the phones? For a few dollars more profit.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Yes it does. That chart just lists which carriers sell each version. The Verizon model works anywhere the AT&T version does and also with CDMA networks.
  9. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    1. it is highly unlikely you can roam on CDMA bands globally... most phones default to GSM
    2. for every Asian country (or any country) with an operator that uses CDMA (e.g. China, Japan etc) you will find two or three using GSM
    3. most travelers will buy a local SIM at destination point and use the local GSM network
    4. since you already have T-Mobile, you can use GSM data networks in over 120 (or something?) countries

    so what is this "clearly inferior" modems you speak of?

    @Doc69 the LTE bands in your T-Mobile phone will work Japan, China, Hong Kong, S. Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sweden... these were the countries i went to with my iPhone 6. i'm sure there are others. the 7 added some additional bands so i assume it'll work in more places

  10. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    As far as I know, the iPhone 6 has a Qualcomm modem that supports CDMA, so I'm not sure you can conclude that because the iPhone 6 worked, the iPhone 7 will work.

    Your argument is that it really depends on the frequency bands, not CDMA versus GSM. I hope that is true, but I'm not 100% convinced. The official information is not there yet. T-mobile has a page that states where a phone works internationally, but I don't know if it has been updated for iPhone 7.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2016 ---
    Well, T-mobile gives the answer at the bottom of this page


    The answer for iPhone 6:

    Your device will work with networks in South Korea.

    The answer for iPhone 7:

    Your device will not work with the networks in South Korea.

    So, yes, for Apple to get a few more dollars in profit disabled a lot of international networks.

    Thinking of returning the iPhone 7.

    Anyway, it seems now the free international data is only included with T-mobile one, not simple choice. So much for uncarrier.
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It will still work with LTE networks in Korea. SK Telecom uses UMTS 2100 (voice and data), and LTE Bands 1, 3, and 5, all of which the T-Mobile iPhone 7 supports. You just can't fall back on their CDMA voice network.

    But the better bet is to wait for the SIM-free model. Also, T-Mobile could have insisted on the Qualcomm modem if they wanted. Apple made a business decision to diversify suppliers, because, hey, a Qualcomm monopoly isn't exactly consumer-friendly either.
  12. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    perhaps i was not clear.

    as far as i know, there is no easy way to roam globally on CDMA. the addition of CDMA capabilities does not help the OP roam in Asia. even if he / she was some how able to get provisioned on to a CDMA-based network, it is likely easier just to pop a local SIM in cause the 7 supports ~20 LTE bands. finally, most operators are (or have already) decommissioning CDMA based networks and reallocating the spectrum for LTE.

    global roaming / service will work on the 7 because of LTE support. the CDMA chip sold in the US is useless once you leave the country.

  13. se1000 macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2014
    LA, CA
    Why not choose to buy the model with the ability to connect to CDMA networks though? It has all of the other bands that the GSM only model has. There is no downside.
  14. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    And a CDMA radio!
  15. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    sure, there is no issue with buying the CDMA capable iPhones.

    i was mainly addressing the OP who is a current T-Mobile customer, i assume looking at a T-Mobile phone and inquiring about its global roaming abilities in Europe, China, and Japan without a CDMA radio. main takeaway is that T-Mobile already negotiated LTE roaming in those three regions. and even if T-Mobile did not, it would still be easier to buy a local GSM / LTE SIM versus calling an operator and explaining them why you need to be provisioned on their CDMA network.

  16. Jetro macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2016
  17. Doc69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    That would be great. If so, I would buy a Verizon model A1660 (CDMA). That would give me the most options. However, since the document clearly says "Supported LTE Networks", and not "Sold through these carriers, I would appreciate if you or someone else could confirm that this is 100% correct, i.e. that the Verizon version A1660 (CDMA), also works on all the GSM networks listed under model A1778. But I assume you're right since the actual listed LTE bands are the same for both models. Just weird and confusing that Apple did not list all the countries and networks under the A1778 model, also under the A1660 model for clarity.
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    That's changing a bit. Verizon and Sprint have switched to using the SIM card to "subscribe" carriers to the network. I believe when I was in Japan last year I did drop down to 3G.
    Yes it works on other networks. I am using my Verizon model on AT&T.

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18 September 19, 2016