Will Apple's US unlocked iPhone work on LTE overseas?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by shunting123, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. shunting123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    #1
    Seems Apple has decided to update this table over the past several days:
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    Do we know yet whether the T-Mobile (full price) unlocked version works on UK 4G LTE? The table essentially states that it does not, but you can see that many of the bands that it does support work with a few big providers in the UK.

    Is Apple being deliberately sleazy here?
     
  2. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #2
    As long as the relevant bands are supported, theoretically it should work. However, since the US version is not officially supported don't expect support from carriers if you're having issues getting LTE working.
     
  3. bwapod, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    bwapod macrumors member

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  4. illutionz macrumors 65816

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    Rhode Island
    #4
    The only thing missing from the US Unlocked versions are the last 4 bands there:
    38 (TD 2600)
    39 (TD 1900)
    40 (TD 2300)
    41 (TD 2500)

    These are relatively new band for LTE and being used for newer rollout in some european and asian countries. The most notable country that uses those bands is China and India. Usually only smaller European carriers uses those 4 bands because most of the big names have rolled out LTE few years ago with the earlier spectrum.

    As far as the UK goes, you can use it on 3 (Band 20 and 3), EE (Band 3, and 7), O2 (Band 20), and Vodafone (Band 20).
     
  5. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Pennsylvania
    #5
    I don't understand why Apple didn't just use the models with those 4 TDD bands for every carrier. Seems like it would have simplified to use the same hardware everywhere and on every carrier
     
  6. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #6
    So Sprint has an excuse not to unlock their iPhones. :rolleyes:
     
  7. shunting123 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 17, 2014
    #7
    But why doesn't Apple just state this in the top section of the screen? They only state that the model numbers below would work for Three (as an example).
     
  8. illutionz, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    illutionz macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Because the model they are selling around the world is the one with 4 extra bands (logistics purposes, cost savings measure, whatever). Like I said, buying the T-Mobile Unlocked from US to use with say... 3 in UK will be supported 100% because they are using the supported LTE bands as I listed above. You have to remember that the page exists not to show "compatibility" per se. It's just showing which model is being sold for that particular countries/carriers set up. As long as your phone is unlocked and supports the band necessary for your carrier, it will 100% work.

    It works both ways (i.e. buying an unlocked "world" model will allow you to use it with North America carriers listed on the top because they support all the necessary bands).


    ----------

    My thought process on this is that the North America is the largest market for Apple and they are shaving a few pennies to make the version without the last 4 bands for 3 out of the 4 carriers in their largest market.
     
  9. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    Pennsylvania
    #9
    I suppose that makes sense. I wonder which version Apple will sell as the official unlocked version over here.
     
  10. illutionz macrumors 65816

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    #10
    It's probably the same T-Mobile version (since it's already unlocked anyway) and Sprint won't unlock their stuff ever.
     
  11. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I still think this was done to give Sprint an excuse not to unlock their iPhones. After February 2015 though, I think it's quite likely we'll see just a single universal model for the iPhone.
     

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