10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2013 5:29 AM by MR_EVO
King Bombo Level 1 (0 points)

Apple is inconsistent on their information for the iphone 5. One the LTE info site (http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/) it lists three different models, specifically showing that there is both a GSM and CDMA version of Model A1429.


However, on the iphone 5 shopping FAQs (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone) it specifically says:


Can I use an iPhone when traveling internationally? 

iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are both world phones, so you can use them almost anywhere. Whether you are a GSM or CDMA network customer, you can roam on GSM networks in 200 countries around the world. iPhone 4 for AT&T can also roam on other GSM networks around the world. iPhone 4 for Sprint will work in approximately 40 countries and iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless will work in approximately 45 countries that use CDMA technology. Availability of LTE data on iPhone 5 varies in some countries and depends on carrier support for certain LTE radio frequencies. Contact your wireless carrier for more information regarding international roaming policies and rates.


As you can read in the bolded type above, the CDMA version of the phone will be capable of using GSM networks. Does this mean, for example, that an iphone purchased in Australia (LTE band 3 with Telstra) will be usable in the US (Sprint and Verizon LTE bands).


What I'm most interested in is using LTE in the US on an Australia purchased phone.

iPhone 5
  • King Bombo Level 1 (0 points)

    Or, alternatively, if I purchase an unlocked CDMA phone, will it work on the Australia LTE network...

  • diesel vdub Level 7 (21,995 points)

    With the 4S, there is really only one model that is sold world wide.

    With the 5, because of varying bands being used for LTE worldwide, there are 3 different models.  Even in the US, the 3 major carrier with LTE do not use the same Bands.  AT&T uses the A1428 model while Sprint and Verizon use the A1429CDMA model.


    The A1429GSM model should be capable of roaming on Verizon or Sprints network in the US but will not be able to roam on their CDMA network.  It may be able to roam on AT&T's GSM network.


    It's just really a lot more confusing and complicated than it needs to be because the carriers either cannot or will not agree to a standard frequency to operate on.

  • King Bombo Level 1 (0 points)

    The A1429GSM model should be capable of roaming on Verizon or Sprints network in the US...


    I don't think so as the A1429GSM doesn't support their LTE bands (if they are truly diferent models); however, the reverse seems more plausible (i.e. A1429CDMA on a Telstra LTE network).


    I guess the real question is will the A1429 CMDA allow a sim card from a non-US carrier (locked or unlocked).


    If so, I would buy the CDMA phone in the US, then use it on the Telstra network, then when I visit, pop in a Sprint sim and away I go.

  • King Bombo Level 1 (0 points)

    Here are a couple of interesting footnotes:


    • To identify your iPhone 5 model number, see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3939. Unlocked iPhone 5 models may support LTE networks outside the country of purchase when using a valid SIM from a supported carrier. Contact your carrier for more details.
    • LTE band support is based on the iPhone 5 model number and configuration for either CDMA or GSM networks. Band support does not guarantee support on all LTE networks running on the same bands.


    it's the second footnote that scares me. Do you think this only applies to phones that are locked to a specific carrier?

  • diesel vdub Level 7 (21,995 points)

    King Bombo wrote:


    then when I visit, pop in a Sprint sim and away I go.

    No such thing exists.  CDMA networks do not use SIMs.

  • macraptor Level 1 (5 points)

    Hmmm. I just ran GeekBench here in Sydney and it has identified my A1429 iPhone 5 as a CDMA version. Whatever, it is running fine on LTE on the Telstra network here.

    Is this just a glitch in GeekBench or is Apple really using the Verizon A1429 version interchangeably with the GSM-only A1429 as the world-phone?

    (I've put the image into dropbox - https://www.dropbox.com/s/9muneaurth...P5_CDMA%3F.png)

  • chifromnew york Level 1 (10 points)

    if you look up the iphone specs, you'll see the Iphone CDMA version covers everything the GSM version does -- and adds in CDMA support (and the relevant LTE bands).  The ATT one has diff. LTE bands.  So, if you get a CMDA/VZW unit, while in the states it can run on VZA (CDMA Tech), or  ATT (although you won't get ATT LTE speeds- only 3G due to the band limitations of that model.


    If you go with the global unlocked one (the ones released in Asia)- the LTE bands aren't the same as ATT so no ATT LTE speeds when here.  Also you'll never connect to CDMA networks (not that VZW would allow it anyways!)...so...best bet in my opnion is the VZW one, then the global one...


    (of course this is for travelers)

  • King Bombo Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info. In case others are interested, I ended up purchasing an iPhone 5 from Verizon at full price and had it shipped to AUS ($123 shipping because of the battery had to go with FedEx). Once here, we popped in a Telstra sim first thing. It started working immediately and has full functionality (e.g. 4g). Now when I'm back in the us I can also enjoy 4g with Verizon

  • Luca Gazzini Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I'm going to travel around USA next week; what I have to do in order to buy a Verizon unlocket Iphone at the full price: a contract, something else ? What do you mean as "full price"; the same price of the Apple store for the unlocked gsm 1428 model ? Does the Verizon Iphone work well with a foreigner GSM nanosim?

  • MR_EVO Level 1 (5 points)

    The A1429 CDMA/GSM is the world iPhone that is what I know.I am currently on vacation outside the US and my carrier (sprint) uses the A1429 I'm currently using a Locarno nano sim here and it works great.