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Does the iPhone 5 require a factory reset to switch from GSM to CDMA

8743 Views 105 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2014 3:08 PM by HazelhoffHenk RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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HazelhoffHenk Calculating status...
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Jun 16, 2013 9:03 AM

Before I ordered my iPhone 5 from StraightTalk I explained that I wanted to use it as a CDMA (Verizon) in the US and as a GSM (Vodafone) in Europe.

I specifically asked if the phone would become a CDMA phone again when I removed the Vodafone GSM Sim after returning to the US. The answer was Yes.


The CDMA function worked well in the US and the GSM function worked equally well in Europe.

However, when I did remove the GSM card, the iPhone 5 stopped working.


According to StraightTalk, the only way to return to the CDMA function is to have them do a factory reset, which means loosing all data and downloaded apps.

Of course, nobody told me that when I asked the question.

Does anybody know if this is a requirement for every iPhone 5 or just for StraightTalk phones?

iPhone 5, iOS 6.1.4, StraightTalk iPhone 5
  • 12342dawe Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)

    GSM and CDMA are different hardware configurations. Restoring or resetting a device should not affect anything...

  • amy_lou Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)

    straighttalk is definitely not the authority on how iphones work. next time you want to get a real answer about a phone, speak to the people who are the experts on it - the manufacturers

  • chattphotos Level 4 Level 4 (1,180 points)

    ST's information is inaccurate.


    The only time you ever have to erase your phone is to complete the carrier SIM unlock.


    But what do you mean by "phone stopped working" as in it no longer powers on? No Verizon carrier access?


    My Sprint iPhone 4S is operating normally here in Europe, I change SIM cards whenever I cross into Germany, and the phone keeps working normally.


    The change back to CDMA mode is nearly immediate upon removal of a SIM card so what is your phone not doing?

  • KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (35,975 points)

    You can NOT use a straightalk iPhone 5 on Verizon. Ever. The only CDMA carrier it can be used on is straighttalk. If you wanted to use Verizon, you should have purchased a Verizon phone.

  • KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (35,975 points)

    You need to put the StraitghtTalk SIM back in the phone. Is it in there, or did you just remove the Vodafone SIM?

  • KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (35,975 points)

    No, it doesn't. But some CDMA carriers use the Nano SIM in the iPhone 5 for activation, and it is used for LTE.


    Did the phone come with a SIM from StraightTalk? If it did, then put it back in.  StraightTalk can get access to the same coverage as Verizon, but you can not have the phone activated by Verizon for use on an actual Verizon plan. That's what was implied by your initial post. StraightTalk may use the same network, but it is not Verizon.

  • tonefox Level 5 Level 5 (7,695 points)


    Since Apple makes it so easy (assuming that you do backups),

    Congratulations: you have struck the Motherlode!  

  • KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (35,975 points)

    HazelhoffHenk wrote:


    Well, I am back again and my iPhone 5 is now working as a CDMA phone.

    During my telephone calls with StraigtTalk it became obvious that they knew very little about the iPhone 5.

    Not surprising when your phone company is Wally World.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    The iPhone 5 has CDMA and GSM built in. There are only 2 hardware configurations, and both support BOTH CDMA and GSM. The only difference is the LTE bands supported.

  • toronbolo1972 Calculating status...

    oh ok if go 6 month vacation to europe i can use my iphone 5 cdma model a1429 with on straight talk in europe use a sim gsm and when i return remove the sim gsm and reset my iphone 5 back to cdma with straight talk

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