I have a basic question regarding unlocked iPhones. I am looking for used iPhones to use on T-mobile, and there are plenty of unlocked iPhones available. I understand the purpose of an unlocked phone -- to be able to switch national carriers, or go abroad and use a foreign sim card. I have no intention of using the phones outside of the USA. My question is this: If I buy an unlocked iPhone that was used on Verizon or AT&T, can I use it on T-mobile and get all of the T-mobile LTE bands? Does Apple make *all* new iPhones capable of using *all* carrier bands? Are certain bands disabled when you use a particular sim card? Obviously I could limit my used phone search to "T-mobile" iPhones, but I'd also be limiting my buying choices. I searched the web and I called an Apple store, but I can't get a solid answer. Thanks
- 03-10-2014, 01:01 PM #2
Re: Unlocked iPhones
Depends on which iPhone model you are looking at. A 5S from Verizon or AT&T (unlocked) will get all bands on tmobile. A Verizon or AT&T 5 may not get hspa+ and may not get the correct LTE bands. Go to the Apple website and check which bands each phone supports.
- 03-10-2014, 05:31 PM #3
- 03-10-2014, 11:33 PM #4
You need to verify that the model iPhone you are buying has the specific bands/frequencies you're looking for.
Once the iPhone is unlocked there's no restriction on what bands will be allowed to work based on SIM card. It's a matter of if the network supports that band. This is true for the GSM companies (tmobile, att etc). however it may not be true for the CDMA ones like verizon and sprint. Even though they might both use the same CDMA they may not let other CDMA phones on their network.
See the models here:
A breakdown of LTE by band/country/carrier:
I've used my unlocked 5S model 1533 from Canada on tmobile a bunch of times and I've been able to get 2g/3G/LTE.
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