Different operators support different communication standards. This is not about generations, but about different types of communication within a single generation that are incompatible with each other. This is due to the traditions and laws of different countries, as well as the conditions of connection. Moreover, even in one country, operators of different standards often get along.

Not surprisingly, Apple takes these factors into account when producing a super-popular iPhone. Each generation of iPhone comes with different communication modules. Of course, official shipments of the iPhone in this sense are safe: the smartphone that you buy will definitely be compatible with carrier networks. And if you buy an iPhone from the secondary market? How not to be mistaken?

There are two ways to check which network the machine belongs to. The first one is to focus on the model number. It is good when it is impossible to touch the device “live” (let’s say you buy it remotely).

It is Worth to Remember

The iPhone 5, operating in GSM networks, has a model number of A1428. You can also take the model A1429: it has transmitters and GSM, and CDMA. At the same time, in order to work in GSM networks, the smartphone needs a NanoSIM card, and the CDMA number is sewn directly into the device’s memory. In a sense, it is even convenient: if necessary, the device can be used in different networks.

Read more: How to Bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone?

But the model A1442 is designed exclusively for Chinese CDMA-operators. Try to stay away from it, if only for some reason you do not need such a device (for example, you often go to China and use the local mobile communication and the Internet).

Usually this number can be read on the back of the smartphone, in the first line of the text under the word iPhone. But what if the cover on the device has already been replaced? Then you need to look in the settings of the already included smartphone.

To do this:

  • Go to iPhone Settings-> General;
  • Select the About;
  • Find the “Model Number” line in the list of characteristics and tap on it;
  • It should display the current index of the model.

Errors excluded: it is impossible to install the firmware from the CDMA model on the GSM model. However, this method is good when the device can be turned on right now, on the spot, and get acquainted with its data.

More detailed info for each model you can find on Apple Site.


If you buy iPhone in the secondary market and the seller refuses to provide you with this data – you know what to do. Refuse to buy “a cat in a bag”, and then from all the offers of this seller.

It’s the best time to ask questions and give us your feedback in comments.


Hi there! My Name is Vincent Lago! My goal is to share insightful reviews, guides, and manuals for people looking to know more about current solutions for Apple hardware and OS. I have years of technological background knowledge including owning a custom iMacs & PCs which was using for different types of business. And now, I want to share my experience with you.

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