According to this site, there are three models of iPhone 6: A1549(GSM), A1549(CDMA), and A1586. It says the A1549(CDMA) model "supports all the same spectrum" as its GSM counterpart, but also supports additional spectrum making it a "world phone". Does this mean the unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6 is essentially the Verizon model with its CDMA capabilities disabled? Could one go to an Apple Store, pay for a Verizon iPhone 6 in full, and pop in a T-Mobile SIM with no side effects?

4 Answers 4


The GSM side of Verizon phones are unlocked and will work on domestic carriers but there is no guarantee all features will work. It is not the same for Sprint, the GSM side of that phone is unlocked and unlocking it will only allow it to work with non-domestic GSM carriers.

A1549 (CDMA):

This is considered as the world phone version. It supports all the same spectrum frequencies as the A1549 (GSM) and also includes CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (with 800, 1700/2100, 1900 and 2100 MHz bands). Besides, it works on UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) and 4G LTE bands include bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29. The model is compatible with Verizon and Cricket in the US. However, if you buy an unlocked Verizon phone, you will be able to use it on any other GSM networks like T-Mobile and AT&T as well.

Best is to double check with T-Mobile.


Apple published detailed pages about both iPad LTE Support and iPhone LTE Support. These pages have a breakdown on device model versus carrier coverage for current (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3) and old devices.

From this table you can see carrier support per device number.

Group 1 (USA):

iPhone 6 Model A1549 (GSM) and Model A1549 (CDMA)

iPhone 6 Plus Model A1522 (GSM) and Model A1522 (CDMA)

Aio, Alaska Communications, AT&T, Consumer Cellular, Cricket, Family Mobile, GCI, Net 10, Straight Talk, T-Mobile, Union Wireless, Verizon

Group 2 (USA):

iPhone 6 Model A1586 (GSM) and Model A1586 (CDMA)

iPhone 6 Plus Model A1524 (GSM) and Model A1524 (CDMA)

Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, Chariton Valley, Chat Mobility, Defense Mobile, MobileNation, Nex-Tech, NorthwestCell, nTelos, Pioneer Cellular, Sprint, STRATA Networks, Syringa, Thumb Cellular, United Wireless, US Cellular

I find awkward that iPhone 6 on the second group has the same list of LTE bands as the iPad Air 2 listing, but the list of international carriers is shorter. This can be caused by either iPad LTE page being more up to date, or because this is actually dependent on carrier configuration and contracts with Apple.


You only run into trouble if you wanna activate your iPhone with Sprint or any of their MVNOs and don't have a Sprint-compatible iPhone, otherwise you're fine. Well, most of the time. Verizon and its MVNOs are CDMA carriers. AT&T, T-Mobile and their respective MVNOs are GSM carriers. The odd ball is Sprint in only this aspect: their phones don't work interchangeably with Verizon, even though they both use CDMA cellular technology. And up to at least the iPhone 5s (and maybe even the 6 and 6s) their iPhones don't work either with U.S. GSM carriers either, even though they DO have the GSM bands. I heard that the GSM part of the phone ONLY works internationally (in a foreign country) if Sprint unlocks the GSM part of the phone "at their discretion."


I got too carried away with complaining about the 5s and older models about their lack of compatibility/exchangeability between carriers.

Ok, as far as I know when it comes to the 6, if you buy a Verizon phone (or some other phone for that matter) these days it will work with both Verizon and any GSM carrier worldwide. This is due that Verizon phones have come with GSM cellular bands too on all their phones for about since LTE appeared. And, more importantly, those bands are unlocked, meaning that they can be used with any carrier worldwide. This is due to Verizon coming into an agreement with the FCC to have their phones unlocked in exchange for spectrum in LTE bands, or something like that. I wish that the FCC would had done the same with Sprint. So, yes, a Verizon iPhone 6 will work with T-mobile and any other GSM carrier worldwide that accepts bring-your-own-phone. These days pretty much all carriers worldwide accept bring-you-own-phone.

Finally, an unlocked T-mobile iPhone 6 does not have CDMA bands at all. It only has GSM bands, since T-mobile uses only GSM cellular frequencies. So, it will not work with CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint,

Verizon iPhones are the best choice since the 5 because they can be used with the most carriers in the U.S. I have a truly factory-unlocked 6, model 1586 (notice, not a Verizon). It's supposed to work with ANY carrier worldwide. But I haven't made sure if it will work with the odd balls of Verizon and Sprint. It does have both GSM and CDMA bands. I currently have it on AT&T.

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