I'm looking at the new iPhone SE and was wondering if you're going to pay in full for the phone ($499) is the sim free phone different than the Verizon carrier specific one? I read somewhere the sim free had 1 extra band (so maybe that is better if you want the flexibility to change carriers later)? Verizon is my current carrier, and I'll start the phone there but could see moving somewhere later if the deals are worthwhile. Once I put a Verizon sim (which the Apple Store will give you for free) in the sim free one, is it the same as the Verizon specific one (and conversely if I get the Verizon specific phone and take out the sim for another can it go to any GSM network)?

1 Answer 1


The only difference is cost.

Now that we've moved into a contract-free phone era, service providers, like Verizon, will offer to let you make a payment plan instead of paying for the phone upfront. In the end, the cost is the same as the SIM-Free version, but the Verizon version only works on Verizon until they unlock it.

Conclusion: Verizon iPhones are physically the same as SIM-Free iPhones, but Verizon has more control over the Verizon model.

Bonus note:

If you are considering getting an iPhone and are on AT&T or T-Mobile, the SIM-Free version will be a better deal because only the SIM-Free, Verizon, and Sprint models support CDMA, which is needed for those networks.

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