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According to Apple, A1660 and A1661 cannot do LTE in most of the world. My experience suggests that many functions are unpleasantly slow or even impossible without LTE. But I haven't been able to find an A1784 or A1778 in Oregon or on the Apple website.

Contacted Apple and got an "expert" who insisted the A1661 works anywhere in the world and seemed to think that web page was inaccurate.

Online descriptions of LTE suggest that there is no hard-and-fast number to describe its bit-rate.

A related question suggests that I would not be happy with the CDMA choice, and the Apple page seems to say that for it to work in Japan, I have to buy a model that is crippled anywhere else.

If I get a CDMA iPhone 7, is there a reliable description of what kinds of apps will not work in Mexico City or Toronto or Madrid or Seoul or similar places?

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  • Can you clarify if you're just wondering about compatibility in terms of using the roaming function of an iPhone 7, or are you talking about if you were going to live in those places? And, are you more concerned about data speeds, or about the actual functionality supported in various locations? In a nutshell, most modern phones (incl. iPhones) are compatible with one or more of Japan's networks via international roaming. However, international roaming charges can be extremely high.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 8 '19 at 2:32
  • Roaming does not affect performance —it’s either on or off. I think I made it clear that I am trying to learn what functionality is lost by not having LTE. Or is Apple wrong when they say some models have no LTE in most countries? As for Japan, is the fellow wrong who said they have no GSM? The A1784 cannot do CDMA.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 15:29
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Yes.

Every iPhone has enough GSM frequencies to work with any carrier that wants to provide service and/or bill you international roaming.

Of course, in bad coverage areas, higher frequency signals are much shorter range so the traditional CDMA frequencies work better in rural areas.

With 250 plus carriers in 150 countries, you’ll always have some pain in some places, but an iPhone that’s still in Apple support is basically a universal communicator for social, monetary and technical reasons.

And in fact, after looking closer at the Apple page cited, we can see that the four models OP mentioned have exactly the same 41 bands.

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  • I didn’t just ask for a universal communicator. I can buy dozens of communicators for the cost of an iPhone. I guess I need to make the question clearer.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 15:36
  • Being able to go further from town is of value, too, but the “smart” functions aren’t so important there. The population thirty village I lived in in Spain had a cell tower, and the U.S.-bought iPhone 4 I arrived couldn’t do anything without WiFi. But the iPhone 7 (GSM-only) I bought in the nearest city had no issues there nor in the fields and forests of the region.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 15:49
  • I would consider iPhone 6s and newer the more universal devices. I would expect your problems with the 4 were significant as the base bands then were more limited. When I say communicator I mean viable data connection in addition to voice+sms service.
    – bmike
    Jun 8 '19 at 17:32
  • I picked 7/7+ to reduce the price but not 6 because 7 is almost waterproof. I've asked a group of Spanish expatriates for their experiences with iPhone and which model. So far, the only answers have omitted the model number! I bought an A1778 for my wife over there and it works fine here in USA. If Apple can ship them over there (or to AT&T), I don't get why they won't sell them here. I could buy one from AT&T but then I have to fight them to get it unlocked.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 18:20
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    A number of people in Spain told me that their phones worked fine there. But I couldn’t persuade any of them to reveal the model number. One of them, however, cited frequencycheck.com which prompted me to look closer at the bands specified on the Apple page. The lists are exactly the same, so I added a little to this answer and checked it.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 10 '19 at 22:27
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The Apple page you link to is a list of countries where each model is available to buy on contract, not where the LTE will work. All models support the same LTE bands, except for the Japan-only ones that support a couple of extra bands for the widest coverage in Japan, and will connect to LTE networks anywhere in the world — even Japan. You’ll just have slightly less coverage in Japan than a Japanese model.

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  • That's not what the page says. It says that for the only models I've been able to find, NO carriers have "certified for LTE" in most of the world. And then the footnotes says I might get LTE on other carriers, or I might not get it even from the allegedly certified carriers.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 18:14
  • @WGroleau Just because carriers don’t generally bother to certify their networks with iPhone models that aren’t available in their country, that doesn’t mean they won’t work. They will work. Don’t worry about the certification, just check the bands that are supported.
    – Mike Scott
    Jun 8 '19 at 18:23
  • So I should interpret that web page as meaning they don't sell that model in those countries rather than it may not work well in those countries? Hmmm.
    – WGroleau
    Jun 8 '19 at 18:30

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