T-Mobile's iPhone 5 is a Tweaked Model A1428 Phone with AWS Support

iphone_5_black_whiteThe iPhone 5 that will be sold through T-Mobile is a modified version of the A1428 iPhone 5 that is currently produced for AT&T's network, among others. The new version of the A1428 has been tweaked on the hardware side by Apple to support Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bands for T-Mobile's network.

According to an Apple representative that spoke to Engadget, existing A1428 phones cannot be updated to add AWS support.

Apple’s enabling support of the AWS bands from the factory on the new guy – and sadly, Apple affirmed to us that it's not something that can be enabled via a simple software update for A1428 iPhone units already in circulation. To say that another way, existing iPhone 5 owners on AT&T cannot simply apply a software patch to have AWS support added. You'll need to buy a new phone next month.

On April 12, which is the date that T-Mobile's iPhone 5 launches, Apple will be selling the new version of the A1428 iPhone. This phone will be available unlocked at full retail price through Apple, and will function with both the T-Mobile and AT&T networks, as well as on many LTE bands around the world.

Apple plans to phase out the existing A1428 hardware in favor of the new version, which means future phones from AT&T might also ship with AWS support included. While the current A1428 phone works with T-Mobile's network, it is notably slower than the modified version.

Apple's iPhone 5 with AWS included will be available at 12:01 a.m. on April 12 from 24-hour locations, and phones ordered from Apple's Online Store can be unlocked (after full payment) through T-Mobile.

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Top Rated Comments

bradl Avatar
146 months ago
Not giving a #%@$ as im stuck with ATT

Then why did you post in the thread?

I would say that you should care, because it means that not only is this version of the iPhone 5 now to be more sought after, you could now take it to another non-CDMA carrier without suffering any degradation of service due to the same bands being supported.

BL.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RichardC300 Avatar
146 months ago
i thought verizon has always been considered the best. :confused:
lol!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
146 months ago
The next year or so is going to be wacky on the resale market. People will have to really do due diligence to make sure (if they are buying a used phone) that they are getting the "right" one.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Trius Avatar
146 months ago
As an Apple supporter since ~1992 when I got my first computer this is one of their first moves that has royally pissed me off.

Glad I get to sell my unlocked iPhone a1428 and go buy the exact same phone again.

The built in radio already supports these frequencies I fail to see how they cannot update the baseband in a future iOS to save me from paying 8% tax on $749 again ($59.92). Plus the added joy of whatever loss I take from reselling an iPhone 5, doubt I'll be getting a full $749 for my used phone.

This is the first thing to piss you off in 20 years?? Adding another wireless frequency to the iPhone? lol
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gtgrad95 Avatar
146 months ago
Ok, after spending a few hours researching this, here is how I understand it:

Existing A1428 on T-Mobile
--------------------------

- Will be 3G in refarmed (1900Mhz support) areas
- Will be EDGE in non-refarmed areas
- Will work on LTE once deployed (Band 4 LTE supported)

New A1428 on T-Mobile
-----------------------
- Will be 3G in all areas (due to AWS 1700 Mhz 3G/4G support added)
- Will work on LTE once deployed

So, it looks like the existing unlocked iPhone 5 users on T-Mobile won't have to buy new hardware to get LTE. The only difference is they will be stuck with EDGE in non-farmed areas, whereas the new iPhone 5 owners will get 3G everywhere.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Diode Avatar
146 months ago
Had to be. Adding 1700MHz band to LTE seems like a nice maneuver.
Current AT&T phone already supports 1700 LTE. This "tweak" is adding 1700 3G.

as well as on many LTE bands around the world.
It also seems they are adding more bands LTE bands though? Wondering if they are adding 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz) and 5 (850 MHz)? Essentially combining Model A1429 and Model A1428?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)