How To Tell If Your iPhone Is Global Or GSM?

How To Tell If Your iPhone Is Global Or GSM?

Written by Mohit Rajora, In How To, iPhones, Published On
October 31, 2022


With a smartphone these days you can do a whole variety of activities and functions. But we are all aware of the main purpose for which the mobile phone was invented. Let’s go even back in time to when the first telephone was invented. The telephone was invented so that people could talk using waves and signals. But these telephones were immobile. This immobility was a drawback and was the cause of why mobile phones were invented. So yes, ultimately a cell phone is primarily used to talk to people, and communicate with them. Well, have you ever wondered how that happens? Yes, of course, it’s science, signals, transmissions, and waves. But do you know about the two different bands that are used to provide people with these cellular services? If not, you should definitely read further as we discuss both of these and also discuss how you can know which band your iPhone supports.

How To Tell If Your iPhone Is Global Or GSM? 

The two bands: GSM and Global

Smart devices and cellular services are provided to users either using the band GSM or Global. What are these? Let’s see. 

GSM and Global, these two words might sound insignificant to you, but the impact they have on the quality of the cellular service being provided to you and most amazingly, the effect it has over the phone type is quite significant. Yes, you read that right, changing the band also affects the type of phone. So, after all, what’s the difference between the two? That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in the next section.

Difference between GSM and Global

Since we already know how big of an impact these bands can make on our phones, it’s crucial to know the difference between the two, so that you know what it is that is going to suit you best and hence you look for the same in the smartphones when you buy them. The major problem with iPhone users is it’s quite hard for them to figure out whether the iPhone is GSM or Global. But in this section, as we discuss the differences between the two and how they are distinct from each other, we are sure you’d be able to make the distinction between the two by the end of this article. So just keep reading further. 


GSM stands for Global Systems for Mobile. The main distinction between these two bands is that with GMS, the customer information is stored in the SIM card, which makes it easy to move that to a new phone. GSM, as the name suggests is a network that can be accessed by all companies. The best part about GSM is that it supports the transmission of data and voice, both at once. But yes, of course, there are some drawbacks too. With GSM, there is less safety over the network that you are connected to since there is no built-in encryption. And yes, you are always going to need the SIM card to access the network and the corresponding services. 

Global or CDMA

This is the second type of network band. Global also goes by the acronym CDMA which stands for Code Division Multiple Access. Well, this band is special because not all companies can use this band. Only certain “whitelisted” companies are allowed to access CDMA. There is yet another drawback here, unlike GSM, CDMA does not support the transmission of both data and voice simultaneously. Unlike Global, the information is stored in the phone or maybe a headset but never on a SIM card. Let’s talk about the advantages. CDMA has built-in encryption that makes your connection over the network ten times safer and more secure. And, yes you would not need a SIM card on you always to use the services. 

Is my iPhone Global or GSM?

Now let’s talk about the actual problem. You are unsure about the band that your iPhone functions on? Well, just be with us for a couple of minutes more as we’re going to tell you the way by which you can know the band that your iPhone is working on with ease and zero complications. 

Identifying the iPhone model?

One way to identify whether your iPhone is Global or GSM is to simply look for the model number. This is how you can check what model of iPhone you are using:

  1. Open Phone Settings.
  2. Navigate to the General section.
  3. Click on About. 
  4. Here, scroll down to see the model number of your iPhone.

Sometimes you’ll also be required to tap on the model to display the model number to you. This model number that we just found out is going to help us in identifying whether the iPhone is global or GSM. So make sure you note it down somewhere. 

How To Tell If Your iPhone Is Global Or GSM

How do I know if I have a global or GSM iPhone model?

Once you know the model number of your phone, it is very easy to tell whether the phone is global or not. You simply have to look for the model number in the table below to get to know about your phone’s band type. 

iPhone 5s Model A1533 Model A1453
iPhone 6 A1549, A1589 A1549, A1586
iPhone 6 Plus A1522, A1593 A1522, A1524
iPhone 6S Plus Model A1634, Model A1687, Model A1699, Model A1690 Model A1687
iPhone 7 Model A1660, Model A1778, Model A1780 Model A1660, Model A1779
iPhone 7 Plus Model A1661, Model A1784, Model A1786 Model A1661, Model A1785
iPhone 8 Model A1863, Model A1905, Model A1906, Model A1897 Model A1863
iPhone 8 Plus Model A1864, Model A1898 Model A1864
iPhone X Model A1865, Model A1901, Model A1902 Model A1865
iPhone 11 These Models Support Both GSM & CDMA
iPhone 12 These Models Support Both GSM & CDMA
iPhone 13 These Models Support Both GSM & CDMA



We hope we were able to explain it well to you how easy it is to know whether your iPhone is global or GSM. Having read this article, you also know what actually is the difference between the two and now you’ll be able to take appropriate decisions for yourself when purchasing your next phone. 

Related articles
Join the discussion!