T-Mobile's iPhone 5 to support AWS, will ship unlocked in April

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
For its debut on T-Mobile, the iPhone 5 is being reworked straight from the factory to take advantage of the carrier's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bandwidths, a modification that reportedly cannot be done with a simple software update.

iPhone 5


Apple confirmed to Engadget on Tuesday that the T-Mobile version of the iPhone 5 carries the same A1428 model number as the AT&T iteration, but has AWS enabled thanks to a factory tweak. The change can't be duplicated by a firmware update, meaning current AT&T iPhone 5 owners must buy the newest version if they want AWS functionality.

As a consolation, the new A1428 model will be factory unlocked when it ships on April 12, the same day as T-Mobile's launch date for the device. Apple will reportedly be selling the unit at full MSRP prices in a "SIM-in unlocked fashion." While the handset has been customized for T-Mobile's AWS bands in the U.S., AT&T customers will be able to take advantage of the slightly revamped model on their 4G LTE network.

The publication goes on to say that Apple is phasing out the older A1428 model in favor of the T-Mobile-compatible version, suggesting that AT&T iPhone 5 units sold after April 12 will support AWS.

T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it will be offering the iPhone 5 as part of the company's unsubsidized payment plan, which allows users to pay a low $99 up front fee for a 16GB version of the smartphone, with the remainder of the unit's cost spread out across 20 additional monthly payments of $20.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    I'll just wait for the 5s or whatever it's called when it comes out later in the year. This year I will finally upgrade my iphone 4 - 'bout time! But might not stick to AT&T... hate their poor coverage in my town and in a lot of places I go to.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 765member
    With tmobiles possible acquisition of metropcs this year, their coverage will,improve by leaps and bounds.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    amritamrit Posts: 2member


    Seriously.  I don't see why Apple doesn't fire the CEO.

  • Reply 4 of 19
    @marokero Still using my 3gs here. I figure on getting new phones as well but am not locked into either the iPhone or AT&T this time around. I am going to look at %u2122 and I also want to take a look at the Z-10. I may hang in until summer to see if there are and Ububtu OS phones available.

    I know I am going to get flamed for this, but I am not looking at Android or Windows based phones for my own reasons. Android is a kludged together OS and I don't like the Metro interface on the Windows phones. Just my opinion on both of those and I don't mind saying so.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Interesting that they would make another iPhone 5 that specifically supported AWS. They did this once before with the iPhone 4 when they released it with CMDA/CDMA2000 support for Verizon mid-cycle. Last time Apple included Qualcomm's Mobi chip which supported CDMA and GSM-based networks in the next model. It makes me wonder if Apple will support a variable radio chip so they can reduce the cellular HW models with the 7th gen iPhone.

    If Apple can do this for T-Mobile USA they can surely support the HW needed for China Mobile so the hold up has to be about what Apple is going to allow China Mobile do with Apple's iPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,387member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by amrit View Post


    *whining*





    Buzz-off troll.

  • Reply 7 of 19
    I think the modem inside every iPhone 5 supports AWS, however I think they removed the amplifier, so it doesn't get any reception. This must be a really small change in the factory line, and most likely not something that will need Apple to restructure it's entire factory, or change component manufacturers, etc.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by amrit View Post


    Seriously.  I don't see why Apple doesn't fire the CEO.



    Apple's CEO is doing just fine.  Apple is just being Apple and is going to release their new device(s) when they are darn good and ready to thrill us as opposed to when we rumor them into existence.  It was ever the same when Steve Jobs was here.  Sure, there was a record short duration of only three years between iPhone and iPad, but there really wasn't much to change there, and the barriers to entry in the tablet market were nowhere near as challenging as those of, say, the television industry with all of its tangles of exclusivity on content.


     


    The only problem with Apple right now is the Wall Streeters who focus on near-term gains (most all of them, that is) and if they have declared innovation dead at Apple, well, then the stock price will follow in a self-fulfilling prophecy fashion.  If, on the other hand, you have a long-term view and even the insight to realize that whatever Apple has got cooking for so long is probably going to have tremendous impact, then you should view this stock decline as an excellent buying opportunity.


     


    Thompson

  • Reply 9 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think the modem inside every iPhone 5 supports AWS, however I think they removed the amplifier, so it doesn't get any reception. This must be a really small change in the factory line, and most likely not something that will need Apple to restructure it's entire factory, or change component manufacturers, etc.

    AWS is just a common name given to UMTS Operating Band IV. There was nothing removed from the iPhone to keep it from working, the spectrums were simply not added as to the design as we can see per the FCC filing. As you can see from the link there are many operating bands not included with the iPhone, or most other phones. Hopefully Qualcomm will have a variable frequency chip that can cover all the major spectrums as needed, or at least wit a certain baseband update.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    It will supports 3G on AWS. The AT&T iPhone already supports LTE on AWS. It's really a calibration/certification issue, the hardware already supports it as is but the phone doesn't come calibrated or have the FCC certification to do that.

    It does have the FCC certification to do LTE over 850/1900 though.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    edit: Reading comprehension error.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    In no way is this simply resolved with calibration. It's missing HW, period.

    See the class 2 permissive change letter in the latest article. Straight from the words of Apple
    The change filed under this application is:
    Change #1 – Adding UMTS Band IV (1700 MHz)
    The addition of this UMTS band does not require any hardware changes to the approved
    device.

    The architecture of Qualcomm's RF transceivers is that it doesn't care what signal goes out over what port. And if you read the spec sheets for the power amps Apple used, the Avago band IV LTE module already supported UMTS.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    konqerror wrote: »
    See the class 2 permissive change letter in the latest article. Straight from the words of Apple
    The architecture of Qualcomm's RF transceivers is that it doesn't care what signal goes out over what port. And if you read the spec sheets for the power amps Apple used, the Avago band IV LTE module already supported UMTS.

    I just read that on AnandTech. So they did include the proper HW with the original iPhone 5 despite not having it active. Mea culpa on that point, but it's not correct to think that all operating bands are just "tuning" like you would a car radio, which is commonly assumed, hence my reply to you. There is specific HW that needs to be added to support that feature if you do plan to use it.


    PS: This is not the first time Apple has done something like this. I think it was the iPhone 4 in 2010 that had a 5th operating band that was tested by the FCC but they never mentioned it on their site. It was one for Japan's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, which I still don't think they have contract with.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    PS: This is not the first time Apple has done something like this. I think it was the iPhone 4 in 2010 that had a 5th operating band that was tested by the FCC but they never mentioned it on their site. It was one for Japan's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, which I still don't think they have contract with.

    That was the Japanese 850 band, which is a strict subset of the US 850 band, so unlike this case, there were absolutely no changes necessary to anything. I remember RIM did the same thing, they just edited their marketing materials.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    unicronunicron Posts: 154member


    What exactly does AWS do over non-AWS? Wikipedia is rather vague about what exactly is it.

  • Reply 16 of 19
    andreyandrey Posts: 108member
    Damn, I renewed wife's contract with Verizon in December :( Epic fail. Could have her on my network.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    unicron wrote: »
    What exactly does AWS do over non-AWS? Wikipedia is rather vague about what exactly is it.

    it's just a specific radio spectrum that has a common name. Most don't but AWS does. I think Wikipedia explains why. Think of it how the UHF spectrum has a common name. It's just easier than saying UMTS-DD Operating Band IV.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Is there any chance of someone being able to install the radio firmware from the new T-Mobile iPhone 5 in other unlocked iPhones? I apologize if I sound like an idiot, I am just curious if it is plausible.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Is there any chance of someone being able to install the radio firmware from the new T-Mobile iPhone 5 in other unlocked iPhones? I apologize if I sound like an idiot, I am just curious if it is plausible.

    It's the same HW so I don't see why it's not possible but baseband firmware isn't the same as doing a firmware update on a PC. I think it's up to the JB community to figure out.
Sign In or Register to comment.