Models in US that will work in Japan

in iPhone
I want to buy my unlocked iPhone in the US though I live in Japan.  I have never owned a smartphone before and the cost is high here.  Used in the US seems safer. I have a US address from which I would have my iPod sent to Japan but no confirmed PAY PAL address (though I am a verified Pay pal business address).  I am not sure if that is a problem. I hear confirmed PP addresses are only in the US.

Would like to ask two questions related to the above topic.  

One is about model numbers. For example, iPhone 6s Plus is listed as  Model A1634 in the US (as well as 1688 and A1687). But ONLY those latter models are listed as ok for Japan. Confusingly, Apple says " Models A1633 and A1634 also support LTE networks listed for Models A1688 and A1687"

1A) What does that mean as far as buying? Should I buy only 1687?

1B) Likewise with 6Plus--the US lists Model A1522 (GSM)Model A1522 but then Model A1524 (GSM) and 
Model A1524 (CDMA) are also given, also US but also Japan. Should I only buy 1524?

I want to buy unlocked because I will use a MNVO (third party SIM). Probably linked either to Docomo or AU. It is my understanding that newer models are all sold unlocked but not necessarily older ones. Very confusing.


2A) Gazelle does not list the model number. Right now there are no unlocked phones, but here is a link to one 6 PLUS. . How to know what you are buying?

2B) Swappa shows the model umber, such as here:
(But as a Japan based business Paypal account holder, I don't have a Paypal Confirmed address--though I would ship to a resending service in the US. so maybe I cannot use them?)

2C) Glyde also does not seem to list the model.

A final question is about the relative merit of Glyde's verified vs New compared to Gazelle's claim of its own 30-point inspection, and Swappa's system of listing as Mint, new retail and new resale.  

Thank you.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    arensonarenson Posts: 2member
    Hmmm. No-one knows?

    Talking with others, I have gotten some info, but it is still a little confusing.

    To clarify, plan is to buy in US and take back to Japan (because Japan new is outrageous and there are no reliable used outlets)

    Just using the 6S Plus for my example.
    Model A1634 
    Model A1633
    As I understand, this is the unlocked version

    Model A1687 (GSM)
    Model A1687 (CDMA)

    This is is the international version. And I see that Sprint and other carriers use it. Actually i see Sprint offering both phones. That seems wrong, but please see below.

    I also understand that the Japanese market uses 
    Model A1687 (GSM)
    Model A1687 (CDMA)

    Model A1688 (GSM)
    Model A1688 (CDMA)

    What is confusing is that there are unlocked versions of both phones on Swappa. 
    And there are carrier specific phones.

    For example, here, right now, I see this:
    Left to right:
    1634 unlocked, 1634 AT&T, 1687 Unlocked (??), 1687 verizon, 1697 T-Mobile, 1687 Sprint, 1634 Sprint

    This is confusing.

    Swappa currently lists unlocked models that are unlocked. But it also lists 1687 as unlocked. I thought only 1634 was unlocked. 

    These are the locked US versions for ATT, for example. You can get one and unlike it at this site.

    Can I do that with any locked phone?

    It looks like I should get an unlocked one of these:
    Model A1687 (GSM)
    Model A1687 (CDMA)

    Model A1688 (GSM)
    Model A1688 (CDMA)

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