Are refurbished iPhones GSM or CDMA?

Are refurbished iPhones GSM or CDMA?

It's tough to find the right iPhone without knowing which technology it uses. CDMA and GSM represent two different technologies, but what value do they hold today. Is this question, "Are refurnished iPhones GSM or CDMA?" relevant anymore?

Stick by this blog as here I'll break down what each does, so there is no need for confusion in your iPhone life anymore.

Is your refurbished iPhone GSM or CDMA?

When upgrading to a new carrier, it can be hard to know what type of technology your phone uses. CDMA or GSM? Well, here's how you tell them apart!

If you have ever owned any smartphone in the past few years (especially one with a Contract-free Service), then odds are pretty high that they're using either CMDA or GSM Sim technologies. Unfortunately, it also means there isn't much difference between these two types except for some features related primarily to data speed when placing calls on networks like Sprint (for example) versus AT&T.

A CDMA phone uses its link to the network. At the same time, a GSM handset requires a SIM card to connect with other phones.

To best explain what an unlocked GSM iPhone is, we'll first need to understand technical aspects. All carriers in the United States use two different technologies for transmitting their signals: GSM or CDMA (which just so happens to be shorthand names of four prominent companies).

T Mobile and AT&T are both found on this type, whereas Verison uses them but primarily relies more heavily upon one over another. It also depends on where they have coverage available at any given time.

How to find whether your refurbished iPhone is GSM or CDMA?

So, is your iPhone GSM or CDMA? Well, it's not an easy task to find out. To find your iPhone network, any of the following methods:

Method # 1: Sim Card Slot

There are two types of SIM card technology: GSM and CDMA. The easiest way to tell them apart used to be based on what you saw in sim slots. But that's changed with the introduction of new 4G LTE networks as well as 5G. Both technologies now have slots for cards, so it can get confusing figuring out which type your device uses when buying one without knowing beforehand.

But if there's no slot at all? Likely CDMA phone trademark has been absent from anything having too much space under or beside its battery compartment. It includes both old models like flip phones until recent years' smartphones sporting Nano-sized batteries rather than huge ones that need to be replaced with great frequency.

Method # 2: The Phone Settings

To determine if your device is CDMA or GSM, check its IMEI.

On the iPhone: Click on Settings > General > About > Look for the MEID number near the bottom of the menu.

If they have a listing that starts with "GSM," you are using Sprint cell service while others use AT&T or Verizon Wireless networks.

If there's no entry under "ME" but instead says something like ESN(Electronic Serial Number), then it's CDMA.

If there are both, then the refurbished iPhone support both GSM and CDMA technologies.

Method # 3: Refurnished iPhone model number

Your phone's model number is often printed on the back of it. If you've ever tried to look for this information online, then you know now there are easier ways! You can then use Google to find all details for your iPhone. About settings which will give out all sorts of other valuable information needed. 

Then the search engine will display all, including the warranty status and what type of network technology (GSM/CDMA) applies best depending on where in North America that particular device was purchased from. But, bit, it's not always 100% accurate. It's because Apple sometimes changes its policies without warning.

Method # 4: From which Carrier iPhone was initially purchased

It's generally known to this point that Sprint sells CDMA phones. In contrast, AT&T and T-Mobile sell the GSM.

Verizon uses both technologies in its networks to provide its customers with both types of technologies. In addition, they'll let you know if your phone was bought through them or directly from a manufacturer (factory unlocked).

Does GSM or CDMA matter for refurbished iPhones anymore?

Smartphone companies have been making phones for over a decade, and the technology has continued to advance. In recent years, smartphones with the support of GSM (Global System Mobile), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), or LTE have become more popular.

Today, they can connect on all networks while earlier models only had the 3G capability, which was not good enough in our fast-paced world. Here we always move around from place to place but want complete accessibility at any given time without missing anything happening locally too!

With so many choices out there, it might seem overwhelming trying to figure out what type you should get depending upon how far your plan extends and if data plans exist. Nowadays, most part carriers offer various packages starting with a low rate.

GSM vs. CDMA refurbished iPhones: What's the future?

The advancement of technology is fast bridging the gap between GSM and CDMA technologies. And with 2G, 3G phones are gradually fading out for 4G - soon, 5g will become more common as we approach 2020 (and beyond). This upgrade means you might need a new phone sooner than expected!


Have you ever considered switching to a different network? If so, then an unlocked iPhone may be right for your needs. Of course, an AT&T or T-Mobile user will want the GSM version with both CDMA and cellular antennas as it's helpful to make changes when needed without having any downtime or service interruption like what happens with Verizon subscribers. 

Now you shall grab an iPhone that's GSM unlocked. But the first preference is always an iPhone unlocked for both technology networks.