Existing iPhone 5 handsets cannot have AWS support enabled, but Apple is shipping the new A1428 carrier-unlocked on April 12th


Starting April 12th, Apple retail shops as well as Apple’s online store will begin selling the new and gently tweaked A1428 model of the iPhone 5 . For those paying attention, that’s the same model number as AT&T sells today , but 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. That said, the A1428 edition of the iPhone 5 that Apple will start hawking on April 12th (in lockstep with T-Mobile’s launch date ) will arrive unlocked out of the box. By default, Apple will sell these at full MSRP in a “SIM-in unlocked fashion,” as confirmed to us by an Apple representative here at T-Mobile’s event in New York City . Of course, those wishing to pay T-Mob’s advertised $99.99 up front price will also be able to do so right at an Apple store, but eager jetsetters that are simply looking for a frictionless way to purchase an unlocked iPhone 5 that works on both AT&T and T-Mobile’s LTE bands have but a few weeks to wait. Oh, and yes, we confirmed with Apple that the new A1428 will indeed support AT&T’s LTE network. In other words, your T-Mobile iPhone 5 will run uninhibited on AT&T’s LTE network if it’s unlocked. To boot, Apple is quickly phasing out the existing A1428 hardware, and will soon replace all of them with the new, AWS-enabled model. In theory, that would mean that iPhones purchased through AT&T (after April 12th) would also ship with the appropriate firmware to let AWS support run free, but of course, then you’re up against AT&T’s far less friendly unlocking policy . For US users anxious to snag a truly unlocked iPhone 5 that’ll hum along on pretty much every LTE band in the developed world, Apple informed us that its 24-hour locations will begin selling these promptly at 12:01AM on 4/12. For those who order from Apple’s online site, you’ll need to phone up T-Mobile to have the unlock applied. Filed under: Cellphones , Mobile , Apple , AT&T , T-Mobile Comments

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Existing iPhone 5 handsets cannot have AWS support enabled, but Apple is shipping the new A1428 carrier-unlocked on April 12th


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