This week in our “Ask the Phone Doctors” series, we bring to you the answer for a common question that we get from customers who are looking to buy a Phone Doctors DIY Kit in order to replace their own iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S broken screen.
“Do I have an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S, and how can I tell the difference?”
But first, it’s important that we answer another question. Simply because you need to know the difference if you have an iPhone 4.
“What is GSM and what is CDMA?”
GSM phones are the most common band of phones in the United States and throughout the world. In the United States, the largest GSM phone carrier is AT&T. In Canada, the largest GSM phone carrier is Rogers. This is important because the parts for GSM phones typically do not work with CDMA phones.
CDMA phones are common in the United States with Verizon and Sprint. These phones often look a lot like GSM phones, but they are on a different spectrum of carrier waves than GSM phones.
And just to make things a little more confusing. iPhone 4S works with both GSM and CDMA carriers. That’s right. The iPhone 4S works with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, to name a few. The hardware is designed to work for both GSM and CDMA, and the software that comes with the phone is what determines how it connects. The great part about this is that if you have an iPhone 4S, then you simply need any part that is designated as an iPhone 4S part.
Just to be clear. iPhone 4 parts almost always do not work with an iPhone 4S, and the parts for an iPhone 4S typically do not work for an iPhone 4.
So, how do I tell the difference between an iPhone 4 GSM, an an iPhone 4 CDMA, and an iPhone 4S?
Look on the metal mid-frame. Is there a black line above the volume & mute buttons? Now, is there a SIM card tray on the right side of the mid-frame? These are the things to look for.
iPhone 4 GSM - The iPhone 4 GSM version is offered by carriers world-wide. Carriers that offer the iPhone 4 GSM model include AT&T, Rogers, Vodafone, and T-mobile.
The iPhone 4 GSM will always have a SIM card tray. The SIM card tray is located on the right side of the mid-frame. And yes, there is a black line near the bottom, but it’s like that on all of the iPhones.
So how is the iPhone 4 CDMA different?
iPhone 4 CDMA - The iPhone 4 CDMA was originally released by Verizon and was later offered by Sprint prior to the release of the iPhone 4S. Both Verizon & Sprint still offer the iPhone 4 CDMA model.
You will notice on this model there are 2 black lines located at the top of the mid frame on both the left and right side.
The iPhone 4 CDMA model will not have a sim card tray on the right side of the mid-frame.
iPhone 4S - The iPhone 4S is manufactured in both GSM & CDMA technology. Carriers world-wide offer the GSM version of the iPhone 4S where as the CDMA version is offered primarily by Verizon & Sprint.
You will notice on this model there are 2 black lines located at the top of the mid frame on both the left and right side. The iPhone 4S will also include a SIM card tray.
Now you know. iPhone 4S phones have a black line near the top of the phone AND a sim tray.