Comparing iPhone 8 GSM vs Global: What’s the Difference?

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Are you looking to purchase an iPhone 8 but are unsure whether to get the GSM or global model? It’s important to understand the differences between these two models when deciding which one to buy.

The iPhone 8 is available in two distinct models: GSM and global. The GSM model, also known as A1863, is designed for use on US carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. It is compatible with smaller MVNOs like Mint Mobile or Cricket Wireless. This model can also be used on international networks, as long as they are GSM-based.

The global model of the iPhone 8, also known as A1865, is designed for use on both GSM and CDMA networks. This makes it suitable for use on a variety of international carriers in addition to those in the US. It can also be purchased as a SIM-free factory-unlocked version at Apple Store locations.

So which model should you choose? If you plan on using your device exclusively on a US network such as AT&T or Verizon then the GSM model would be best suited for you. However, if you travel often and need compatibility with international carriers then the global model would be more suitable for you. Additionally, if you want to purchase an unlocked iPhone 8 then the global version is your best bet since it is availably factory-unlocked from Apple Store locations.

It’s important to remember that both models of the iPhone 8 offer great performance and features so either one will provide a good user experience regardless of which one you choose. Ultimately it comes down to your needs and preferences when deciding between these two models of the iPhone 8.

What Does ‘Global’ Mean in Relation to iPhones?

Global in iPhone refers to the type of phone that is compatible with multiple cellular networks. The iPhone X A1865 is a global phone, as it works on both GSM and CDMA networks. This means that the phone can be used on any cellular network in the world, as long as it supports either GSM or CDMA technology. Additionally, the phone is available in a factory-unlocked SIM-free version at Apple Store, making it even more accessible to users around the world. With this type of global phone, you don’t have to worry about being restricted to certain networks or regions.

iphone 8 gsm vs global

The Difference Between Global and GSM

GSM, or Global System for Mobile communication, is a digital mobile network technology used by millions of mobile phone users around the world. It was first launched in Finland in 1991 and has since become the most widely used mobile network technology. GSM networks use an infrastructure of base stations distributed throughout an area to communicate with handsets operating on the same frequency. This allows users to make calls, send text messages, and access the internet and other services wherever they are connected to a GSM network. The standard also defines how different networks can interconnect with each other, allowing users from different providers to communicate with each other. GSM is also the basis for many other mobile technologies such as 3G and 4G LTE, which provide greater transmission speeds for data.

Compatibility of the iPhone 8 with CDMA and GSM Networks

The iPhone 8 (Model A1863) is a dual-mode phone, meaning it supports both CDMA and GSM networks. It can be used on all US carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and smaller MVNOs like Mint Mobile or Cricket Wireless. With this model of the iPhone 8, you have the flexibility to switch carriers if needed without having to change your phone.

Activating Global Roaming on an iPhone

To turn your iPhone to global, you’ll need to enable data roaming and other settings suggested by your carrier. First, open the Settings app on your device. Then tap Cellular (or Cellular Data or Mobile Data), followed by tapping Cellular Data Options. Finally, make sure that Data Roaming is enabled and any other settings suggested by your carrier are turned on as well. Before you go, it’s also a good idea to contact your carrier by phone or online to shop for international roaming plans in order to avoid fees and higher rates.

Unlocking an iPhone 8 to Any Network

The answer depends on where you purchased the iPhone 8. If you bought it directly from Apple, then it should be unlocked to any network, meaning you can use it with any carrier. However, if you bought the iPhone 8 from your wireless carrier as part of a contract or subsidized deal, then it may be locked to that specific carrier. To determine whether your iPhone 8 is unlocked or not, you’ll need to contact your wireless carrier and ask them directly.


The iPhone 8 is available in two models: the GSM model (A1863) and the global model (A1865). The GSM model works on all US carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and smaller MVNOs like Mint Mobile or Cricket Wireless. The global model is considered a global phone as it works on both GSM and CDMA networks, making it compatible with both networks around the world. Therefore, if you want to use your iPhone 8 globally, you should choose the A1865 model.

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James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.