T-mobile (unlocked) iPhone 5SE will not work internationally?


    T-mobile (unlocked) iPhone 5SE will not work internationally (japan & SE Asia)??


    My current old t-mobile iPhone 5S* has worked fine (for me) in the USA and while traveling around the world (Hong Kong, Japan, etc) all without issue. I wish to buy to an iPhone 5SE but it appears model A1662 (the t-mobile model sold from apples retail USA website) will not work anywhere outside the USA!?!??!!


    I’m in Japan currently and can buy the 5SE that’s sold here… the model number is different than the USA t-mobile iPhone SE sold from apples website, I believe the Japan SE model is A1723 (see here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/). I just don’t want to buy this Japanese iPhone 5SE, return home, and have a phone that won’t work on t-mobile, or worse; maybe not work at all anywhere (since i’m always using t-mobile sim card not domestic sim card from country’s I’m traveling, maybe somehow t-mobile sim won't recognize Japan 5SE phone?).


    It’s imperative I’m able to travel with my “t-mobile-sim-card-using-phone“ and have it WORK most places (in SE asia specifically). My 5S does this fine, but apparently the SE is a downgrade in this regard. Do I not have a proper understanding of all this, am I missing something??


    TL;DR …Which iPhone SE model will work both domestically on t-mobile in USA and also internationally (primarily SE asia).

      All replies

      • e2k

        You need to know which frequencies (bands) are being used on the carrier(s) you are trying to connect to, then check them against the bands that your phone supports. Not all iPhones are created equal, and some support more bands than others.

        • wowzerz

          Not helpful.


          Traveling internationally, there's a million and one carriers, it's even more complex when hitting multiple countries in short periods. My 5S just works, it's great, it's never a worry.

          The 5SE apparently will not and that's stupid considering one of T-mobile's main selling points is: "easy international travel with our carrier".

          • drnewcomb2

            I'm a bit confused. The A1662 is the iPhone SE. I don't think there has ever been a "5" associated with that model. The A1662 has UMTS 2100 (band 1), which is the minimum required to roam in Japan, S. Korea and Singapore, plus quad-band GSM to roam everywhere else. It also has a whole lot of LTE bands including several used internationally, including Japan. Why would you think it would not work outside the US?


            P.S. Don't look at the network specs for this phone on T-Mobile's website. Someone needs to go back and redo those when they are sober.

              • wowzerz

                To clarifiy: "iPhone SE" or "iPhone 5SE" the two are used interchangeably--we're talking about the same thing: the SE model. You seem to be saying the A1662 (Tmobile USA apple store version) will work in Japan and Singapore because it does have the minimum band. I'm guessing coverage will be spotty or slow or something? I'm not sure if I understand the consequence here of having 'only the minimum band'.

                And if anyone knows the answer to this:

                Is there any reason for me to NOT purchase the A1723 (Japan) model (assuming it's unlocked)?