Numerous people who have imported the new Apple iPhone 5 themselves have found that it does not work in South Africa. The reasons for the problems range from unsupported frequency bands to carrier specific software settings.
The good news is that there are ways for people to establish whether a certain iPhone 5 will be suitable to be used in South Africa.
The iPhone 5 comes in various hardware platforms, which include the Model A1428, the Model A1429 (CDMA model), and the Model A1429 (GSM model).
The following guidelines may be helpful to consumers looking to purchase a new iPhone 5:
- The A1428 does not support the frequency bands to be used in SA.
- The A1429 (CDMA model) does support the frequency bands to be used in SA but is actually intended for the USA market with the intention of also supporting CDMA related frequency bands.
- The A1429 (GSM model) is the model actually intended for markets such as SA.
South African consumers should also note that there are carrier specific settings in the software builds which may cause problems to use the phone on local networks.
The South African launch date for the iPhone 5 is still uncertain, but industry speculation suggests that it may be as soon as October.
However, to date local operators were only willing to say that the new Apple smartphone will be in the country before the end of the year.