China Mobile: Frequently asked questions

Find the answers to common questions about the iPhone launch on China Mobile.

Are iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models for China Mobile new versions? And are there any new features?

These iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models offer all the same great customer features. Due to regulatory and carrier requirements, the models for China Mobile were certified for their 4G or TD-LTE and 3G or TD-SCDMA networks. For 4G access, you need a new 4G nano-SIM (also called a 4G nano-USIM) and should check with China Mobile about your data plan.

China Mobile models:

  • iPhone 5s (Model A1518)
  • iPhone 5c (Model A1516)

Apple Retail, Apple Online Store, and other resellers will sell unlocked versions for China Mobile:

  • iPhone 5s (Model A1530)
  • iPhone 5c (Model A1529)

If I purchased an unlocked iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c in China before the China Mobile launch on January 17th, will my iPhone work on China Mobile's 3G or 4G network?

Only certain iPhone models will work on the China Mobile network. To see if your iPhone is compatible, please check its model number, which is on the back of your iPhone, under the word "iPhone".

Due to regulatory and carrier requirements, model numbers A1528 and A1526 aren't certified for use on China Mobile's 3G and 4G networks but may connect to their 2G network. An iPhone with model number A1533 or A1532 isn't compatible with China Mobile.

Only an iPhone with model number A1518, A1516, A1530, or A1529 on the back of the iPhone is certified to support TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE in China.

My unlocked iPhone was able to work on China Mobile's 4G network, I installed a software update, and now it is no longer able to. What happened?

We've corrected an issue with some iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models that were mistakenly provisioned with the ability to connect to China Mobile's 4G network. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Will the iPhone I bought overseas work on China Mobile?

Your unlocked iPhone 5s (Model A1530) or iPhone 5c (Model A1529) that you purchased overseas, such as in Hong Kong, can access China Mobile's 2G network. These models can also access China Mobile's 3G and 4G networks with a carrier settings update. If you haven't received the settings update, go to Settings > General > About and follow the prompts. For 4G access, you need a new 4G nano-SIM (also called a 4G nano-USIM) and should check with China Mobile about your data plan.

How can I see if the carrier bundle is installed?

Tap Settings > General > About. If the bundle is installed, Carrier will appear as follows: iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: China Mobile 15.7 or later.

Can I buy the unlocked China Mobile models and use them on China Unicom or China Telecom?

Unlocked models A1518 and A1516 purchased from China Mobile can support China Unicom's 2G network only. Unlocked models from China Mobile don't support China Telecom's CDMA-based network.

Unlocked models A1530 and A1529 purchased in China through Apple Retail, Apple Online Store, or other resellers can support China Unicom's 2G and 3G networks. These models don't support China Telecom's network.

For more details, see the technical specifications for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

When traveling overseas, which networks can my China Mobile iPhone access?

  • When a compatible overseas SIM card is inserted, all China Mobile models can access 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE networks on supported carriers. If roaming agreements exist, models with a China Mobile SIM can also roam on 2G, 3G, or 4G LTE networks.
    See the iPhone supported carriers and which carriers support LTE.
  • Models A1518 and A1516 can access 3G WCDMA only while traveling with an overseas SIM or through roaming agreements with other carriers.
  • Models A1530 and A1529 can access 3G WCDMA on China Unicom's network in China.

Which features does China Mobile support?

Please see the supported carriers and features.

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