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What are all the differences between the iPhone 6 models?
Please note that the iPhone 6 has been discontinued. However, this Q&A has been updated with the latest on iOS support and more and can be quite helpful for anyone considering one of these models on the used market.
It would be easy to assume that there only is one iPhone 6, and anticipate that EveryiPhone.com would merely cover the color, capacity, and price options. However, there actually are four distinct iPhone 6 models.
Although four models may seem complicated, it is thankfully simpler than the eight distinct models for the iPhone 5s that came before the iPhone 6.
To make identification and differentiation easier, EveryiPhone.com has uniquely documented the four specific iPhone 6 models as the iPhone 6 (GSM/North America), 6 (CDMA/Verizon), 6 (Global/Sprint), and 6 (China Mobile).
These four models look identical, but there are important differences in carrier distribution and network support. At the initial time of purchase, the number of iPhone 6 models available in any one location is limited, but as time goes on and more-and-more find their way around the world on the secondary market, specific identification info and network support details for each becomes increasingly important. It is worthwhile to be aware of the similarities among the models, too.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPhone 6 - Front, Back, & Side -- Space Gray Option)
External Similarities & Differences
All iPhone 6 models have the same 4.7" multitouch IPS LED-backlit "Retina HD" display with 1334x750 resolution at 326 ppi with a 1400:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 typical maximum brightness as well as "dual-domain pixels" for an improved viewing angle. Although this display is quite sharp, it is worth noting that it is not true "HD" (1920x1080), so Apple's "Retina HD" branding is a bit misleading.
All iPhone 6 models also use the same 5.44" x 2.64" x 0.27" largely aluminum body design with smooth, rounded edges reminiscent of Apple's earlier iPod touch 5th Gen. Unlike the iPod touch 5th Gen, though, which has an entirely flat display, the iPhone 6 glass display itself curves toward the also rounded sides for a "completely smooth and continuous surface." Android enthusiasts might also notice that the "embedded stripes" antenna design on the back of the iPhone 6 looks a bit like the rear antenna design on several models of the previously released HTC One series, as well.
Each iPhone 6 model originally was available in three color options -- Silver, "Space" Gray, and Gold.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPhone 6 - Silver, Space Gray, & Gold)
Silver (left) has a white glass front and a silver colored aluminum back, Space Gray (center) has a black glass front and a gray aluminum back, and Gold (right) has a white glass front and a gold colored aluminum back. On September 9, 2015, Apple discontinued the Gold color option, but it remains available on the used market, naturally.
Regardless of color choice, each iPhone 6 has an embedded "Touch ID" fingerprint sensor in the home button, a bottom mounted headphone jack, microphone, Lighting connector, and a single built-in speaker as well as an on/off switch and Nano SIM access panel on the righthand side. They ship with "EarPod" headphones that include the integrated Remote and Mic, too.
All iPhone 6 models have front and rear cameras of identical quality.
The front "FaceTime HD" camera has a 1.2 megapixel sensor (1280x960), an f/2.2 aperture, and is capable of recording 720p video.
The rear "iSight" camera has an 8 megapixel sensor with 1.5µm pixels, an f/2.2 aperture, and is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 fps or 60 fps. It also has a dual LED "True Tone" flash, backside illumination sensor, five-element lens, and a hybrid IR filter.
Just as it does on the earlier iPod touch 5th Gen, the iSight camera on the iPhone 6 protrudes a bit from the housing.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPhone 6 Rear Camera)
Although this is unlikely to be a major issue, the camera "bump" does mean that the iPhone 6 will not sit entirely flat when placed on a table unless it is in a case.
Two of the four iPhone 6 models can be uniquely identified by Model Number, which is listed on the back of each device in tiny type. The other two iPhone 6 models are a bit more complicated to pinpoint.
Nevertheless, the four different iPhone 6 models have these model numbers:
As noted above, two of the iPhone 6 models -- both distributed in the United States -- are the challenging ones to identify as they share the A1549 model number.
Consequently, if the A1549 iPhone 6 will boot, the most convenient way to uniquely identify it is with the Order Number -- which Apple refers to as the "Model" within the iOS -- or by its Serial Number listed in software.
To find the "Model" and Serial Number, touch the "Settings" icon on the homescreen and select General > About and then scroll until "Model" or "Serial Number" is visible. The "Model" identifier looks like MG5W2LL/A, which specifically refers to the Verizon A1549 iPhone 6 in gray with 16 GB of storage.
Once you have located the "Model" or the device serial number, EveryiPhone.com's Ultimate iLookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app for iOS 5 or later, Android, and Kindle Fire -- can identify it precisely.
Each iPhone 6 model supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and specifically 802.11ac with speeds up to 433 Mbps, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz).
All other connectivity varies by model:
|6 (GSM/North America)||A1549||850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||None||None||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29|
|6 (CDMA/Verizon)||A1549||850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||None||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29|
|6 (Global/Sprint)||A1586||850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||1900 (F), 2000 (A)||FDD-LTE (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29); TD-LTE (38, 39, 40, 41)|
|6 (China Mobile)||A1589||850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||None||1900 (F), 2000 (A)||FDD-LTE (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29); TD-LTE (38, 39, 40, 41)†|
In the US, the GSM version of the A1549 iPhone 6 is sold unlocked and without a contract on T-Mobile and it does not support CDMA networks. Apple refers to this model as the "T-Mobile" iPhone 6. Starting on January 6, 2015, Apple also started selling an unlocked version of the A1586 "Global" iPhone 6 in the US, which Apple refers to as the "Unlocked" iPhone 6. Although Apple makes no mention of it, and it is bound by a two-year contract, the iPhone 6 is offered unlocked on Verizon, too.
The China Mobile version of the iPhone 6 supports the WCDMA variant of the UMTS standard on the same frequencies as the other models and the same FDD-LTE and TD-LTE bands as the "global" devices, but UMTS and FDD-LTE formally are "only for international roaming" rather than for use within mainland China.
For complete details regarding LTE support, it will be necessary to check with specific carrier(s) in a particular location.
Internal & Battery Life Similarities
All iPhone 6 models have 1 GB of RAM, a dual core 1.4 GHz Apple A8 processor, an M8 motion coprocessor that "continuously measures data from the [six-axis] accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and a new barometer," and as first determined by AnandTech, a four core PowerVR GX6450 graphics processor. Each model also has an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip to allow digital payments in conjunction with the "Apple Pay" app. All are offered with either 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of flash storage, too.
Apple reports that all iPhone 6 models provide "up to" 14 hours of talk time on 3G, 10 hours of 3G or 4G/LTE Internet use, 11 hours of Wi-Fi Internet use or HD video playback, and 50 hours of audio playback. The iPhone 6 provides 16 days (384 hours) of standby time, too.
iOS Support Similarities
iPhone 6 Comparison Chart
These differences -- identifiers, network support, and target countries -- along with pricing details are summarized below:
|FDD-LTE:||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29|
|TD-LTE:||No||No||38, 39, 40, 41||38, 39, 40, 41|
|TD-SCDMA:||No||No||1900 (F), 2000 (A)||1900 (F), 2000 (A)|
* These prices are for the A1549 GSM/North America model locked to AT&T with a two-year contract. Originally, it was available with 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of storage, respectively. On September 9, 2015, Apple eliminated the 128 GB capacity as well as the Gold color option and dropped the price of the remaining 16 GB and 64 GB configurations, in silver and gray, to US$99 and US$199 on AT&T. Contract free on T-Mobile, the GSM/North America model originally was available for US$649, US$749, or US$849, but on September 9, 2015, the 16 GB and 64 GB options became US$549 and US$649.
† These prices are for the A1549 CDMA/Verizon model unlocked, but with a two-year contract on Verizon. Originally, it was available 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of storage, respectively. On September 9, 2015, Apple discontinued the 128 GB capacity and the Gold color option and lowered the price of the 16 GB and 64 GB options, in silver and gray, to US$99 and US$199, respectively.
§ These prices are for the A1586 Global/Sprint model with a two-year contract and locked to Sprint. Starting January 6, 2015, the Global model also was offered in the US, contract free and factory unlocked, for US$649, US$749, or US$849. On September 9, 2015, Apple eliminated the 128 GB capacity as well as the Gold color option and dropped the price of the remaining 16 GB and 64 GB configurations, in silver and gray, to US$99 and US$199 on Sprint. The contract free and factory unlocked options became became US$549 and US$649. The price varies in other countries around the world.
** These prices are for the A1589 China Mobile model with 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of storage, unlocked and contract-free, but intended for use on China Mobile's network in mainland China. On September 9, 2015, Apple eliminated the 128 GB capacity as well as the Gold color option and dropped the price of the remaining 16 GB and 64 GB configurations, in silver and gray, for RMB 4,888 and RMB 5,288, again, intended for use on China Mobile in mainland China.
For introductory pricing in dozens of other countries, see the "Global Prices" on the specs page for each iPhone as well as the "By Global Original Prices" section.
iPhone Purchase & Sale Options
There are no shortage of places to buy a new or used iPhone. However, buying your iPhone from a quality company with a reputation for excellence -- and strong after sales support -- will provide the best experience and save you money and time, too.
In the US, site sponsor PowerMax has a good selection of used iPhones -- including the iPhone 6 -- available for sale free of sales tax. PowerMax also accepts trade-ins on older iPhones toward the purchase of a newer iPhone or anything else they sell. If you just want money for your old iPhone, site sponsor BuyBackWorld will buy your older iPhone directly for fast cash or sell you a used iPhone from their extensive selection.
Please also see EveryiPhone.com's Ultimate iComparison feature to dynamically compare any iPhone model to any other iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
Also see: What are all the differences between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus models? Which should I buy?