What are all the differences between the iPhone 6 models?

Business Technology

Please note that the iPhone 6 models have been discontinued. However, this Q&A has been updated with the latest iOS details 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 as well as official and unofficial 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.
External Similarities & Differences

All iPhone 6 models have the same 4.7″ multitouch IPS LED-backlit “Retina HD” display with 1334×750 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” (1920×1080), 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.

iPhone 6 - Three Color Options
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 initially discontinued the Gold color option, but was re-introduced as entry-level 32 GB option sold in China and Taiwan. A re-introduced 32 GB capacity variant also was sold in the US, Europe, and other markets only in Space Gray. The reintroduced 32 GB models are believed to be finally discontinued on September 12, 2018.

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.

Camera Similarities

All iPhone 6 models have front and rear cameras of identical quality.

The front “FaceTime HD” camera has a 1.2 megapixel sensor (1280×960), 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.

iPhone 6 Rear Camera Bump
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.

Identification Differences

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:

iPhone

Model Number

iPhone 6 (GSM/North America) A1549
iPhone 6 (CDMA/Verizon) A1549
iPhone 6 (Global/Sprint) A1586
iPhone 6 (China Mobile) A1589

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 laterAndroid, and Kindle Fire — can identify it precisely.

Network Connectivity & Carrier Support Differences

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:

iPhone Model Model
No.
UMTS/HSPA+
DC-HSDPA
CDMA
EV-DO
TD-SCDMA LTE Bands
(4G)
6 (GSM/North America) A1549 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz Unofficial* 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 sold unlocked and without a contract on T-Mobile and it does not officially support CDMA networks. Apple refers to this model as the “T-Mobile” iPhone 6. However, users have discovered that it actually does work properly with a Verizon CDMA SIM card, so it does support CDMA after all.

Starting on January 6, 2015, Apple also started selling an unlocked version of the A1586 “Global” iPhone 6 in the US, which Apple referred 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 was 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 originally were offered with either 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of flash storage. Apple re-introduced variants with 32 GB of flash storage in February and March 2017.

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

Each iPhone 6 originally was pre-installed with iOS 8 and later were pre-installed with iOS 9. They support iOS 10 and iOS 11 as well as iOS 12, with the exception of the minor “Memoji” feature.

The iPhone 6 models do not support the current version of the iOS, iOS 13.

iPhone 6 Comparison Chart

These differences — identifiers, network support, and target countries — along with original pricing details are summarized below:

GSM
North America
CDMA
Verizon
Global/Sprint China Mobile
Model No: A1549 A1549 A1586 A1589
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)
GSM/EDGE: Yes Yes Yes Yes
UMTS: Yes Yes Yes Yes
HSPA+: Yes Yes Yes Yes
DC-HSDPA: Yes Yes Yes Yes
EV-DO: Unofficial Yes Yes No
Region: US/Canada US (Verizon) US/Global China
Intro. Price: US$199*
US$299*
US$399*
US$199†
US$299†
US$399†
US$199§
US$299§
US$399§
RMB 5,288**
RMB 6,088**
RMB 6,888**

 

* 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. The variant with 32 GB of storage in Space Gray sold as a pre-paid AT&T GoPhone originally was US$299.99 plus US$45 for service (US$344.99 total).

† 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 varied 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.

Site sponsor TechHeadQuarters has a good selection of used iPhones — including the iPhone 6 — for sale at reasonable prices and with no sales tax outside of Ohio. Be sure to see the coupon codes for even more savings, too.

Site sponsor BuyBackWorld can buy your older iPhone directly for fast cash or sell you a used iPhone from their extensive selection with free shipping and no sales tax outside of New York.

Site sponsor GoRoostr also can buy your older iPhone. GoRoostr has an A+ rating with the BBB, offers an instant price quote, free and insured FedEx shipping, and provides same day payouts 95% of the time.

In Australia, site sponsor Mac City likewise has a variety of used iPhone models sold at low prices and available with a free warranty and fast shipping across Australia.

Interested in used iPhones wholesale? Site sponsor Evertek has extensive inventory of used iPhone models for bulk orders shipped worldwide.

Please also see EveryiPhone.com’s Ultimate iComparison feature to dynamically compare any iPhone model to any other iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

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