How to Tell if an iPad is GSM or CDMA

By Alan Sembera

IPads on a GSM network require a SIM card.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Determining whether an iPad supports GSM or CDMA is an important step when purchasing one of the tablets or selecting a carrier. Some mobile carriers support only GSM network standards, while others use CDMA standards. The newer iPad Air, iPad Mini and some fourth generation iPads can support both standards, but older devices with cellular capabilities support only one or the other.

Locate the model number in the fine print that is etched on the back of your iPad. The number is clearly labeled "Model No." and consists of an "A" followed by four digits.

Determine your iPad's capabilities by finding its model number in the following lists:

GSM Only: A1337 (iPad 1); A1396 (iPad 2); A1430 (iPad 3); A1459 (iPad 4); A1454 (iPad Mini).

CDMA Only: A1397 (iPad 2); A1403 (iPad 3).

GSM and CDMA: A1455 (iPad4); A1455 (iPad Mini); A1490 (iPad Mini 2); A1475 (iPad Air).

No Cellular Capability: A1219 (iPad 1); A1395 (iPad2); A1416 (iPad 3); A1458 (iPad 4); A1432 (iPad Mini); A1489 (iPad Mini 2); A1474 (iPad Air).

Check the name of your cellular provider if your iPad supports both types of networks. If you use AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile, your iPad is on a GSM network. If you use Verizon Wireless, Sprint or U.S. Cellular, your iPad is on a CDMA network.


The references to "iPad 1," "iPad 2," etc. refer to the generation of the iPad and are not actual model numbers.