When buying a Chinese, Korean, or American phone, one sees various markings — Global, EU, CN, etc., indicating which region the phone is made for. Devices may differ only in the type of charger, but sometimes the differences happen to be more significant. Understanding local trading demand and specifics is essential for secondhand resellers to build a profitable customer-driven strategy. Let's dive into the topic of regional variations in smartphone features today.
Smartphone specifications by country
Europe and international-oriented gadgets, made mostly in Asia, receive the EU marking. They come with the same components, functions, and firmware and may differ in a plug since different types of sockets are used in different countries. Although there are rare exceptions, as in the case of Samsung: for the US market, Korean devices come with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors; for all other markets, they have Exynos chips.
Gadgets with this marking are produced for the Chinese market only. Due to the ban on digital SIM cards in China, eSim cannot be installed on these phones. Therefore, devices are produced with slots for 2 regular SIM cards. Items with Chinese firmware only support Chinese and English (optional) language. Androids don't have Google apps installed, including the Play Store. The charger has a specific plug used only in China. These phones support LTE frequencies according to the Band 1, 3, 5, and 7 standards, while European countries are characterized by Band 1, 3, 5, and 7 standards, as well as B4 and B20.
Japanese and Korean users are not able to turn off their camera shutter sound. This is due to the local law prohibiting taking photos of strangers without permission. The clicking sound on smartphones for the Japanese and Korean markets is not muted even if you use them in other countries.
Here, it is worth paying special attention to Apple's technique. The company's regional arm tests some iPhone pilot features with US consumers. For example, the latest models only support eSim and don't have an option for regular cards. They can maintain 3 eSim at once instead. Moreover, American iPhones support the advanced 5G mmWave communication standard.
United Arab Emirates
And again Apple holds the stage. For the UAE, a special iOS has been released that blocks FaceTime functions. These features will work on such iPhones only outside the UAE. If you activate it in other countries, the video call service turns on and works without restrictions, even after arrival to the Emirates.
What SPEC to trade?
So, what specifications are the most liquid and demanded? Of course, in a particular local market, a good idea would be to trade goods produced for this region. However, the picture is never uniform and any device can be found in any country. As an example, many European retailers buy pre-owned smartphones in bulk at American auctions, and accordingly, batches of US-spec equipment enter the EU stores.
From the experience of our clients, the largest European wholesalers and retailers, we know that almost half of all the iPhones they trade and test are American. Following in popularity are EU iPhones: DEU, FRA, GBR, SWE, ESP, ITA… Chinese and Japanese iPhones can also be found on European platforms.
To understand the global picture, we analyzed the situation in America and Canada as well. The variety is less there. The vast majority is occupied by the US share, the second place goes to CAN. Then a minor amount of JPN, CHN, and all EU items.
It is worth noting that models differ not only in characteristics but in price. The ones with serious functional limitations are cheaper but turn out to be completely illiquid outside the target area. To avoid accidentally purchasing a pig in a poke, consider attentively checking the technique when buying back.
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