Which iPhone model do you have? Here's where to look
Business Management

Which iPhone model do you have? Here's where to look

You probably have a general idea of which iPhone you have—iPhone 6, SE, 4s, X, and so on. But behind the marketing names, each iPhone configuration has its own model number. You normally won’t need to know this number, but it could come in handy if you ever need to get more technical details about your device. Here’s where you can find your iPhone’s model number—and what that number means.

Which number is which?

Apple uses two numbering schemes for its devices. The first, which we’ll call the “A” number (hat tip to The iPhone Wiki for the name) is a five-digit alphanumeric string that starts with the letter A followed by four numbers.

The second model number is a five-digit alphanumeric string that usually starts with the letter M, though the first letter can vary depending on the device. You’ll sometimes—but not always—see “LL/A” or something similar appended to the end of this number. We’ll refer to this second number as the “SKU” in this article for clarity’s sake.

(Confusingly, Apple can’t even decide for itself what each number is called in its documentation or on its devices. For instance, Apple refers to both the “A” number and the SKU as the “model” number, depending on where you look.) 

What’s the difference? Basically, the “A” number is used to generally describe a model family (or revision thereof), such as the iPad Air 2 with LTE or the 13-inch MacBook Air. Meanwhile, the SKU is used to describe a specific configuration of that model (for example, the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of storage). Put another way, the “A” number is a more general identifier, while the SKU is more specific.

Finding your phone’s model identifiers: Older iPhones

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to checking those numbers.

Finding the “A” number: You’ll find your phone’s “A” number stamped on the back of the device. Flip it over, look for the fine print below the “iPhone” label, and look closely for the “Model” identifier. My iPhone 5c, for example, carries an “A” number of “A1532.”

iphone 5c model number IDG

The model number (also called the “A” number) on the back of an iPhone 5c (highlighted).

Finding the SKU: To find your phone’s SKU, go to your phone’s Settings app, tap General, then tap About. Scroll down to Model, and make a note of the alphanumeric string here. In my phone’s case, its SKU is NF130LL/A—the N denoting that it’s a replacement unit.

iphone model number

Go to Settings > General > About to find your phone’s SKU.

Finding your model identifier and “A” number on newer iPhones

Starting with the iPhone 8, Apple stopped stamping the “A” number on the back. But that information is still on the phone—it’s inside the operating system.

Here’s how to find both the “A” number and the model identifier. On your iPhone 8 or later, tap the Settings app. Tap on General, then tap About. Scroll down to Model; this is the model identifier number/SKU.

To see the “A” number, tap on the Model number. It will change to a numeric ID starting with A.

iphone x model number

On the iPhone 8 or later, go to Settings > General > About to find your phone’s SKU. Tap it to see the A number.

Finding out more

Now that you know your model numbers, you can punch that info into a Google or Bing search and see what comes up. 

Another great resource is The iPhone Wiki’s device models page. This page lists model “A” numbers for every iOS device, as well as each configuration’s SKU/model number. It’ll also give you a little information on Apple’s SKU numbering scheme that you might find useful.

 

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Best gaming mouse: Find your perfect match

NEXT ARTICLE

Valve's Steam Link is dead, and that sucks »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Recommended for You

How to (really) evaluate a developer's skillset

Adrian Bridgwater’s deconstruction & analysis of enterprise software

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Cloudistics aims to trump Nutanix with 'superconvergence' play

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Is your organization fully GDPR compliant?