Demystifying iPhones: How to Identify What iPhone Model You Have

Demystifying iPhones: How to Identify What iPhone Model You Have

iPhone shook up the world upon its announcement in 2007, but then popularity declined upon the release of Android. Now, Apple’s bread-and-butter device is making a comeback. More people have iPhones than they do Android in the United States.

Apple fashions itself as a user-friendly option that requires no manual or expert help. For the most part that’s true, but if you’ve ever used an iPhone, you know it comes with its own share of technical obstacles. Such as, for example, if you’ve said to yourself, “I don’t know how to tell what iPhone I have.”

Fear not. In this guide, we discuss simple ways to find your iPhone model number or part number.

Understanding iPhone Model Numbers

iPhone model numbers are very straightforward, unlike most models from Android manufacturers. It starts with the iPhone “one” that launched in 2007. Every iPhone model that follows increases by a cardinal number of one, i.e. iPhone 1, 2, 3, etc.

To make things easier, each iPhone has a yearly release schedule. So if you have the new iPhone 15, which came out in 2023, that means last year’s iPhone was the 14.

This makes it very easy to determine a phone’s release date and age just by counting backward.

Of course, many people purchase an older version of the iPhone that is still brand new. This allows them to save money but may make it harder to determine which model it is based on the date of purchase. 

How to Tell What iPhone I Have

Whatever your reason for finding the model number, it’s easy and takes only seconds. If one of these options doesn’t work for you, there’s always another. Let’s go step by step with solutions you can try.

Checking Your iPhone’s Model Name and Number

One of the simplest ways to identify your iPhone model is by checking its physical characteristics. The model name and number are usually engraved on the back of the device. Here’s how you can locate this information:

  • Turn your iPhone over:

Flip your iPhone to its backside, ensuring the Apple logo is facing up.

  • Locate the Model Name:

Look for the small text engraved on the back cover. Near the bottom, you’ll find the model name, such as “iPhone” followed by the specific model (e.g., iPhone 12, iPhone 11).

  • Find the Model Number:

Next to the model name, you’ll find the model number. It usually starts with the letter ‘A’ followed by a series of numbers (e.g., A2345). This alphanumeric code is crucial for precise identification.

  • Use the Model Number:

Once you have the model number, you can refer to Apple’s official website or the below table to decode it and determine the exact iPhone model.

This method is straightforward and does not require any special tools or software. It’s particularly useful if your iPhone is accessible and you prefer a quick visual confirmation of the model details. If, however, the engraving is worn or difficult to read, don’t worry—there are alternative methods to identify your iPhone model.

iPhone ModelRelease YearGenerationModel Number
iPhone 15 Pro Max202315th GenerationA2849, A3105, A3108, A3106
iPhone 15 Pro202315th GenerationA2848, A3101, A3104, A3102
iPhone 15 Plus202315th GenerationA2847, A3093, A3096, A3094
iPhone 15202315th GenerationA2846, A3089, A3092, A3090
iPhone 14 Pro Max202214th GenerationA2651, A2893, A2896, A2895
iPhone 14 Pro202214th GenerationA2650, A2889, A2892, A2891
iPhone 14 Plus202214th GenerationA2632, A2885, A2888, A2887
iPhone 14202214th GenerationA2649, A2881, A2884, A2883
iPhone SE (3rd Gen)202213th GenerationA2595, A2782, A2784, A2785, A2783
iPhone 13 Pro Max202113th GenerationA2628, A2486, A2626, A2629
iPhone 13 Pro202113th GenerationA2628, A2485, A2626, A2629
iPhone 13202113th GenerationA2628, A2626, A2629, A2484
iPhone 13 mini202113th GenerationA2628, A2626, A2629, A2627
iPhone SE (2nd Gen)202012th GenerationA2296, A2275, A2298, A2299
iPhone 11 Pro Max201913th GenerationA2218, A2161, A2220, A2223
iPhone 11 Pro201913th GenerationA2215, A2217, A2160, A2216
iPhone 11201913th GenerationA2221, A2111, A2223, A2223
iPhone XR201812th GenerationA1984, A2105, A2106, A2108
iPhone XS Max201812th GenerationA1921, A2104, A2103, A2102
iPhone XS201812th GenerationA2097, A1920, A2098, A2099
iPhone X201711th GenerationA1865, A1901, A1902
iPhone 8 Plus201711th GenerationA1864, A1897, A1898
iPhone 8201711th GenerationA1863, A1905, A1906
iPhone 7 Plus201610th GenerationA1661, A1784, A1785
iPhone 7201610th GenerationA1660, A1778, A1779
iPhone SE (1st Gen)20169th GenerationA1662, A1723, A1724
iPhone 6s Plus20159th GenerationA1634, A1687, A1699
iPhone 6s20159th GenerationA1633, A1688, A1700
iPhone 6 Plus20148th GenerationA1522, A1524, A1593
iPhone 620148th GenerationA1549, A1586, A1589
iPhone 5s20137th GenerationA1453, A1457, A1533
iPhone 5c20137th GenerationA1456, A1507, A1526, A1529
iPhone 5 (CDMA)20126th GenerationA1429
iPhone 5 (GSM)20126th GenerationA1428
iPhone 4S20115th GenerationA1387
iPhone 4 (CDMA)20114th GenerationA1349
iPhone 4 (GSM)20104th GenerationA1332
iPhone 3GS20093rd GenerationA1303
iPhone 3G20082nd GenerationA1241
iPhone20071st GenerationA1203

This table includes iPhone models from the newest (iPhone 15 Pro Max) to the oldest (iPhone released in 2007).

Check the Settings

If you are tech-savvy, then this will only take a couple of seconds. Open the Settings app (the gear-shaped icon) and navigate to the “General” section (also a gear shape).

From there, select the first option: “About.” Voile, the first section shows you “Model Name.” This is the iPhone number that you own, i.e. iPhone 13 and so on.

You can find further information in this area, such as the part number, IMEI, and serial number. This is your go-to location for finding out the specs of your iPhone as well, such as its storage capacity and SIM card info.

Screenshot this page for future reference if you need to. You can do this by holding the volume down and power button at the same time. The screenshot you take will appear in the Photos app.

Open the Support App

There’s no shame in admitting that digging into the settings is a bit scary. Especially if you’re not a big techie person. If you’re up for it, you can find the model number just by opening the Support app.

The Support app comes built into every iPhone, so simply search for it by pulling down while on the home screen. Or, swiping from the right to access the app drawer. 

You don’t need to navigate further into the app. At the very top, you will see a section that says “My Devices.” The first device on this list should be the iPhone you are holding in your hand, with its model number.

If you own multiple iPhones, such as your children’s phones, you can also find that information here. It will appear even if you don’t have your child’s iPhone nearby. 

Check the Outside of the Phone

Want something even easier, without opening the phone at all? Luckily for you, every iPhone includes all the most important information right on the back of the phone.

Flip your iPhone over and remove any case or sticker covering. There should be some printed text near the bottom of the phone. This will tell you the iPhone model number, in addition to information like manufacturing location and so on.

This text is small, so grab a magnifying glass or switch on the light if you need to. It may get rubbed off to a small degree over time from everyday use. You may need to use other methods if the text is illegible. 

Check Your Receipts

Still have the original receipt from when you purchased the iPhone? There’s a good chance that the receipt will tell you which model number it is. This is usually the case if you bought it from a retailer or authorized Apple Store. 

Just look for the number on the receipts line item. It should be the number directly following the word “iPhone.” Depending on which payment method you used, it may also appear in your transaction history.

Suppose you purchased your iPhone with an Apple credit card. If so, there’s another easy way to find the model number.

Open the Wallet app, then your Apple card. After that, scroll down to that purchase. It should tell you which iPhone you bought if you bought it from Apple directly.

Check the Original Box

If you are an Apple fan, there’s a good chance you keep the boxes of all your devices. The high-quality packaging looks slick and makes for a great place to put the device if you sell it one day. The box, like the phone, has a detailed list of all the information you need.

In the case of the iPhone, this information should be on the back of the box. Don’t use the picture since this won’t be an effective way of telling which one it is. Same as with the Settings app, look for the “Model Number.” 

Be sure that you are checking the right box. Apple iPhone boxes all look more or less the same, with only a different graphic or internal space dimensions to tell them apart. If you’re not sure it’s the original box, then use one of the other options on this list.

Ask Someone

There’s a good chance that the iPhone in question belongs to your child. If that’s the case, then the simplest solution is to ask them. You won’t find a single Gen Z kid these days who doesn’t know which phone model number they have!

If it’s your phone, then ask them to find out for you. They know how to navigate to the “General” section of the Settings app by heart. If not that, then they’ll be able to figure out any other option on this list.

Ask Support

If all else fails, or you are unsure, you can ask Support. Support can give the definitive answer on which model version you have if there appears to be conflicting information. Open the Support app and type “contact support” into the search box.

You can also visit an Apple Store in person and let a professional take a look. Apple stores are known for having friendly representatives who are very knowledgeable about product lines. They will be glad to identify which model number you have free of charge.

Reasons to Find the iPhone Model Number

Many people need to find their iPhone model number for any number of reasons. Let’s look at a few of them.

They Need Apple Support

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, or need repairs, you may need to contact Apple support. In order to best assist you, though, Apple support will need information on your device such as Apple ID. One piece of information they’ll ask for will be the model number.

Granted, the support app on the iPhone gathers the model number for you when you contact them. It’s good to know how to find the model number on your own, though, just in case they ask.

You Need Third-Party Repairs

Apple charges an arm and a leg for repair services. It’s only understandable that you would rather go to a third-party authorized representative to save money. In that case, you definitely need to know your iPhone model number.

Each iPhone model is different from the next, so a replacement battery or a screen for one iPhone won’t fit in another. Your technician will need to know which model you have to avoid installing the wrong part. For this reason, make sure you know which iPhone model you have.

You Want to Know What Features You Have

Each year, in tandem with new iPhone models, Apple releases new iterations of its iOS software. For example, iOS 17 just released alongside the new iPhone 15. This is also a consistent year-after-year change, making it easy to know the current iOS version on your device.

Each iOS update includes new and intuitive features. If you love Apple’s built-in iPhone apps, such as Maps, then new iterations often give you nifty little add-ons. For example, it’s thanks to software updates that the new WatchOS lets you track an Apple Watch.

Knowing your model is important because older models eventually lose support for the most recent iOS version. Recently, the iPhone X and below lost support for iOS 17. Knowing you have an iPhone 11 makes you aware that the upcoming iOS 18 will likely not ship to your device.

You Want to Buy Accessories

It’s vital to have a phone case in this day and age, among other accessories. That said, not all accessories (cases in particular) are compatible with all phones. Just because that iPhone 12 case looks like it would fit on your 13 doesn’t mean it will.

You need to know your iPhone model before you purchase certain custom-fitting accessories. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a useless hunk of plastic that falls right off your device.

You Need to Check Software Compatibility

An older iPhone may not be able to use newer software. For example, third-party software for recording phone calls. Before you spend a bunch of money on new software, it behooves you to check that compatibility in advance.

Newer models made within the last few years can almost always use any app available on the store. A model from 5+ years ago may not, and app developers will make this clear in the app details. Model numbers are the number one way app developers delineate compatibility.

You’ll definitely need this information if you want to, for example, install a third-party iPhone tracking app

You Want to Insure Your Phone

Phone insurance is a must-have these days. The screens crack with ease, and thieves love to steal phones above all else. Phones are very expensive; they hold all of your most important personal information. 

In order to insure your phone, though, you will need to know exactly which model number it is. Your insurance company (assuming it’s not Apple) may not verify this info when you take out the insurance policy. When the time comes to make a claim, they may deny it if you have a model that’s different from the policy statement.

Plus, you want to be sure that more expensive iPhone models, such as the Pro, get full coverage. The Pro model usually costs several hundred dollars more than the base model. 

You Want to Sell Your iPhone

An iPhone can be pricey when brand new, but many argue you are paying for the exceptional Apple quality. That quality lasts a long time, too. iPhones have a legendary reputation for high used resale value.

That means that the older iPhone you have can still command a pretty penny on eBay or Facebook marketplace. You would need to know which model you were selling, of course. An iPhone 13 will sell for quite a bit more than an iPhone 12.

End Notes

“I don’t know how to tell what iPhone I have,” you say, but luckily it only takes a few seconds to figure it out. You can do so from the Settings app, the Support app, or even the back of the phone. If that doesn’t work, then you can check the box, your receipts, or ask someone for help. 

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