Proper Way of Identifying iPhone Models

An iPhone user can easily identify his/her phone model, but it may not be as easy to identify other iPhone models. The same is the case for other phone brand users; they may not be able to easily identify iPhone models, especially when almost all models look the same.

So, how can you identify an iPhone model in case you come across a unit? How will you tell if an Apple phone is an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S? It would definitely be a hard task as these two iPhone models are almost identical in their physical appearances. The same thing goes for the iPhone 3 and the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 5 and the 5S.

Phone Model Number

Practically, the easiest way to possibly get a correct identification result is to look at the phone’s model number. Then you should get a list of all models and only then can you properly determine which model you are holding.

One advantage of identifying an iPhone through the model number is that you get to know the device model even if the unit is turned off. This means that even if the iPhone is broken and cannot be turned on, you will still be able to get access to the model and thus, repair is still possible as you will know what model to work on. Being able to know the iPhone model through the model number is beneficial for iPhone repair specialists.

You can find the model number on the iPhone case. To do that just flip over the phone and search for the small text located below the badge. This is where you will see the model number. Once you get the model number you can then compare that to a list of iPhone models. Having the number on hand will allow you to compare it to the actual iPhone model, which is something quite important especially if you do not know how to identify an iPhone through visible inspection.

List of iPhone Model Number

iphone 3g

  • iPhone Model number A1241 – The iPhone 3G has a plastic curved body in either white or black. It features a matte imprint text in gray and it is what differentiates it from the Apple iPhone 3GS. The 3G model was launched in July of 2008.


  • iPhone Model number A1303 – The  iPhone 3GS has the same plastic curved body as with the iPhone 3G model. The only difference between the two models is the chrome imprint text of the 3GS that matches the color of the Apple logo. This iPhone model was released in June of 2009.


  • iPhone Model number A1332 – The  iPhone 4 (AT&T/GSM variation) has a flat body made of glass and with stainless steel border on the edges. It is an iPhone model that needs an AT&T MicroSIM card so that it can be used for making calls and for accessing cellular data. This iPhone model was launched in June of 2010.
  • iPhone Model number A1349 – The  iPhone 4 (Verizon/CDMA variation) has the same glass body construction of the iPhone 4 GSM model. Verizon, however makes use of the SIM-less cellular technology. Thus, the A1349 model has a case with no SIM card tray. This iPhone model was launched on February of 2011.


  • iPhone Model number A1387 – The iPhone 4S (CDMA/GSM variation) has similar design and body construction of the iPhone 4. The difference is in the 4S’s more advanced and powerful features. For example, Apple added Siri to the iPhone 4S. Siri is that controversial voice controlled intelligent personal assistant and it is accessible by holding the home key down. The iPhone 4S is considered as a world phone and it supports both CDMA and GSM networks. The Apple iPhone 4S was launched in October of 2011.

iphone 5

  • iPhone Model number A1428 – The iPhone 5 (available through AT&T and Canadian networks) has an all-new lighter and thinner iPhone body with a bigger four-inch screen. This iPhone model also features a new sophisticated-looking aluminum back, replacing the old black glass of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. This model was released in September of 2012.
  • iPhone Model number A1429 – The iPhone 5 (available through CDMA network) works on Verizon’s and Sprint’s LTE networks in the United States and also with Japan’s KDDI. This iPhone model also sports all-new lighter and thinner body, and also with a bigger four-inch screen. Of course, it also has the chic aluminum back. It was also released in September of 2012.
  • iPhone Model number A1429 – The iPhone 5 (available through GSM network) is specifically designed to support LTE networks in Australian, Europe and Asia. Essentially, this iPhone is considered as the world-version of the iPhone 5. It sports a bigger four-inch screen with an all-new lighter and thinner body. It also has the chic aluminum back, replacing the glass back of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. This iPhone model was launched in September of 2012.
  • iPhone 5s

    Year introduced: 2013. Capacity: 16, 32, and 64 GB. Colors: space gray, silver, gold

    Model number on the back cover:
    A1533 or A1457: iPhone 5s (GSM model)
    A1533 or A1453: iPhone 5s (CDMA model)
    A1528: iPhone 5s (GSM model China)
    A1530: iPhone 5s

  • iPhone 5c

    Year introduced: 2013. Capacity: 16 and 32 GB. Colors: white, blue, pink, green, yellow

    Model number on the back cover:
    A1532 or A1507: iPhone 5c (GSM model)
    A1532 or A1456: iPhone 5c (CDMA model)
    A1526: iPhone 5c (GSM model China)
    A1529: iPhone 5c

Having the iPhone model numbers allows you to easily differentiate GSM models from CDMA models so that you can identify which phone model you have if the unit is not active on any specific mobile network carrier.

Finding an iPhone Model Via iTunes

If, for some reason, an iPhone’s model number is not indicated on the phone’s case, retrieval of the model number information is still possible through iTunes.

  1. The first step to do is to connect the device to a computer unit. You can do this either through a WiFi connection or through a USB connector.
  2. Next, go to iTunes and select the iPhone.
  3. Search under the tab named Summary and then look for the device model number at the top.

A reminder though, you will not be able to get the iPhone’s technical model information through iTunes. Rather you will only know the actually model name; i.e., iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 3GS, and the likes.




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