Many sites will refer to, for example, iPod touch (4th generation) or iOS 4.3.5, but not everyone knows which generation or which operating system version they have. This article will help you find out.
NOTE: Our Model Identifier Utility can help you find which model you have as well.
On your iPod touch, iPod nano ,iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app. On the 6th or 7th generation iPod nano (touchscreen model), there should be an "About" menu to tell you the software version and serial number and other useful information. On an iOS device (iPod touch, iPhone or iPad), in the Settings app, proceed to the "General" menu, where you will find "About." About will tell you information in regards to capacity, as well as which carrier you are on (Network), and "Version" will tell you the software version (iOS). You can also find the serial number.
On a Mac, click on the Apple menu in the upper left, and then "About this Mac." It should say "Version 10.x", with x referring to whatever version you have installed. You can also find the serial number by clicking twice in the area where "Version" is displayed in gray. "Version" should change to "Build" upon clicking. Clicking once more should change "Build" to "Serial Number." You can also click the More Info button. This will launch the System Profile utility, which will include a line for Serial Number.
The below Apple webpage will allow you to check which model you have by entering your serial number.
Corresponding Apple Service: (will take you to Apple's website)
You can enter the serial number, and it should say, for example:
The serial number is obtained from the "About" menu, which was described at the beginning of this article.
When looking up the serial number for a Mac, it should show the year and time period it is from. For example, Mid-2011. MacBook Pros with Retina display will show up as Retina, followed by the year.
Here are some other sites:
You can also log in with your Apple ID at http://supportprofile.apple.com ("My Support Profile"), and this will show you a complete list of all products registered to your Apple ID, their serial numbers, and warranty/repair information.
How can I tell the Physical Difference?
There are some subtle differences between certain generations of iOS devices which you can use to tell them apart. For instance, iPhone 4 and 4S look very similar, as do the iPad 2 and The New iPad.
The antenna (black line) is located on top of the iPhone 4, but does not appear on the iPhone 4S. It is located on the sides on the iPhone 4S. This applies to the GSM (AT&T) iPhone 4, but the CDMA (Verizon or Sprint) model has the antennas on the sides like the iPhone 4S. However if there is an antenna on top, it is undoubtedly an iPhone 4.
As for the iPod touch, if it has a front facing camera, it is a 4th generation. If it has the camera but is also taller than an older iPod, it is a 5th generation (the latest).
If you have an iPhone 3GS or a 3rd generation iPod touch, and iTunes says that iOS 4.2.1 is the latest, then you actually have an iPhone 3G or a 2nd generation iPod touch. This is an easy mistake to make, as the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the iPod touch (2nd and 3rd generation) look the same on the exterior.
Another common confusion is the myth of the 8GB iPod touch (3rd generation). Apple only made a 32GB and 64GB version of this generation, as it looks identical to the iPod touch 2nd generation on the exterior, but has OpenGL 2.0 graphics support and more improvements. Some websites may tell you that you have an 8GB 3rd generation iPod touch if you enter your model number. However, if you enter your serial number on Apple's website as described in the "Checking your Serial Number" section below, if you have an 8GB iPod touch that looks like a 3rd generation, it will tell you it is a 2nd generation.
And for the iPad, it is rather hard to tell the difference without having an iPad 2 and New iPad side by side to compare. If you did, you would notice the camera is slightly bigger on the back of The New iPad than the iPad 2. Also notice the retina display of The New iPad by looking at the status bar row of icons at the top of the screen. The 3rd generation iPad ("New iPad") and 4th generation ("iPad with Retina display") can be distinguished by the charger on the bottom of the iPad. The 3rd generation was the older, wider 30-pin connecter whereas the 4th generation has the newer Lightning connector.
Checking your Serial Number
There are some models where you just can't tell the difference. In this case, it is best to check with Apple online by entering your serial number, either at the site mentioned above, which was http://selfsolve.apple.com. You can also check out My Support Profile to see a complete list of products registered to your Apple ID. On iPods, iPads, and iPhones (before the iPhone 4), as well as Macs, the serial number can be found on the back of the product. For Macs, it would be on the bottom. On iPhones or iPads with cellular, if you eject the SIM tray, the serial number is printed (very small) on the edge of the SIM tray. Alternatively, iOS users can go to Settings > General > About > Serial Number.
Article ID: AA1064
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