Knowing which iPhone model you own can save you time, money and heartache down the road. With this information, you know which apps, updates and accessories you can or should consider and which you should disregard. While your iPhone's front display is undeniably indispensable, its back casing is equally vital. You can identify your iPhone with the information imprinted on its back side or by hardware design distinctions. Packaging labels and equipment numbers also provide clues. In any case, you can identify your iPhone model quickly with a little user-friendly sleuthing .
Check the model number listed on the back of your device. An original iPhone displays the number A1203. iPhone 3G shows A1241, and iPhone 3GS displays A1303. iPhone 4 shows one of two model numbers depending on its chipset: A1349 for a CDMA model that runs on Verizon or A1332 for a GSM model that uses AT&T. Additionally, the imprint on all models except for iPhone 4 displays 4, 8, 16 or 32 gigabytes to indicate the storage capacity of your device.
Examine your iPhone's casing. The original iPhone uses a metal casing and displays a serial number. iPhone 3G dons a plastic casing on which the Apple logo gleams bright silver and the imprint reads dull white. iPhone 3GS also bears a plastic casing but its silver Apple logo and silver imprint appear equally bright. iPhone 4's backside is distinctly flat and made of glass.
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Inspect your device's original packaging, if you have it. You can find your iPhone model and storage capacity on the barcode label that's affixed to the box.
Retrieve your iPhone's unique identifying numbers. On your iPhone, tap "Settings," "General" and then "About." Scroll down to "Model" and "Serial Number." Call these numbers into Apple Support or an Apple-authorized carrier or retailer for help in deciphering and determining your iPhone model.