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What Are Order Numbers?

Order numbers are unique identifiers for iDevices that describe a unit’s configuration, capacity, and color. These identifiers are alphanumeric strings that typically begin with MC or MD. For instance, the order number of one of my iPhone 4S devices is MC918LL. If you submit the order ID to a site such as EveryMac.com’s Ultimate Lookup utility (http://is.gd/wNrlgV) you can learn the following about the device that has that ID:

  • square-blue.jpg Specific date of manufacture
  • square-blue.jpg RAM
  • square-blue.jpg Storage capacity
  • square-blue.jpg Model number
  • square-blue.jpg Model ID
  • square-blue.jpg Order number

You can obtain a comprehensive list of iDevice order numbers from various sources on the Web. For instance, try the iPhone Wiki’s Models page at http://is.gd/QyN3Ox.

In contrast to the model number that is etched on the back case of your iDevice, you determine the order number from within iOS. Navigate to Settings, General, About and scroll to the Model field. You can see this field in Figure 4.1.

Yes, yes, yes: We have hit a huge point of confusion here. Apple calls the order number by the term Model in iOS. No, you aren’t crazy. This is one example of Apple’s occasional (and frustrating) inconsistency within its iDevice family.

The reason I have spent so much time discussing iDevice identifiers is that most customers seem never to be quite sure that they have the iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone that they wanted. I can’t say I blame them. After all, if I laid down $600 for a 3rd generation iPad then I want to ensure that I do indeed have the latest and the greatest model. From arm’s length, the 2nd generation and 3rd generation iPads look virtually identical.

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