Understand Your iPhone’s Serial Number

Understand Your iPhone’s Serial Number

Did you know that your iPhone’s serial number says a lot about your device? It isn’t just a random string of digits. It reveals the factory in which your device was built, the year it was manufactured, its unique identifier, and more. Here’s how to decode your iPhone’s serial number.You can find your serial number either on your iPhone’s box, or in the About menu within the Settings app. If your device is connected to iTunes on your computer, you’ll also see it on the Summary page.

Serial number are presented in the form AABCCDDDEEF, and this is what those letters represent:

  • AA = Factory and machine ID
  • B = Year manufactured (this is simplified to the final digit, which means 0 = 2010; 1 = 2011; etc.)
  • CC = Week of production
  • DDD = Unique identifier (not the same thing as the Unique Device Identifier, or UDID)
  • EE = Model and color of device
  • F = Storage capacity of the device (S = 16GB; T = 32GB)

So if your serial number was 79049XXXA4S, the first to number would indicate it was assembled in factory 79 — presumably a Foxconn factory, which assembles all of Apple’s iPhones — in 2010 during week 49. A4 means it’s a black iPhone 4, while the S suggests it packs 16GB of storage.

However, some older iPhones employ a slightly different labeling scheme, according to OS X Daily. On the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, the letter K may refer to 16GB of storage as opposed to the letter S. The labeling scheme is also different on the CDMA iPhone 4 built for Verizon, and on the new iPhone 4S.

But OS X Daily provides this handy list of suffixes, which will tell you whether your device employes the labeling system detailed above. If its serial begins with any of these three letters, the method above will apply:

VR0 (iPhone 2G Silver 4GB)
WH8 (iPhone 2G Silver 8GB)
0KH (iPhone 2G Silver 16GB)
Y7H (iPhone 3G Black 8GB)
Y7K (iPhone 3G Black 16GB)
3NP (iPhone 3GS Black 16GB)
3NR (iPhone 3GS Black 32GB)
3NQ (iPhone 3Gs White 16GB)
3NS (iPhone 3Gs White 32GB)
A4S (iPhone 4 Black 16GB)
A4T (iPhone 4 Black 32GB)

Related
  • TrifleTrifle

    My serial number looks totally different. It is something like this: DNWBQ20NDFT2
    Now what is this suppose to mean Killian?

  • Fredy Rosal

    Yeah … so does mine … useless article.

  • Jordan Clay

    It doesn’t apply to all devices: 

    “But OS X Daily provides this handy list of suffixes, which will tell you
    whether your device employes the labeling system detailed above. If its
    serial begins with any of these three letters, the method above will
    apply:”

  • gdkid2010

    Can’t possibly be right.  According to this key, my iPhone 4 was produced in March of 2011.  I bought it in February of 2011…..

  • soundfreak

    “If its serial begins with any of these three letters, the method above will apply:”
    Huh? A suffixe is an ending. The serial ends in those letters and numbers. At  least mine does.

  • prof_peabody

    Everyone has said it already but yeah, “prefixes” is the word Killian was looking for.

    None of this works for any of the new models either so there isn’t much point.  Only a tiny fraction of the market is still using the 3G and 3Gs phones.

  • Cindon83

    You are way off unless my iPhone was built in 2005 or my Z means I have a 200 gig you are not even close

  • bethangeles1979

    my friend’s mother made $263164 so far just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here Makecash7DOTcom 

  • Luis Guedes

    Mine is different too, the iPhone 4S has a totally different S/N.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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