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Where can I locate the Model Identifier (Model ID) for my iPod, iPhone, or iPad? Are Model Identifiers unique? What are the limitations identifying a specific device using the Model Identifier?
When referring to iOS-powered iPods, iPhones and iPads, the "Model Identifier" looks like iPad2,3.
For identifying Macs, the Model Identifier -- called the "Machine Model" in older versions of the Mac OS -- can be quite helpful as it is readily available in the "About This Mac" section of Mac OS X and often can be used to identify a specific Mac or at least identify a Mac when combined with secondary information like the processor type and speed.
For iPods, iPhones and iPads, however, the Model Identifier is not particularly useful for a non-technical individual to use for identification. The Model Identifier is not listed on hardware, it is not commonly provided on other documentation like receipts or packaging, nor is it accessible within the operating system in a simple manner. Furthermore, only the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models -- all of which are powered by iOS -- even have Model Identifiers, so they cannot be used to identify other iPod models at all. These all are major limitations of the Model Identifier.
Nevertheless, the Model Identifier does precisely identify each iOS-powered device. As previously documented by ArsTechnica, programmers can retrieve the Model Identifier "by querying the hw.machine value."
This may seem to be far too obscure to use as a method to identify and differentiate iPod, iPhone and iPad models, but it is used more commonly than one might think and no doubt is "comfortable" for long-term Mac users as well. Everyi.com has documented these identifiers, accordingly.
Nevertheless, Everyi.com's Ultimate iLookup feature is capable of identifying the iOS-powered iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models using the Model Identifier for "old school" and technical visitors who find it useful.
If you cannot find an iPod, iPhone or iPad using its Model Identifier, but are able to track it down using another identifier, please share any missing information with Everyi.com. Thank you.