Apple products - hard to identify on purpose?


When it comes time, such as now, to look for a 2nd hand Apple device, I always find it a tad frustrating at how difficult it can be to identify one iteration of a device from another.

Some of the “model” numbers can actually cross numerous variations of product… and the products themselves aren’t even labelled in a way that defines them. My iPhone 8 - just says “iPhone” on the back - along with every other iPhone. There’s in fact no model number that I can see on the back of the phone, and in the control panels, it similarly doesn’t identify by the name that the phone is known as.

Scouring eBay, iPads are sometimes simply listed as “iPad” with no model # noted, making the job harder of finding what you want. MacBookAirs are similarly difficult to identify.

Big Red “iPhone 8”, Apple. That’s what I’m saying.



I’ve played the “CSI: Miami zoom and enhance” before, zooming in on photos of MacBooks, looking at the port symbols to determine if it’s Thunderbolt or DisplayPort to determine if it’s a 2010 or a 2011/2012.

A “new iPad” (Gen. 3) and iPad 4 differ in appearance by only their 30-pin and Lightning connectors. Without a photo from that angle, you’re screwed.

My favourite however is seller listings. What MacBook Air is it? “It’s an A1466 model.” Every 13" model produced between 2012 and 2017-18 uses that number.

Telling their products apart from a distance certainly requires some detective work.

Thank-you for the confirmation that I’m not alone in this thinking, @iMic!

And indeed - the Macbook Air which I’m currently hunting was the prime example that drove this post, but having already built on years of similar occurrences in buying Apple devices.

I guess (?) in some cases it means they don’t have to make new case molds? But otherwise…?

Must be Ive at work again on his simplistic aesthetics. Why bother adding the model information to the outside of the device?