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Which iPhone model do I have?

Except for the iPhone 5, check the model number engraved on the back. The asterisked models can run iOS 6, here’s the short list (detailed info below):

• iPhone 5*: Taller than previous models; quarter-inch Lightning connector on bottom.

• iPhone 4S*: Model numbers A1387, A1431

• iPhone 4*: Model numbers A1349, A1332

• iPhone 3GS*: Model numbers A1325, A1303

• iPhone 3G: Model numbers A1324, A1241

• Original: Model numbers A1203

Determining an iPhone’s Capacity

The capacity of your iPhone’s internal storage is printed on the back of the iPhone, near the bottom for every iPhone before the 4S. It will read either 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64GB. Click here to find the capacity of your iPhone if it is a 4S or newer.

Visually Differentiating Between iPhone Generations

Each generation of iPhone looks quite similar, but there are a few key physical differences you can check to easily distinguish one generation from another.


 iPhone 5 Black and Slate

September 2012

6th Generation: iPhone 5The iPhone 5 is available in black & slate or white & silver, with three available capacities (16, 32, or 64GB). The easiest way to differentiate this model of iPhone is its screen; the iphone 5 is the first model to have a taller (1136×640) display, which has room for five rows of icons on the homescreen (not including the bottom bar), rather than the four that appear on all previous models. The iPhone 5 is also the first iPhone since the original to have two different materials, glass and aluminum, on the back. Because of its unique form factor, the iPhone 5 is the most easily model to differentiate visually.
iPhone 4S Black

October 2011

5th Generation: iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S was available in black or white, with three available capacities (16, 32, or 64GB). Although the iPhone 4S looks very similar to the iPhone 4, with the same slim glass and aluminum casing, Retina Display, and FaceTime camera, Apple updated many of the internal components. The iPhone 4S features a faster processor, better camera, Siri voice assistant, and an improved dual cellular antenna. There are no longer separate models for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.The easiest way to tell the difference between the iPhone 4S, Verizon iPhone 4, and the GSM (AT&T) iPhone 4 is by looking for a SIM tray and where the breaks in the aluminum band appear. See the images below for these differences.

iPhone 4 Black

June 2010

4th Generation: iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 was available in black or white, with two available capacities (16 or 32GB). Currently, the iPhone 4 is available with 8GB capacity in either black or white. The iPhone 4 remains available with either GSM (AT&T) or CDMA (Verizon & Sprint) cellular technology. iPhone 4 included a slimmer, redesigned case with square edges and a glass back. On the back is a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash to the right of the lens. A front-facing camera allows you to video chat using FaceTime. The 3.5″ widescreen Retina display is so high-resolution that the human eye is unable to distinguish the individual pixels (or in other words, it looks sharp.)

iPhone 3GS Black and White

June 2009

3rd Generation: iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS was available in white or black plastic and two capacities (16 or 32GB). Currently, the iPhone 3GS is only available in 8GB capacity in black. The iPhone 3G S introduced a number of features not available in prior generations (even with a software upgrade), namely, video recording, a digital compass, voice control, and Nike + iPod integration. Physically, the iPhone 3G S looks nearly identical to the iPhone 3G. The only notable difference is that the text printed on the back of the iPhone 3G S matches the reflective silver color of the Apple logo above it (whereas the text of the iPhone 3G was printed in a non-reflective, light-grey color). Note that, given their identical physical dimensions, cases for the iPhone 3G S will also fit the iPhone 3G.

iPhone 3g Black

July 2008

2nd Generation: iPhone 3G

The iPhone 3G was the first to feature an all-plastic case and was available in two colors (white or black) with a rounded back. The iPhone 3G was available in two capacities, 8 and 16GB. The iPhone 3G looks nearly identical to the iPhone 3G S. The only notable difference is the text printed on the back: the iPhone 3G is printed in a light-grey color, whereas the text on iPhone 3G S is reflective silver and matches the Apple logo above it. Note that, given their identical physical dimensions, cases for the iPhone 3G will also fit the iPhone 3G S.

iPhone Black and Silver

June 2007

1st Generation: “Original” iPhone

The first generation iPhone is distinguished by its aluminum back, notably different from the second and third generation iPhone, which both featured a hard plastic back. Another clear difference is the back of the first generation iPhone is flat, as opposed to the rounded back of the later generations. It was available in one color (“silver” aluminum) and three capacities (4, 8, and 16GB).




How to differentiate between the iPhone 4 and 4S


Because the iPhone 4S, Verizon iPhone 4, and AT&T iPhone 4 look so similar, it can be difficult to see the subtle differences among these three different models. Here are some additional illustrations to help you differentiate these phones:

iPhone 4 - CDMA - Verizon: No SIM Tray, No seam in aluminum band next to the headphone jack. iPhone 4 - GSM - AT&T and Sprint: SIM Tray, Seam in aluminum band next to headphone jack. iPhone 4S - GSM and CDMA - Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint - SIM Tray, No seam in aluminum band next to the headphone jack.
SIM Tray, on right edge of upright phone, slight oval indentation with a hole for a paperclip/SIM tray tool
Illustration of the seam next to the headphone jack and noise canceling microphone hole that only exists on the AT&T iPhone 4

How to find the capacity of your iPhone

iPhone 4S and later models do not have a capacity printed on the back; here are illustrated steps to find how much storage space your iPhone has.

1. Open the ‘Settings’ App on your iPhone.

General Settings, just below wallpaper or wallpaper and brightness

2. Tap the ‘General’ button.

3. Tap the ‘About’ button.

About option in the General menu is the first item in the list.

4. Capacity will be listed here.

Capacity is under applications in the About menu

Note: capacity will not be exactly 16, 32, or 64 due to formatting, but it will be close. In this example we used a 32GB iPhone 4S.


  1. Hi. I don’t have alot if memory. Is it because of Apps I have downloaded that I really don’t even use? Sue

    • August Guyot says:

      Hi, Sue. Yes, it’s very possible that having a lot of apps will reduce your storage space. To delete the ones you don’t use, tap and hold your finger over an app’s icon. They’ll start to wiggle, so to speak, and you’ll see a little “X” icon in a circle in the upper-left corner of the app’s icon. You can tap this X to delete any apps you don’t use. You can always download them again later, but be aware that if you have any data stored in an app, it will likely be deleted too.

      Music, movies, pictures, and other files can also take up space on your device. You can go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > USAGE to see which apps and data are taking up the most space. If you have a lot of music, photos, or videos, that data will be included under the appropriate app (for example, the amount of data used for the Music app includes all your MP3 files). You can use this section to get a clear picture of what’s taking up the most space and assess how to best free it up.

    • Sue, I have had a lot of memory issues myself. I’m not sure about the Apps that you speak of, but I have been able to trace my problems with low memory back to some LSD that I downloaded many years ago – way before the iPhone was ever introduced. I had a similar issue to what August describes above with the apps suddenly starting to “wiggle”. I didn’t see any Xs on them, but after the wiggling began to slow just a bit, the icons appeared to melt and slide right off the screen.

      You may think back to your younger years and explore the LSD possibility if you had any misspent years during your youth like I did. There are other possible sources of this wiggling app episode. However, I never tried any other hallucinogens that may have caused my issues, so I’m probably going to have to stick to the LSD theory.

      Although, there was this one friend that I knew that downloaded some mushrooms much more recently (this time, if memory serves, it was actually after the release of the first iPhone, but, then again, memory seems to be the issue here anyway so I wouldn’t place too much hope on this story) and he also had the wiggling icons issue. In his words, ‘they were wiggling very violently.” I assume this was when he had tried August’s solution of tapping and holding them down with his finger. Continuing, he chuckled, “and then, like a butterfly, a couple of them lifted right off the screen and fluttered away.’ (I thought that part to be a little unbelievable, but to see that August was dealing with MP3 flies, whatever those are, I think he may have been telling the truth after all. Anyway, afraid that he may lose more of his icons he picked a couple with his thumb and index finger, much the way monkeys pick fleas and such off one another (Apple refers to this method as ‘pinching’ in some of their support documents), and he ‘popped them in his mouth’ and chewed them up quickly to prevent any further loss. He paused after telling me about that for what seemed like forever but, in reality, it was only for about 10 minutes and then this strange grin came over his face and his eyes seemed to light up as he told me, “they tasted just like chicken.”

      I don’t know if any of that sounds like what may be happening with your device, but if you don’t find the answer soon I would definitely recommend taking in to account all possibilities that may be affecting your memory.

      The Twisted Pixel