iPhones and iPads can be purchased through multiple e-commerce platforms, and every so often there are reports of someone receiving an old Apple device after ordering a new one. It is worth knowing whether a device is new or not before buying and there’s an easy way to check, as the model number on Apple devices contains all the required information.

The model number is an alpha-numeric sequence that’s made up of a combination of source, model, and region identifiers for the device, making it easy to quickly check the origins of a device, including whether it’s new or refurbished. To locate the model number on an iPhone or an iPad, open the Settings app and tap on General. In the menu that opens, tap on About and the model number will be listed as the fourth option from the top.

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If the model number begins with ‘M‘ then this means that the device is new and has been purchased from the official Apple store, either online or offline. Users can also verify the originality of a product by entering the serial number (located below the model number) on Apple‘s Check Coverage webpage. If the model number begins with any other letter, the user might have been scammed into buying an older device.

What The First Letter Of A Model Number Means

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If purchasing a used iPhone or iPad, the device could be a replacement, refurbished, or a customized unit. If the model number of the device begins with ‘N‘ then this means that the iPhone/iPad is a replacement unit, which is generally offered by Apple in exchange for faulty devices. It is worth mentioning that the majority of replacement units are not new. If the model number of the device begins with an ‘F‘ then this indicates that the device is actually a refurbished unit. These are devices that have been returned to the company by a customer, possibly due to a defect, and repaired.

Lastly, if a product’s model number begins with ‘P‘ then this signifies that the device is a personalized or engraved unit. Apple offers the personalization of devices through its official store, enabling users to get their name, a message and even emojis engraved on an Apple device. Other letters in the model number contain information about the device’s color, storage, and region. Checking these details before purchasing an iPhone or iPad from somewhere can help to avoid problems later on.