How to Know What Type of iPad You Have
By Anthony Oster
Beginning with the introduction of the iPad in 2010, there have been a total of 14 different iPad models released as of Autumn 2013. While the differences between some models such as the iPad and iPad Mini may be easy enough to distinguish, discriminating between Wi-Fi only and cellular models or differentiating a first-generation iPad from a third-generation model may be more difficult. Thankfully, Apple has provided several means for consumers to identify their particular iPad model, utilizing serial numbers, measurements and the charging cable included with your device.
The most direct way to identify the model of your iPad is by the model number located on the back of your device. The model number is located below the "iPad" logo and can be found in the fine print located near the bottom of the device that reads "Designed by Apple in California." All iPad models are identified by the letter "A." Model number "A1432" is designated to Wi-Fi-only iPad Mini devices, whereas model number "A1454" designates an iPad Mini with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities. A list of iPad model numbers can be found in the "References" section of this article.
Ride the Lightning
Apple replaced the traditional 30-pin connector used with previous iPad models beginning with the introduction of the fourth-generation iPad and the iPad Mini. In addition to providing faster data transfer speeds, the lightning cable is significantly smaller in size than the 30-pin connector. If you have a full-size iPad with a lightning cable, you are using a fourth-generation iPad. All other iPad models utilize the 30-pin connector.
The most obvious difference between the iPad and iPad Mini is the size of each device. The iPad Mini is 7.87 inches tall and 5.3 inches wide, making it the smallest device in the iPad family. The first-generation iPad measured in at 9.56 inches tall and 7.47 inches wide, while later generation full-sized iPads are 9.5 inches tall and 7.31 inches wide. Because of this size difference, third-party accessories designed for the original iPad may not be compatible with the second generation and on.
Differences in Color
While all iPad models are available in a black front bezel color, the white front bezel was introduced with the second-generation iPad. If you have an iPad with a white front bezel, you can automatically rule out the possibility of it being a first-generation iPad because this color was not available in the original release.
All iPad models, regardless of size or generation, are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. The storage capacity of your model is located on the back of your device just below the iPad logo. The storage capacity of your device does not alter your model number, so 16GB and 64GB Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 devices would share the "A1395" model number, for example.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.