This is a follow-up to this question.

In short: I need to buy an iPhone 4S with iOS 7.0 (and this version specifically, not the latest 7.1).

I have mailed an Apple reseller asking if they had any in stock only to learn that Apple does not print any information about iOS version on the box so they cannot tell me. I thought if there were a way to identify what version of iOS is installed based on serial number or some other indicators I could ask resellers very specific questions (i.e. Have you got any XYZ series iPhones in stock?).

My questions are: is it possible to recognise the iOS version based on serial number or any other factor in a new iPhone? If yes, how do I do that?

To be more specific: I would like to identify a range of serial numbers of iPhone 4S that shipped with iOS 7.0 installed as the original system. Is that possible?

2 Answers 2


The serial number will allow you to view the model and technical specifications of the phone. Using this information, you can 1) find the original iOS the phone ran, and 2) find out the iOS(s) with which the device is compatible with.

However, you can't remotely find the current iOS version or specific update to that version based on the serial number alone.

  • OK, this answers my question partially but I see perhaps I should have been more specific. I don't want to find the current version of an iPhone based on its serial number. I would like to identify which range of serial numers shipped with a specific version of iOS (7.0 in my case).
    – Erathiel
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 9:49
  • All iOS devices released by Apple after September 18th, 2013 shipped with iOS7. AFAIK, there is no way to retrieve the "range" of serial numbers for every single iOS device released after that date.
    – njboot
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 9:54
  • @Erathiel i see you edited for specificity's sake. That's good, but my answer still applies. Even if you were to identify the range of serial numbers that shipped with the original iOS 7.0, there's no way of telling whether or not the device has subsequently been updated to 7.1 using the serial number.
    – njboot
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 10:14
  • True, but I think you're missing one important point -- I am targeting a new device so there's no talk of upgrading the system if the device is still in a sealed box, is there? :)
    – Erathiel
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 10:20
  • @Erathiel yes, that's a good point. All devices shipped after 9/18 (and before _/2014 when 7.1 was released) brand new, sealed in box, should be running iOS 7.0. Using a S/N to find such a device seems like a roundabout method, however. Why not just look for NIB devices purchased from Apple within this time period?
    – njboot
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 10:24

With the serial number, you could check the manufacture date against the release dat elf the version of iOS that you want. However, there'd be no guarantees (I don't know when Apple starts preloading iOS updates on new phones vs. when the software is released to the public or how precise the manufacture date tool is).

http://www.appleserialnumberinfo.com/Desktop/index.php via https://discussions.apple.com/message/22794243#22794243

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