I need to replace a part in my MacBook 13", Aluminum, Late 2008 and I have found a piece that seems to match, but I got confused by the code "A1278" in the description, which I have not seen anywhere in my machine's specifications. It looks like it is associated with different models, not just with mine, and mostly with MacBook Pro.

What does "A1278" mean in a description of a MacBook model? It seems to be referred to as model number, but it is shared by different models. Would it mean that all models with this identifier are in some sense compatible? Can some parts of one such model be used in another?

2 Answers 2


The model number can be found on the bottom side of your MacBook.

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I have an app called "Mactracker" and it gives statistics for (allegedly) all of the various Mac hardware options.

Here is some info on model number A1278:


Hopefully that helps.

  • Thanks, this helped. I could indeed decipher this number on the bottom side of my laptop (it was barely readable). I have developed my question a bit further.
    – Alexey
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    It looks like there are 12 Macs with the model number A1278. This page recommends looking the device up by "order number" or "serial number" instead as these are unique. everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup/?search_keywords=a1278
    – TMHahn
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:06

The A1278 identifier is the model number. It references the "generation" of your particular device, but it can span many years.

For example, A1278 is the model number for the Late 2008 13 inch Aluminum MacBook and the 13 inch MacBook Pro going from Mid 2009 through Mid 2012.

When it gets a significant change, like it did in Early 2013, it will get a new number (A1425)

ifixit.com has an excellent utility that illustrates this clearly

  • According to another answer, it also includes MacBook Aluminum from 2008.
    – Alexey
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 16:47
  • I am still curious to know, what "generation" referenced by it means.
    – Alexey
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 16:50
  • Sorry, my mistake. I skipped over the 2008 model and went right for the 2009. As far as what the generation means - that's an Apple "thing." They aren't forthcoming with their number schemes.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:05

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