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How do I determine what version of Bluetooth my iPhone supports (4.2, 5, etc.)?

Is it determined by my hardware (such as iPhone SE)? Or is it all in the OS version (such as mine that's iOS 13.5.1)? What Bluetooth version do these values map to?

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  • This looks like an XY Problem. What problem are you trying to solve with this info?
    – fsb
    Aug 13, 2020 at 20:56
  • Mostly I'm curious. I was trying to figure out if my phone supported v5 because I was looking at buying a bluetooth receiver. Based on this article, it seems pretty certain that my phone does not support v5. But I still don't know the exact version number my phone does support. Or whether it's determined by the phone model or by the iOS version. Plus, knowing how to lookup the version of Bluetooth my phone supports seems like a useful thing to know how to do.
    – xdhmoore
    Aug 13, 2020 at 21:09
  • if you include your iPhone model number I can tell you directly which version of Bluetooth you have.
    – Natsfan
    Aug 13, 2020 at 23:16

3 Answers 3

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You can search for your iPhone's technical specifications page by model name (like "iPhone SE") on the apple support site. However, make sure you know what generation you are interested in, if that's a thing with your model. I searched for "iphone se technical specifications" on both the support site and the main Apple site and one site gave me info on 1st gen SE, the other on 2nd gen SE (both labelled "iPhone SE").

The resulting spec page has info about the Bluetooth version supported, so I suppose it is determined by the hardware and not on the iOS version.

UPDATE: It seems you can find a spec page containing bluetooth information on https://everymac.com by searching for the model number "MP8K2LL/A" as well.

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  • +1 for some good research! I posted an answer that expands a bit more on what you found
    – Allan
    Aug 14, 2020 at 0:21
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Bluetooth Capabilities

What Bluetooth version do these values map to?

Your Bluetooth chip is actually part of the larger wireless chip inside your phone. It could be integrated with the Broadcom or Qualcomm radios or it could be a separate WiFi and Bluetooth module much like the AirPort cards found in Mac computers.

Those versions "map to" the capabilities of the Bluetooth functionality of that chipset. As far as your OS is concerned (macOS, iOS, iPadOS, etc.) it can only make use of what the chip provides. A manufacturer can choose to not enable NFC pairing for example, even though it's part of the Bluetooth 5 standard. The operating system cannot "upgrade" Bluetooth functionality in the same manner that filling your car with ultra high octane racing gas can suddenly make it a contender for the 24 hours at Sebring.

So, to answer your question....

Is it determined by my hardware (such as iPhone SE)?

Yes, but not just your hardware. It also depends on what features that the Bluetooth hardware is capable of that Apple makes available in their operating system (i.e NFC or Near Field Communications)

How to find the technical specifications

Apple maintains a database of the technical specifications for all of it's products at https://support.apple.com/specs. Every product they make is archived here - I checked for the original iPhone and sure enough, it was available.

Apple Tech Specs Page

The Bluetooth information is usually found under the Cellular and wireless section as shown below:

iPhone tech specs wireless section

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  • Good answer. Did you know if you google on the model number you get the information you're looking for? Nothing but a model number. Prettty cool.
    – Natsfan
    Aug 14, 2020 at 1:11
  • @jmh I put the model MPA42ll/A in both Google and Bing. I actually got better results in Bing. Try this search: bing.com/search?q=MPA42ll%2FA and look at the box on the right.
    – Allan
    Aug 14, 2020 at 1:34
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You can get the model number of your device by going to Settings-General-About and then type into google the model number iPad Bluetooth version and it will display pages that have the information. As an example, I have an iPad Pro with model number MPA42LL/A. I typed the following into Google search box:

iPad MPA42ll/A BlueTooth version    

And I got about 4 sites that told me directly the Bluetooth version. It also gives you the generation and name of the iPad.

If you just type in the model number only into Google, you'll get info on that version of Apple Product.

The Bluetooth depends on the hardware, not the System Software.

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  • Search by model number is ideal, but I've actually had trouble finding a spec page based on the model number for whatever reason. Maybe cause it's verizon-specific? I mostly get a bunch of ecommerce product pages.
    – xdhmoore
    Aug 14, 2020 at 0:54
  • did you use all caps for a model number? Did you get the model number from the Settings?
    – Natsfan
    Aug 14, 2020 at 1:00
  • yep The everymac site looks useful though.
    – xdhmoore
    Aug 14, 2020 at 1:06
  • Note that "Works for me syndrome" is normal for search engines for at least a decade. Search engines tailor their search results specifically to the user, so the fact that jmh gets the desired results does not mean that anybody else will get them, even with the exact same search query. Search is highly personalized, "type this in and it will give you the results" hasn't worked for many years. It might give you the results, but someone else may get different ones. Aug 14, 2020 at 9:50

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