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Where can I locate the Order Number for my Mac? Are Order Numbers unique? What are the limitations identifying a Mac using Order Numbers?
Apple Order Numbers -- which also are referred to as Model Numbers, Part Numbers, or Marketing Numbers -- in the US as well as some other countries look like MB467LL/A. Sometimes an Order Number will end in just an "LL" (i.e. MA876LL) and occasionally will end with a "/B" in lieu of "/A."
Order Numbers can be found in many places -- on receipts, invoices, packaging, shipping information, product information sheets, brochures and other assorted documentation. Unfortunately, Order Numbers cannot be found on the hardware itself nor can they be found in the "About This Mac" section of Mac OS X, and this is the primary limitation of this identifier.
In general, Order Numbers are quite unique and almost always refer to a specific configuration rather than just a series or a case type. However, Order Numbers are not entirely unique. For example, as the Mac mini G4/1.5 formally was not introduced (or even acknowledged by Apple), it shares the same M9687LL/B Order Number as one configuration of the Mac mini G4/1.42 that came before it. However, duplicity of Order Numbers is quite rare, and most agree that they are the best identifier to distribute as they are almost always unique and safer to share than Serial Numbers.
Another limitation of Order Numbers is that the numbers can vary in different countries. For example, the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13-Inch (Mid-2010) was assigned an Order Number of MC374LL/A in the US (and many other countries), but in Australia it was assigned MC374X/A, in Brazil MC374BZ/A, in Japan MC374J/A, and in China MC374CH/A.
EveryMac.com lists the most common MC374LL/A Order Number for this model, but EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature is "smart enough" to identify models by Order Number if one just enters the first five characters. Consequently, a user in Brazil, for example, can just enter MC374 to identify this particular Mac.
A list of the most common Order Numbers/Part Numbers for each model from the By Identifier section of the site additionally may be useful. Please be mindful of asterisks, as this indicates that additional order numbers are applicable to a particular Mac as well.
If you cannot find a Mac using its Order Number, but are able to track it down using another identifier, please share any missing information with EveryMac.com. The Ultimate Mac Lookup feature already is quite comprehensive, but it will become more and more so with your additions. Thank you.