or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple readies new hardware serial number format
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple readies new hardware serial number format

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
With unit sales at all-time highs, Apple Computer next month will roll out a revised serial number format for its hardware products that the company says will lend better support for continued growth and scalability.

Under the new format, all "finished goods" such as Macs, iPods and accessories, will be stamped with a serial number consisting of 18 numeric digits. Presently, Apple uses an 11-character alphanumeric scheme.

The new format will reportedly extend to AppleCare Protection Plans and AppleCare Support IDs, but not to software products.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple began informing its service partners of the change in January, asking them to update their own in-house computer systems so that they can be ready to begin servicing products using the new format in May.

As part of the change, the company will also debut new subassembly serial numbers for components such as optical drives, logic boards, and wireless kits. Similarly, these items are slated to move from a 12-character alphanumeric serial format to a 17-character alphanumeric scheme.

At this time, Apple service providers that rely on bar code scanning will also need to make sure they're using the Barcode 128 standard or an equivalent, the company also warned. Barcode 128 is a barcode standard based on high-density linear symbology that can encode text, numbers, several functions and the entire 128 character ASCII character set.

In addition to supporting the new serial format, Apple also requires that service providers support the old 11 alphanumeric character serial numbers in their systems for a period of at least five years.

For the average customer, the change in serial number formats will be transparent. However, those die-hard Apple fans responsible for breaking down the company's current serial format will now need to go to work in order to make sense of the new 18 digit serials.

Currently, there are a handful of scripts on the internet that when fed with an Apple hardware serial number will return a list of details, such as the name and model of the product the serial belongs to, the date it was manufactured, and the precise location of the factory that built it.
post #2 of 34




For what it's worth the one good thing I see coming from this is that now It will be easier to give the serial number of a Mac over the phone!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #3 of 34
Somebody please put me on a drip.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
For what it's worth the one good thing I see coming from this is that now It will be easier to give the serial number of a Mac over the phone!

surely more difficult as it's longer?! \
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
surely more difficult as it's longer?! \

Not if you are punching it in using the phone keypad... I believe it could also result in more accurate voice recognition on an automated phone system since there are less variables to differentiate between.
post #6 of 34
This is big Big BIG NEWS!!!!

Wow, a new serial number format!!! I also heard that the stickers they use to keep the little plastic packages that hold the manuals and registration cards are being changed to a different formula adhesive!! Oh, and Steve Jobs just bought a new watch!!!

:d
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by dak splunder
This is big Big BIG NEWS!!!!

Wow, a new serial number format!!! I also heard that the stickers they use to keep the little plastic packages that hold the manuals and registration cards are being changed to a different formula adhesive!! Oh, and Steve Jobs just bought a new watch!!!

:d

If you don't give a shit about the news, don't read it. It's that simple.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCentric
Not if you are punching it in using the phone keypad... I believe it could also result in more accurate voice recognition on an automated phone system since there are less variables to differentiate between.

That's true. But, as it's much longer, it's also more likely that you will make a mistake when reading it.

Most companies use alphanumeric serial numbers. They can be much shorter, while at the same time being much more secure. A letter gives 26 choices per space, vs 10 for numeric. 26 x 26 x 26 x26 =456,976 choices, vs 10,000 for 10 x 10 x 10 x 10.

Sheesh, even phones have letters on the keyboard.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Sheesh, even phones have letters on the keyboard.

From what I've heard, lots of phones in Europe actually don't have letters on the keyboards.

:d
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by dak splunder
From what I've heard, lots of phones in Europe actually don't have letters on the keyboards.

:d

Thats only on stationary phones. We dont use the ####SOMENAME over here.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
Reply
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
Reply
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
With unit sales at all-time highs, Apple Computer next month will roll out a revised serial number format for its hardware products that the company says will lend better support for continued growth and scalability.

Under the new format, all "finished goods" such as Macs, iPods and accessories, will be stamped with a serial number consisting of 18 numeric digits. Presently, Apple uses an 11-character alphanumeric scheme.

The new format will reportedly extend to AppleCare Protection Plans and AppleCare Support IDs, but not to software products.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple began informing its service partners of the change in January, asking them to update their own in-house computer systems so that they can be ready to begin servicing products using the new format in May.

As part of the change, the company will also debut new subassembly serial numbers for components such as optical drives, logic boards, and wireless kits. Similarly, these items are slated to move from a 12-character alphanumeric serial format to a 17-character alphanumeric scheme.

At this time, Apple service providers that rely on bar code scanning will also need to make sure they're using the Barcode 128 standard or an equivalent, the company also warned. Barcode 128 is a barcode standard based on high-density linear symbology that can encode text, numbers, several functions and the entire 128 character ASCII character set.

In addition to supporting the new serial format, Apple also requires that service providers support the old 11 alphanumeric character serial numbers in their systems for a period of at least five years.

For the average customer, the change in serial number formats will be transparent. However, those die-hard Apple fans responsible for breaking down the company's current serial format will now need to go to work in order to make sense of the new 18 digit serials.

Currently, there are a handful of scripts on the internet that when fed with an Apple hardware serial number will return a list of details, such as the name and model of the product the serial belongs to, the date it was manufactured, and the precise location of the factory that built it.

Obviously I must now cancel my order for a 2 GHz Core Duo iMac with 2 Gigs RAM, 500 Gig HD, and 256 Meg Vid Card Upgrade (plus Wireless keyboard and mouse) so I can be certain to get one with an 18 digit serial number.
One of the fork and spoon operators from Sector 7-G
Reply
One of the fork and spoon operators from Sector 7-G
Reply
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch
Thats only on stationary phones. We dont use the ####SOMENAME over here.

It's tough to do texting without letters.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by BigMcLargehuge
Obviously I must now cancel my order for a 2 GHz Core Duo iMac with 2 Gigs RAM, 500 Gig HD, and 256 Meg Vid Card Upgrade (plus Wireless keyboard and mouse) so I can be certain to get one with an 18 digit serial number.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple began informing its service partners of the change in January, asking them to update their own in-house computer systems so that they can be ready to begin servicing products using the new format in May.

Hardware hint? No new hardware until May? I think as much as you are all laughing about this story, it could be revealing about when will next see a hardware update from Apple.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
Hardware hint? No new hardware until May? I think as much as you are all laughing about this story, it could be revealing about when will next see a hardware update from Apple.

Supposedly, they can announce in April, for delivery in May. That's not unusual.

We expect some products late April, at NAB.
post #16 of 34
Holy Sheet. I better buy some apple stock NOW, this is exactly what Apple needed to dominate the industry.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnnySmith
Holy Sheet. I better buy some apple stock NOW, this is exactly what Apple needed to dominate the industry.

Wow, you've got that whole irony thing down pat!
post #18 of 34
I'm only posting this so this thread keeps getting bumped to the top. That way others will think, "Wow, I never thought a thread on serial numbers could be interesting--I better check it out to see what fascinating stuff is being posted there." (Like I did.) \

Literary aside: I now think I understand the suckers who got conned by the king and the duke in Huckleberry Finn. They know they got conned at the show, but instead of going after the con-artists, they tell everyone else in the town that the show was great--so they aren't the only ones who get conned.
post #19 of 34
Let's see Windblows match this...
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
Reply
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
Reply
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
If you don't give a shit about the news, don't read it. It's that simple.

Serial numbers isn't news. It isn't even a fluff piece. It's trumping up some irrelevant trivia at best.

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Supposedly, they can announce in April, for delivery in May. That's not unusual.

We expect some products late April, at NAB.

Is anyone here going to NAB? I thought about going for business reasons but I'm not up to it quite yet.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by DCQ
I'm only posting this so this thread keeps getting bumped to the top. That way others will think, "Wow, I never thought a thread on serial numbers could be interesting--I better check it out to see what fascinating stuff is being posted there." (Like I did.) \

Literary aside: I now think I understand the suckers who got conned by the king and the duke in Huckleberry Finn. They know they got conned at the show, but instead of going after the con-artists, they tell everyone else in the town that the show was great--so they aren't the only ones who get conned.

And the point to this post was...
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Serial numbers isn't news. It isn't even a fluff piece. It's trumping up some irrelevant trivia at best.



Is anyone here going to NAB? I thought about going for business reasons but I'm not up to it quite yet.

Everything is news Jeff. Trivial perhaps, but it gives us something to talk about that we wont turn purple over.

I used to go to NAB, the Cable conventions (Playboy's display was ALWAYS the best). I used to design and built electronic and mechanical games for Showtime. But not any more.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Everything is news Jeff.

To people that are in love with a money-making machine (incidentally called Apple), yes.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
Reply
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
Reply
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Let's see Windblows match this...

Ouch, nice.
"Humankind -- despite its artistic pretensions, its sophistication, and its many accomplishments -- owes its existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
Reply
"Humankind -- despite its artistic pretensions, its sophistication, and its many accomplishments -- owes its existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
Reply
post #25 of 34
This is something that's going to affect me as a software developer. My product tracks hardware assets, so it needs to obtain the hardware serial number and send it to the management server, which will also need to handle the new data format in the database & reports.
post #26 of 34
I hate reviving this topic, but I wonder if the new 17-inch MacBook Pro will have the new serial number format, or is that waiting for the lower-end MacBooks?
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
I hate reviving this topic, but I wonder if the new 17-inch MacBook Pro will have the new serial number format, or is that waiting for the lower-end MacBooks?

Answering my own question Perhaps not...

You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #28 of 34
Here in Asia I made a web form for an Apple reseller for trade-ins. I had restricted the serial number field (using Dreamweaver Spry) to 11 characters only. Until now, I haven't encountered more than that.

Today I got an email from someone trying to enter 12 characters, it's legit, incidentally a MacBook Pro 17".

Haven't seen more than 12 characters though. Maybe Apple is only gradually increasing their serial number character count. I have changed the web form to accept 11 to 12 characters now. (Yes, Dreamweaver Spry is not the best solution in the whole world, but it works for what's needed at this stage).
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMcLargehuge View Post

Obviously I must now cancel my order for a 2 GHz Core Duo iMac with 2 Gigs RAM, 500 Gig HD, and 256 Meg Vid Card Upgrade (plus Wireless keyboard and mouse) so I can be certain to get one with an 18 digit serial number.

Pfft that sounds so old! Amazing how technology changes in 5 years.

I wonder back then if we had imagined 27" IPS iMac with
2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM
Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
Magic Mouse

(Of course PC specs can be higher than these... another debate altogether)

Or the shift from big monster desktops to mobility.

Before iPhone, or even iPad, exploded Apple up into another level of the atmosphere.

Ah, it is interesting to reflect.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Here in Asia I made a web form for an Apple reseller for trade-ins. I had restricted the serial number field (using Dreamweaver Spry) to 11 characters only. Until now, I haven't encountered more than that.

Today I got an email from someone trying to enter 12 characters, it's legit, incidentally a MacBook Pro 17".

Haven't seen more than 12 characters though. Maybe Apple is only gradually increasing their serial number character count. I have changed the web form to accept 11 to 12 characters now. (Yes, Dreamweaver Spry is not the best solution in the whole world, but it works for what's needed at this stage).

Not to be a pain but why not start a fresh thread?

Besides that are you talking about serial numbers (which increase by one for each new device) or part numbers? Depending upon the encoding of the serial number the extra digits might be nothing more than an indication of higher sales volume. A good sign by the way.
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Not to be a pain but why not start a fresh thread?

Besides that are you talking about serial numbers (which increase by one for each new device) or part numbers? Depending upon the encoding of the serial number the extra digits might be nothing more than an indication of higher sales volume. A good sign by the way.

Yeah, I know it's an old thread but it's the top google result for "Apple serial number formats" or something like that. So I think it's nice to compare this announcement from 2006 with current status, and my recent first finding of a serial number longer than 11 characters.

This is related to serial numbers. Like W9930GJS393 or something like that. Part numbers are very different, they are like MC024LL/A, MB402ZP/A and so on.

Yeah, with higher sales volume that's why Apple needs to increase their current serial numbers from 11 characters, I imagine.

iPhone serial numbers are probably going to move from 11 chars to 12 chars or more, if they haven't already, I'm not sure.

My iPad serial number is 11 chars.

What is interesting is this article mentioned it could go up to 18 digits, and this was back in 2006. The article says that it would go to an 18 digit non-alphanumeric, numeric-only serial number format. But the 12 character serial number I got for a MacBook Pro 17" (recent model) is alphanumeric, not purely numeric like the article says.

Therefore, actually, it looks like Apple did *not* implement this 18 digit numeric-only serial number system, but maybe they just continued with the 11 character alphanumeric system, while extending it by an extra character for now.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Yeah, I know it's an old thread but it's the top google result for "Apple serial number formats" or something like that. So I think it's nice to compare this announcement from 2006 with current status, and my recent first finding of a serial number longer than 11 characters.

This is related to serial numbers. Like W9930GJS393 or something like that. Part numbers are very different, they are like MC024LL/A, MB402ZP/A and so on.

Yeah, with higher sales volume that's why Apple needs to increase their current serial numbers from 11 characters, I imagine.

iPhone serial numbers are probably going to move from 11 chars to 12 chars or more, if they haven't already, I'm not sure.

My iPad serial number is 11 chars.

What is interesting is this article mentioned it could go up to 18 digits, and this was back in 2006. The article says that it would go to an 18 digit non-alphanumeric, numeric-only serial number format. But the 12 character serial number I got for a MacBook Pro 17" (recent model) is alphanumeric, not purely numeric like the article says.

Therefore, actually, it looks like Apple did *not* implement this 18 digit numeric-only serial number system, but maybe they just continued with the 11 character alphanumeric system, while extending it by an extra character for now.

I rather they just went to letters. The advantage to the base 26 as opposed to the base 10 is enormous.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I rather they just went to letters. The advantage to the base 26 as opposed to the base 10 is enormous.

Well, they are keeping it as a combination of letters and numbers. So should be more than base 26 for each of the 11 or 12 characters.

Maybe they did realise 18 digits numeric-only is too long with limited possibilities compared to alphanumeric 11, 12 or even 13 characters.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Not to be a pain but why not start a fresh thread?

I'm fine with reviving an old thread when there is new information relevant to what started the thread.

Reviving an old thread means I get to see any updates too, because of the email notification of a new post to a subscribed thread.. I might never see a new thread.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple readies new hardware serial number format