Apple begins transition to randomized device serial numbers with purple iPhone 12

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 5
Apple has initiated a transition to randomized device serial numbers, a policy that will likely extend to the company's entire product line, according to a report on Wednesday.

Purple iPhone 12


In March, Apple in an internal email sent to AppleCare service providers announced plans to switch to a new serial number format that strips out manufacturing information.

Instead of using a string of numbers and letters that designate when and where a device was produced, as well as its unique designation and configuration, Apple is transitioning to a series of random characters. The shift was initially planned for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the program into early 2021.

It appears that Apple is now utilizing the new alphanumeric strings for its purple iPhone 12. Announced in April and released last week, the purple handset eschews Apple's 12-character serial number for a 10-character alternative, reports MacRumors and ZolloTech's Aaron Zollo.

As noted in the report, the new iPhone 12 variant appears to be the first of Apple's products to receive the treatment, as another new product -- AirTag -- retains legacy 12-character strings. The publication was unable to confirm whether the new format extends to the purple iPhone 12 mini.

Apple is expected to adopt serial number schemes that range between 8 and 14 characters as the initiative rolls out with subsequent products, potentially including the 2021 iPad Pro, 24-inch iMac or refreshed Apple TV 4K.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    MicDorseyMicDorsey Posts: 69member
    This story would actually be informative if the author would explain (or even speculate about) Apple's motivation behind the change, and how the new format might impact users.
    lollivertokyojimujony0
  • Reply 2 of 6
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,068member
    MicDorsey said:
    This story would actually be informative if the author would explain (or even speculate about) Apple's motivation behind the change, and how the new format might impact users.
    The very first link in the article ( the words “internal email” in the second paragraph) leads here: 

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/03/09/apple-will-switch-to-randomized-serial-numbers-in-early-2021
  • Reply 3 of 6
    hydrogenhydrogen Posts: 259member
    Clever way to make opportunistic class actions more difficult .....
  • Reply 4 of 6
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 111member
    Not really sure what difference it makes. Automobiles have been using serial numbers for years the typically include the year the car was made, the assembly plant, trim level, engine size, etc without issue. 
  • Reply 5 of 6
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,239member
    In the watch world, manufacturers started using random serial numbers to dissuade counterfeiting. As an unintended consequence, dealers could keep old stock for longer (s/n no longer denotes year of manufacture). 
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 6
    j2fusion said:
    Not really sure what difference it makes. Automobiles have been using serial numbers for years the typically include the year the car was made, the assembly plant, trim level, engine size, etc without issue. 
    Scammers making false repair claims on easily guessable S/Ns. I'm not sure how the scam is/was pulled off, but I was informed my iPhone 5 or 5s was ineligible for repair due to it already being replaced in another state. The Apple Store realized my serial number had been involved in a scam (since the "returned" phone was sitting right in front of them) and overrode the ineligibility to repair my phone.
    edited May 7
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