Apple is planning to switch over to use randomized serial numbers for all future products. The change will take place in “early 2021” after initial plans were delayed out of 2020.
The change will be applied to future products shipping from the company. Currently, the product’s serial number contains information such as manufacturing details and the configuration code. However, as reported by MacRumors, the new randomized serial number will strip that information away. According to an internal AppleCare email that was sent out, the randomized serial number will soon consist of 8-14 alphanumeric characters. It’s said that the product’s IMEI will not be affected by the change.
The current product serial number is useful to customers and providers in identifying the date and location the product was manufactured. As it stands, the first three characters of the serial number identify the location and the following two indicated the week and year. The remaining four characters identify the model, colour, and storage capacity of the device.
The change will not affect any products currently shipped. However, given the timing of the change, future products shipping from Apple will likely feature the new serial number. It’s been said that the plan was to introduce this new measure in 2020 but an unforeseen delay pushed it into early 2021. Once the transition has been made, the serial number will consist of 10 characters, Apple has said.