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Apple Plans to Change to Randomized Serial Numbers for Future Merchandise Beginning in Late 2020 – jj
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Apple Plans to Change to Randomized Serial Numbers for Future Merchandise Beginning in Late 2020

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In an internal memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers, Apple has indicated that it plans to update its serial number format to a randomized alphanumeric string for future products starting in late 2020. Apple says all serial numbers that exist before the change is made will remain the same.


Apple already uses alphanumeric serial numbers, but it has long been possible to determine the date and location that a product was manufactured based on the current format. Readers would often use serial numbers to glean more information about their devices. The randomized format would likely not be decipherable, or at least hard to, and it could also help to reduce fraud.

The memo was published today and obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. It is unclear if the change will apply worldwide.

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