While the IMEI number is something relatively normal, there’s still a reputation following it. For all the wrong reasons. You’ll hear all kinds of stories around the web, from those that are paranoid to those surrounded by mystery. We’re sorry to disappoint you, as there’s nothing unusual surrounding this number. It is a simple means of identifying a phone – nothing more, nothing less. Why people believe that this number is used to track them down or that they’re being put under surveillance by it is beyond us. This is why we decided to put our time and effort into this article and explain what an IMEI number is and why it’s essential for your phone. If this is what you were looking for, you’ve come to the right place, as we know a thing or two about the issue on our hands.
What Is An IMEI Number?
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Every phone has its own, and no number in the world is the same for different phones. This is how you can identify your smartphone in case you ever need it. Thanks to this number, we can tell apart mobile phones. In case your phone needs a repair, the person fixing it will know which one is yours and which one isn’t solely by looking at this number. There are millions of iPhones out there, and you can now see why this is important. IMEI consists of a 14 number string. The fifteenth digit serves as a verification number for the previous fourteen. You also can encounter phones with 16 numbers, which is there to identify the software used. When the IMEI number has sixteen numbers, it’s called IMEISV.
AA-BBBBBB-CCCCCC-D is the format of this number, which was adopted in 2004 and still goes strong today. Type Allocation Code (TAC) is what fits in the A and B sections. When you get a grasp of the terminology, you’ll know that TAC serves the purpose of identifying the model and the manufacturer of each piece. If you want to see it, you’ll recognize an iPhone 6 Plus by this set of numbers 35-332907. While usually phones have only one TAC number, you can encounter models that come with several.
Other pieces of each device that are being defined are serial number and handset. They come to you in the C section, and this number is unique for each device. Allocation and Approval Guidelines are also important, and you’ll get a grasp of them through the D section of the IMEI. With this number, it’s is known if the phone complies with the Allocation and Approval Guidelines. This number can be found on the package, and it’s usually the same as on the IMEI, but this doesn’t make it a part of it.
How to Find Your IMEI?
This shouldn’t be too hard to grasp, and luckily there are a couple of ways you can handle this. The one that requires you only to make a call is to take your phone to your manufacturer’s app on the phone itself by dialing *#06#. Once you do this, the number will appear on display. In case you are an owner of an Android phone or an iOS device, you can see this info in the settings section. The route to go is Settings > General > About for iOS users. Once you reach the end of the line, IMEI will appear. If you want to copy it, the procedure is the same as for anything else. For Android, it’s a bit different, with the route being Settings > About phone. In both cases, it is a relatively simple procedure.
This is all good and well if you have your smartphone in your hands and up and running. If this is not the case, then things get complicated but still solvable. The first place to look for it would be the retail packaging. If you didn’t find the packaging, the next one to look at would be the battery – in case it is removable. Underneath the battery, the IMEI is usually located.
In most cases, it is either printed on the back, or it is inscribed next to the SIM card. Wherever it may be, you should always look to find it, especially if you’re getting yourself a new phone which was previously in the hands of another owner. This is important to know, as the IMEI number can tell you a great deal of information about the given device.
What Is An IMEI Number Used For?
First and foremost, it is used as an identification for your device. As we mentioned, each number is unique; hence it can be seen as the device’s personal number. You can compare it to the Vehicle Identification Number, which is used in the car industry by car manufacturers. What you need to know and make a difference is that IMEI is not what your SIM number is. It is one of a kind, and it can’t be changed. Your SIM number is used to identify you, while IMEI identifies the device. If an accident happens and your phone gets stolen, you can tell your provider to block your IMEI so that no one can use your phone on any network. Once this is done, you can continue the further search for your missing device.
In many countries, there is a register used by law enforcement agencies which contain the IMEI numbers of all devices ever stolen or retrieved. This makes it easier for police to track down criminals and prevent the misusage of people and their devices. Many countries also made changing this number illegal. While it is illegal, there’s no stopping criminals from changing it. What they do is putting good numbers on stolen phones to avoid them being blacklisted. This is why it’s essential to keep your number hidden from everyone. Safety comes first.