Apple will begin to use randomized serial numbers in the early part of this year, according to a new report.

Apple sent an internal AppleCare memo which was then picked up by MacRumors, with the company noting that a new serial number format will consist of a random alphanumeric string of 8-14 characters.

That means that the new serial numbers will no longer tell anyone when the device was built, or where. There will be no configuration information available via the new serial numbers, either.

That’s very much unlike the current format.

Apple’s current serial number format has long allowed both customers and service providers to determine the date and location that a product was manufactured, with the first three characters representing the manufacturing location and the following two indicating the year and week of manufacture. The last four characters currently serve as a “configuration code,” revealing a device’s model, color, and storage capacity.

Apple did confirm that IMEI numbers will not change as part of this move, likely because those numbers are associated with carrier information and will need to follow an existing format.

Apple intends to kick the new randomized serial numbers off in the early part of this year having initially canned plans to do it in the later months of 2020.

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