Apple in April told its authorized premium resellers and dealers to get ready for new products with randomized 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, and the transition has now begun with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries.
MacRumors has confirmed that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial number format, compared to the usual 12 characters for most other Apple products.
Apple previously said its randomized serial numbers would initially be 10 characters long, so the purple iPhone 12 appears to be the first Apple product with a randomized serial number.
The randomized serial number format apparently doesn’t apply to the AirTag at this time, as multiple reports say users are still seeing 12-character serial numbers for the item tracking accessory. Nothing has been mentioned whether the new iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV will sport randomized serial numbers when they launch in the second half of May.
Apple sent a memo telling authorized resellers and dealers to ensure that their “systems, warehouses, and processes are in place and able to receive and ship the two serial number formats.”
Apple has traditionally used a 12-digit serial number format for its products. The alphanumeric format holds key information, including the item’s production date and time. Apple’s new randomized serial number format initially starts at 10 digits and item information will be harder to decipher.