Technology has been a dominant factor in our lives for the better part of the last 50 or so years. Rapidly evolving and ever-changing, new and amazing gadgets and devices are seemingly appearing each new day. It has become difficult to keep track of it all a long time ago, which is why there exists a system that is responsible for giving them some kind of identity. This is especially true for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as laptop computers.
The system we mentioned is called the International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI for short. An IMEI number is, therefore, a unique identification number that exists for every single mobile device in the world. If the device leaves a factory line and enters production, it has an IMEI number somewhere on it. Every single device has a different number that says a lot about the manufacturer, the brand itself, and the model. In the article before you, we will explore how it all works and what it does.
What does it look like?
Every IMEI number is different, that much has been said already, but how much different exactly? For starters, not all of them are of the same length. While the majority have 15 digits, some use 16 or even 17 digits, making them vastly different and absolutely unique. The digits show the number of the device, the place of origin, and the serial number.
What is it used for?
First and foremost, the number is used to distinguish the devices from each other. For example, if someone loses their phone it can be easier to identify it when or if it is found. Similarly, in legal cases, this is one of the most important things that proves if the perpetrator used a suspicious phone or not.
Moving on, the IMEI number can also indicate the phone’s current location, but location and data have to be turned on for it to work. This means that our phone can be tracked, but unless you somehow have your name or other personal data attached to it, no real harm can come to you.
Governments are unlikely to do this anyway, but hackers might. Still, there is nothing they can do by simply knowing your location without attaching a face or an ID to the IMEI number. Neither of the two cases happens nearly as often as you may believe and are practically non-existent.
How to check it and where to find yours
If you have no idea about what your IMEI number is and you need it as quickly as possible, you can dial *#06# and you should learn it immediately. It will pop up on your screen instantaneously. You cannot really copy and paste it for security reasons, but you can of course write it down and keep it somewhere safe.
This is not the only way to learn the number however since you can also navigate through your phone’s settings and find it there. Go to “Settings”, “About Phone”, “Status”, “IMEI information” and you will see it. Alternatively, in case you have kept the original box your smartphone came in, you can also read it from the label. Every new phone that was purchased legally has it written on the box, usually on a sticker right around the barcode somewhere. There are several numbers there, one of which is going to be the IMEI.
Both of the above-mentioned methods are available with Android and iPhone devices alike. Last but not least, you can usually find the IMEI on the back of your phone, right at the bottom next to the other usual information.
Checking it Online
If you want, you can use an online service like https://imei24.com/imei_check/Apple/ to check the number. They give you the opportunity to check the status of your warranty and can tell you a lot of additional information by checking the production date of your device.
Meaning of the digits
One of the most interesting things that makes the users want to learn their IMEI number is knowing where their phone was manufactured. The seventh and eighth digits are the country codes, indicating where the device was assembled and made. Let us explore what each number means.
– If the two digits are 00, the phone was made in the original, HQ factory, and you are using the best model possible
– 01, 10, 70, and 91 mean Finland was the country origin, equaling in excellent quality
– 02 is for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or India and it is of OK quality
– 03, 30, 04, 40 are France, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, or China, Above Average/Good quality
– 05 and 50 are Brazil, USA, or Finland, good quality
– 06 and 60 are Hong Kong, China, or Mexico, Good quality
– 07, 08, 80, or 20 are for Germany, and the quality is Average/Fair
– 09 is for India only, but the quality is just OK
– 13 is Azerbaijan, and sadly the worst quality dubbed as Very Bad
– 18 is for Singapore and the device if of OK quality
– 41 and 44 and the United Kingdom and the quality is OK
– 67 is for the USA and the quality is Very Good, just under 01, 10, 70, and 91
– 71 is Malaysia and it means your device is of the second-worst quality possible
-80 is Hungary, and the quality of the gadget is OK
This is hardly the guarantee of the quality and performance of your device but it helps us sleep better at night when we know our phone was made with above-average or great material and skill.
Troubles and legality
Despite such efforts to track mobile devices with this number for legal and security reasons, there are millions of phones around the world that do not have them or have had them removed. In India alone, it is estimated that there are over 20 million of them at any given moment. Many governments made it illegal to use phones without it, while it is considered illegal to remove it and especially charge people for removing it for them. Of course, it is extremely difficult to track all of such dealings as nobody even knows how many phones there are in the world, let alone who uses them for what.