Understanding the serial number

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by roumen, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. roumen macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to buy an iPhone 3G on ebay and I always request the first 5 digits of the serial number to find out if the phone is new or refurbished.

    In of the (too good to be true) deals a seller gave me this serial:


    I left the letters at the end, because they might mean something too.
    I've read elsewhere that the second unit should be a 'k'.
    I ran this serial on https://selfsolve.apple.com/GetWarranty.do
    and it appears to be valid.

    What does the Imei number mean? He gave me that too.

    Can someone help me understand if this seems legit, please? + some tips on buying an iphone online.


  2. seand1111 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    SL, Texas
    No special SN number for referbs that i have heard of. Both of mine are referbs and both have different letters or numbers as the first two.

    As I understand it;

  3. roumen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Thanks for the info, sean

    So that phone (86833xxAxRx) would be from '08 week 33 (somewhere in August).

    Does this imply that it might have been used awhile, or is it normal that between production and actual sales there is a time gap of 6 months?
  4. vivithemage macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    as far as i know, they do not have any special serial number for refurb's....if they did, they'd have to replace all backs on the refurb iphones, to swap out the serials, i doubt they'd do that!
  5. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    You really can't tell the about of usage, but most units from August did not stay in the supply chain for more then 2 weeks. If you are interested in using yellowsn0w this can be a good thing if it is not already at 2.2.0 and Baseband 2.30. Currently once you get to these levels you will not be able to use yellowsn0w until the dev team makes their next breakthru.

    Here is were you can find out all the details about the IMEI: http://www.numberingplans.com/?page=analysis&sub=imeinr

    This will also give you a clue how AT&T knows if you are using an iPhone on their network.

  6. seand1111 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    SL, Texas
    Serial number is not on the back of the 3G iphone....
  7. FarSeide macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    Earth Lane
    There is no serial number printed on the back of the iPhone.

    The refurbs that I received in the past started with "5K..." and the new one that I have "87..."

    If the serial number checks out okay via Apple's site, then I would just make sure that there is no physical damage or water damage from the seller. Make sure to pay via paypal so that you could dispute if need be.

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