IMEI numbers, short for International Mobile Equipment Identity, are used as unique identifiers for smartphones and other consumer electronics like tablets. Carriers use these numbers to identify valid devices, and in cooperation with local law enforcement, it's possible to block stolen phones from accessing the internet or track down those in unlawful possession. You can imagine that things get complicated if a bunch of devices share the same IMEI, which is just what happened with more than 13,000 Vivo phones in India. Read More
Find My Device doesn't get a lot of updates these days, and it probably doesn't need much more than it already does. However, the latest update does add a potentially valuable new feature that could make it easier to report your lost or stolen phone. You can now get the IMEI number for the device without digging up the original box or paperwork, and without having to make a point of recording the number elsewhere. Read More
Back in November, when the Pixel was slowly beginning to ship to customers, there were numerous reports of people getting their Google accounts banned for purchasing Pixel and Pixel XL devices with the intent to resell them. It turns out that this issue hasn't exactly been laid to rest, as it seems that Pixel phones purchased from Project Fi for this purpose are now getting blacklisted via their IMEI numbers. Read More
Samsung is currently working to recall all the Galaxy Note7 devices it sold in the last month because of the well-known risk of battery failure. Knowing if your Note7 is affected right now is easy—if you have a Note 7, it's recalled. In the future, you might not know for certain when you see a Note7. Samsung's online IMEI check tool is now available to verify if a device is recalled or not. Read More
Samsung has made great efforts to make the Galaxy Note 7 global recall as painless and quick as possible. Earlier today they released information about the replacement Note 7 stock in Australia, revealing that (at least in the land down under) replacement stock will be available September 21. But the second part of the announcement is noteworthy - Samsung has a plan to identify safe Note 7 devices from the original batch.
Samsung reports that users will be able to check their IMEI numbers through an online database starting September 13. This will make it much easier to tell if your Note 7 is affected or not, and with IMEI identifiers being effectively unchangeable, it's practically fool-proof. Read More
The first batch of Nexus 5 phones reached many early customers yesterday, but many of those taking advantage of the phone's compatibility with the Sprint network are having serious issues getting the device connected. According to several tips, this XDA thread, and this Google Groups thread, incompatible IMEI/MEID numbers on the phones are causing the activation process to fail, and giving major headaches all around.
Update: Sprint reached out to us with word that this is no longer an issue. Here's the company's official statement:
Sprint supports activations of the 32GB version of the Google Nexus 5 being sold from the Google Playstore.