Cellular carriers use your phone’s IMEI number to identify the phone in their cellular networks. They use the IMEI as a security measure, and they can even block stolen phones according to their IMEI numbers.
But what will happen if two phones have the same IMEI number?
In this post, we discuss whether two cell phones can have the same IMEI number and what will happen if two phones somehow got the same IMEI number.
Can Two Mobile Phones Have The Same IMEI Number?
Two cell phones can’t have the same IMEI number. IMEI number is a hardware address of 15 decimal digits, and it uniquely identifies each phone.
Parts of the IMEI number specify the origin, model, and serial number of each phone. So it’s impossible for two different cell phones to have the same IMEI number.
However, there are ways to rewrite the IMEI number of a cell phone. These methods are usually not legal, and they can void the warranty of your phone.
So even though the IMEI numbers are unique from the factory, users can rewrite them, causing two phones to have the same IMEI.
What Will Happen When Two Phones Have The Same IMEI?
IMEI numbers are unique from the factory, but users can rewrite IMEI numbers which can cause two phones to have the same IMEI.
When two phones on the same carrier have the same IMEI number, the carrier will usually detect it and deactivate both phones. It can take some time for the carrier to detect the duplicate IMEIs. So both phones with the same IMEI may work normally for a few days or months.
On the other hand, if two phones on different carriers have the same IMEI number, it’s not that easy to detect the IMEI collision. In that case, both phones will work without any issues as long as carriers don’t use any shared global database of IMEIs.
Can A Dual SIM Phone Have The Same IMEI For The Two SIM Slots?
The two SIM slots of a dual SIM phone can’t have the same IMEI number; each slot should have a unique IMEI.
The two SIM slots of your dual SIM phone act as two independent cellular connections. Each slot connects to the mobile network independently of the other.
All the network paging messages and other communications of the two SIM slots are independent.
So mobile networks treat each SIM slot as a separate device and expect each SIM slot to have a unique IMEI number.
Do You Get A Different IMEI Number When You Purchase A New Phone?
You will get a different IMEI number when you get a new phone. Each phone has a unique IMEI number from the factory, and your new phone’s IMEI will be different from your current phone’s IMEI.
Does A Motherboard Replacement Change Your Phone’s IMEI?
A motherboard replacement won’t usually change your phone’s IMEI number. Replacement motherboards for most phones don’t have an IMEI number, and replacement service will write your phone’s original IMEI to the new motherboard.
However, some phone models and manufacturers might provide replacement motherboards that have their own IMEIs. In that case, the motherboard replacement will change your IMEI.
So before the replacement, you should ask your repair company whether the motherboard replacement will change your phone’s IMEI.
Does A Factory Reset Change Your Phone’s IMEI?
A factory reset won’t change your phone’s IMEI number.
The factory reset is a software procedure; it can only affect the software that runs on your phone.
On the other hand, your phone’s IMEI number is burned into its motherboard as a hardware ID, and you can’t change the IMEI without special tools.
Two cell phones can’t have the same IMEI number. Each phone has a unique IMEI number according to its origin, model, and serial number.
However, a user might rewrite a phone’s IMEI number using special tools. In that case, it’s possible for two phones to have the same IMEI number.
Cellular carriers can detect when two phones on their network have the same IMEI. They will usually deactivate both phones when they detect such an IMEI collision.