Each of the mobiles that we have has a IMEI number unique or even two, which identify the device and may be an identification measure comparable to the identity number of each person. However, many doubts arise about the possibility of changing the IMEI number and its limitations, as well as if it is something legal or exceeds the limits.
This undefined number is directly linked to the GSMA DeviceCheck system, with which we can be more comfortable with possible thefts and if the device appears later. However, not the entire planet is covered by this regulation and therefore a lost or stolen mobile could leave the terms where it is valid. This identification number has other purposes such as knowing the age of the device, specific model or linking it with a mobile operator.
The big question, can the IMEI number be changed?
Answering this question is complicated, since it can really be done, but it is not a simple process or it can be done through a totally legal application or computer program. It is a process used by users who have a mobile that is not owned by them and could be tracked by its rightful owner. To do so, you need to be a root user and therefore have full control of the device.
Mobile phone companies that sell us mobile phones or official technical services also have access to this tool to solve problems with IMEI number. However they do it with official mechanisms with numbers that are registered in the GSMA to keep track of the devices.
It is legal or illegal to change the IMEI number
Since it is an official control mechanism for smartphones, we can think that it is something illegal, but the truth is that it only happens in Europe. On the African continent or in Asia this is completely legal and is not a problem.
This is the origin of many “lost” or “old” mobiles arriving in these countries with the intention of giving them a second life. If we have reported the theft of a smartphone, the IMEI number change so that it can continue to be used, although only in specific cases because few IMEI numbers are blocked unfortunately.
Advantages and disadvantages of changing the IMEI
Taking into account that it is a process that we can develop, we must know that this will suppose several important changes for the mobile phone. Not only will the identification number, but we will have to live with important aspects.
Advantages of changing the IMEI
- It will be harder to track the phone, even though it may seem like science fiction.
- The characteristics or possibilities of the mobile will not change with the IMEI and we can fix some bugs.
Disadvantages of IMEI change
- You lose the manufacturer’s official warranty.
- We may experience delays or run out of OS updates and customization layer.
- It will not be possible to verify who is the real owner of the mobile.