If you’ve ever been shopping around for a used phone or looked into selling an old device of yours online, you’ve likely come across the acronyms ESN and MEID. You probably know they play a role in identifying your phone, but what do they mean and where can you locate them? Read on to find out.
- ESN stands for electronic serial number. ESNs are 12 or 8 digits long and contain information about the device’s manufacturer as well as a unique identifying number. ESNs were introduced when the first mobile phones were released in the 1980s and began being phased out in 2010.
- MEID stands for mobile equipment identifier. The standard was introduced to replace the ESN when available numbers in the older format began to run low. MEIDs are 14 or 18 digits long and can be found on all newer CDMA (such as Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular) phones.
Where to Find Your Phone’s MEID or ESN Number
You can obtain your MEID and ESN information in several ways:
- In the settings: On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > About. On an Android device, go to Settings > About device > Status. On a Windows phone, look in Settings > About > More info.
- On the phone: Most phones will have their ESN or MEID listed on them somewhere. Some places to look include the back of the device, under the battery, in the SIM tray or on the bottom of the phone.
- On the packaging: If you still have the packaging your phone came in, look for the MEID or ESN on the box by the UPC code.
- Online or on your computer: Often your phone’s ESN and MEID can be found by accessing iTunes or through your service provider’s web portal.
If you still can’t find the MEID on your iPhone or other device, contact The Whiz Cells directly for assistance.
Why Do We Need to Know Your MEID?
As one of a phone’s unique identifiers, an ESN or MEID lets us obtain important information that helps us offer you a fair price for your device. We’ll run your ESN against an international database to determine if there are any issues, such as a blacklisting that would make it impossible to register with another carrier.
In most cases, we will still buy phones with “bad” MEIDs. The one exception to this is for any device that has been registered as lost or stolen. If your ESN comes up as stolen, our system automatically cancels the transaction, and we’ll hand over the device to the authorities.
Taking these steps to ensure every transaction is completely aboveboard helps us reduce our liability. It’s also one of the reasons we can offer the best prices for all mobile phones. For more information about our buying policies or for answers to any further questions you might have, contact our head office directly.