By Austin Hode
You’d be forgiven if when asked to recall something poignant about 2003 you struggled somewhat, it wasn’t perhaps the most standout of years, one which doesn’t immediately leap out as being particularly memorable. However, folk is quick to forget and even the most action-packed of years can be difficult to recall at all over a decade later. For clarity, I’ll give you a quick flashback to what was a pretty interesting year.
On its re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere the space shuttle Columbia carrying seven astronauts exploded after a piece of foam had come free on launch and hit the shuttle’s wing, Dolly, who had earlier become the world’s first cloned sheep, died at the age of just six years old, over 1 million people demonstrated in London against the war with Iraq, and David Beckham signed for Real Madrid.
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Something else, a seemingly insignificant event, happened in 2003 that would change the face of mobile phone ownership forever. Following the release of the first mobile phone, a clunky Motorola costing over £3000, many years earlier, smartphones had been getting increasingly more capable and uptake was growing substantially year on year. Many millions of people across the globe were regularly using smartphones in their daily lives. As the number of smartphones in circulation grew rapidly and tracing them become necessary for many reasons, 2003 saw the introduction of the modern-day IMEI.
The IMEI, standing for International Mobile Equipment Identity is essentially a unique number registered to smartphones which are often found printed inside the battery compartment. GSM networks use the IMEI number to identify mobile devices and can restrict the access of stolen phones to global networks. The IMEI stays with a mobile device from its inception and can be used as a marker of what that device is and what its status is throughout its life span. As well as being useful for those wanting to block the use of their stolen phones and authorities wanting to track folk, the IMEI can be useful for buyers, particularly those keen to buy on the second-hand smartphone market.
How can the IMEI number help smartphone buyers?
As the global market for smartphones grows exponentially and devices become more expensive more consumers opt to take out network contracts to purchase the latest devices. It is more common than ever for people to upgrade their device after little more than a year of ownership. Technology evolves so quickly that within 12 months a new model is released and insatiable demand means buyers are more than eager to trade in their current model no matter how long they’ve had it and fork out for the latest release. There is, however, an upside to this, it has created a booming second-hand smartphone market the world over.
As consumers trade devices more frequently, there are more nearly new devices for savvy customers to pick up for bargain prices. These handsets are often just a year or two old and are perfectly functional with the latest applications and software. However as with any purchase of a second-hand good, there are risks, these risks are amplified when buying online given the relative disconnect between buyer and seller. Essentially the buyer must trust the seller that the smartphone they are selling is not only the actual model presented but also that the status of the device is functional, and it has not been blocked by the network before purchase.
So, for example, if you wanted to buy a T-Mobile device online in the second-hand market you could request the device’s IMEI from the seller and use a simple tmobile IMEI Check service to check the status of that device and the model specification. The IMEI Check tmobile prospective buyers can access online will give them a sense of security that they are not going to receive a locked or stolen device which they cannot use but also that the specification the seller has provided is accurate.
Before you purchase a smartphone online make sure you use an online IMEI check service to check the status, and while you’re at it it’s worth unlocking the device and saving yourself a ton of money.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)