Apple will soon begin randomizing the serial numbers for Macs, which could mean IT managers and technicians won’t have access to information that the current serial number organization allows.
More details from Ars Technica:
Serial numbers on Macs shipping today reflect the time and place where the Mac was assembled, as well as some configuration details like storage capacity. Moving forward, serial numbers will be fully random, with no code or consistency that can be used to learn information about the product.
MacRumors claims it learned of the change when it gained access to an internal AppleCare email.
Serial numbers are used in online forums, repair shops, and company IT departments to expedite troubleshooting and other tasks by quickly learning more about the machine in question—for example, whether a computer that is exhibiting a problem is part of a certain set of models manufactured in a certain time period that all have that issue. Some of the information will still be accessible after either booting the machine up or taking it apart.
Apple hasn’t publicly stated this change is happening, but one of the most reliable sites for incoming Apple news seems to think it is.
There are, however, a multitude of other ways to keep track of technology inventory. The Smart Inventory Tracker, for example, improves operational efficiencies in the warehouse, allowing companies to verify and update the status of serialized product, receive real-time feedback, and generate compliance reporting based on configurable workflows.
But this isn’t quite the same as being able to track the status of specific machines while knowing simply by their serial number how to handle aspects related to their age, specifications, and other data IT uses to keep up with its technology.