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Does upgrading iOS change my IMEI? I was told not by AT&T not to remove my SIM card or certain restrictions that they had placed on the iPhone, at my request, would be lifted. I want to know if upgrading my iOS is like removing the SIM card. I think this was because the IMEI number changes when the SIM card is removed from the phone.

Does upgrading iOS change this number?

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The IMEI is kind of like a MAC address for the cellular network only. It is nearly impossible to change it, you can only spoof it on a software level. So the answer is, No, your IMEI will never change unless you really really want it to. Removing the SIM card shouldn't change the IMEI either...

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The IMEI shouldn’t change when you upgrade the phone, at least here in Europe. Mine is still the same.

Update: Upon some reading around, it turns out that if you “hack” your phone, (maybe in the past), an update would change some IMEIs, and AT&T would therefore invalidate the SIM. Be careful with what you do :)

  • I'm in the US. I'm going to go with you on this one. I'll select this answer if and when it proves accurate. I need to perform the upgrade first. – Moshe Nov 23 '10 at 14:16
  • @Moshe Good luck! (You might want to clarify the grammar in the first sentence. “I’m asking because I was told not by AT&T not to remove my SIM…” Sounds weird. They told you not to remove the SIM…is that correct? Why do you want to remove the SIM? – Martin Marconcini Nov 23 '10 at 14:23
  • Edited. better? – Moshe Nov 23 '10 at 18:36
  • @Moshe I believe the part that is not clear is if you were told by AT&T not to remove the sim or you were “told not by AT&T”. In essence, did they tell you NOT to remove it or… the DIDN’T tell you to NOT remove it? Ahh… logic. – Martin Marconcini Nov 23 '10 at 20:07
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No, upgrading the OS doesnt change the IMEI by default, there are hacks available to do it, but its illegal and hence, not recommended.

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No. Upgrading iOS won't change the IMEI of your iPhone.

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