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How to tell how old your phone is

iPhone 13 Pro Front

There are a bunch of reasons why you might be interested in finding out how old your phone is. You could be planning to sell your old phone to buy a new one. Or you might just be curious.

Regardless, it’s easy to find out when your phone launched. But finding out the exact manufacturing date may be more of a challenge.

Every manufacturer has different ways of marking manufacturing dates on their devices. The production year of your phone might be a year or more after the model was launched.

That said, you can determine the manufacturing date from the phone’s retail box and purchase paperwork. Simply checking your phone’s invoice can also do the trick. The IMEI number of your phone can also come in handy in quickly figuring out its manufacturing date.

This article will teach you how to tell how old your phone is. Some of these approaches are model specific and complicated, but they’re worth giving a try.

Read: Our article on 4 ways to improve your phone’s battery life.

Check the box

This is one of the fastest ways to find out how old your phone is.

Some manufacturers include the phone’s manufacturing date on the phone’s retail box. Most include the manufacturing date on a white sticker on the back of the box.

It may also be on a leaflet inside the box. Many OnePlus and Motorola phones include this information on the box.

Check the IMEI number of your phone and make sure it matches the IMEI number on the sticker.

If they match, it means that the manufacturing date of the device is correct. If the numbers don’t match, the manufacturing date you’ll get will be wrong.

In the event of this, you can go ahead and try the next method to find out the age of your phone.

Check your phone settings

Some phones usually include the manufacture date in phone settings.

The date typically appears in the About Phone section of the Settings menu or its equivalent.

To get to About Phone on your iPhone,

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone
Image source: Toby Grey for BGR
  • Select General.
Settings menu screenshot
  • Tap on About.
General sub-menu of Settings app

This will bring up info on your phone.

About page to tell how old your phone is

Some manufacturers have it marked as hardware version.

Try decoding the serial number

Some manufacturers like Asus and Apple sneak the manufacturing date into the device serial number.

Methods of encoding the date in the serial number vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so this can be a tedious task.

Each number usually represents a date, month, or other information that can help in figuring out the manufacturing date.

An iPhone’s serial number can be found in the settings app under General > About.

In older iPhone devices, the third digit in the serial number refers to the last digit of the year and the fourth and fifth digits represent the production week of the year of the device.

Newer devices have more complex serial numbers.

The third character represents which half of each year the device was made.

C represents the first half of 2020, and D would be the second. F represents the first half of 2021, and G is the second. H is the first half of 2022 and J stands for the second.

The fifth character represents the week the device was made.

In Samsung phones, the fourth and fifth digits represent the year and month of manufacturing respectively.

Asus includes the date towards the end of the serial numbers of devices. It can be found after the letters ‘MFD’ in the form of year and month.

Use a phone info app

This method works majorly on Android phones. There are several phone info apps on the Google Play store. These applications extract information from serial numbers, IMEI codes and tell you the age of your Android device. They usually require permission to read the phone data.

Simply go to Play Store and search for ‘Phone info app’.

A good phone info app to check out is AIDA64.

Try the manufacturing codes

It is possible to find out how old your phone is using its manufacturing code.

The problem with manufacturing codes is that they can be OEM-specific as well as model specific.

This means they might not work with your phone or come with different service menu options.

To find out the age of your device using the manufacturing code, try any of the codes below in your dial pad:

  • #197328640#
  • ##197328640#*#*
  • *#0000#

This should open up a secret service menu.

Navigate to Menu Version Information > Hardware Versions > Read Manufacturing Date.

This will give the exact manufacturing date of your phone.

Use the Chipmunk online tool

The Dutch website Chipmunk is a free service that helps you find out what year and week your iPhone was manufactured.

Open the Chipmunk website on your iPhone, PC, or Mac and paste the serial number in the designated box.

Chipmunk Klantenservice page to tell how old your phone is

Click on ‘Laat de informatie zien’.

The next page displayed should show your phone’s exact production date and other information.

The search giant can help in finding out your phone’s age. Just search the serial number or specific model to find any details that might be useful in finding out the production date.

It can also help you to figure out how new your phone is based on the release date from the manufacturer. Your phone’s age can be some time before or after the release date.

Use the Apple support app

You can use the Apple support to determine the age of your iPhone

  • Launch the iTunes app on your iPhone and navigate to the iTunes store.
  • Click ‘Sign In’ and enter your Apple ID and password into the designated fields.
  • Click on your Apple ID and then ‘Account’ > ‘See All’ under the Purchase History header to see all of your purchases.

Purchase history is listed by date and order number, with the content title, price, tax, and payment details shown for viewing or printing.

You’ll see the purchases in descending order of order dates.

To view the transaction data linked to a specific order, click the arrow to the left of the order date.

You can print the invoice or return it to the iTunes Store interface by clicking “Done.”

Use Apple warranty query

You can figure out the age of your iPhone by looking at the warranty expiration date.

  • Open the ‘Check coverage’ website on your phone browser and enter your serial number.
  • Validate the captcha code and click on ‘Continue’.
Apple warranty query to tell how old your phone is

The next page displays information on the iPhone’s warranty status, estimated expiration date, and information regarding the iPhone’s support.

FAQs

Why would I want to know my phone’s manufacturing date?

Why would I want to know my phone’s manufacturing date?

Is it better to have a phone manufactured more recently?

Is it better to have a phone manufactured more recently?

How old is my phone?

Here’s how to tell how old your phone is: Check your phone box, IMEI number, or download a phone info app.

How to check the manufacturing date of an Android phone?

You can check the manufacturing date of your Android phone by checking in Settings, using a phone info app, or using manufacturing codes.

Will my manufacturing date affect how many updates my phone gets?

Phone manufacturers usually stop updates to a phone after a specified number of years. For example, Samsung promises four generations of One UI updates and five years of security updates on select high-end devices.

How do you check how long you’ve had your phone?

You can contact your network provider to know how long you’ve had your phone for. They usually keep detailed records of all your transactions.

Toby Grey contributes as a How To expert for BGR. Typing away like a keyboard super hero, he covers just about anything you can think of. If Toby isn't writing, he's probably reading a book or playing video games.