Apple has recalled some iPad 2 tablets originally sent to Verizon because the devices had the same serial numbers.
"Duplicate MEID numbers were flashed onto an extremely small number of iPad 2 units for the Verizon 3G network," an Apple official confirmed.
Serial numbers are identification numbers which are unique to every iPad 2 and play an essential role in the tablet’s activation on Verizon’s cellular network. They are also known as MEID (mobile equipment identifiers). Before connecting to a certain network, the iOS tablets send the MEID code to the carrier for verification. Once the verification is completed, the carrier allows the device to go online.
Apple has been able to recall the tablets that had not hit the stores yet, but some of the duplicate ID tablets have actually been bought by customers, Cnet reports. The units that have been already purchased will be replaced with new iPad 2 tablets.
The company has estimated that only "an extremely small number" of iPad 2 devices have been given an identical serial number, therefore users should not panic, and the issue affects only some Verizon tablets.
Apple has sold 25 million iPad tablets since the launch of the iPad in 2010 and analysts expect that another 8 million units will find their way into customers’ hands this quarter.