Your iPhone has a secret code on the display. Apple will save a fortune thanks to it

Eli Wallace

Your iPhone has a secret code on the display. Apple will save a fortune thanks to it
  • There is a QR code right on the display of iPhones, which users have no idea about
  • It will save Apple hundreds of millions of dollars a year
  • Its task is to facilitate the monitoring of the number of defective pieces

Although you have your iPhone in front of your eyes practically every day, you probably haven’t noticed one little thing that Apple has placed right on the front of the display. If you’re already making an appointment with your eye doctor, don’t panic – this little gadget that saves the Cupertino-based company hundreds of millions of dollars a year isn’t that easy to see with the naked eye, despite the fact that it’s a fairly standard QR code. This mysterious code, which Apple has been using since 2020, was written about by The Information.

A microscopic QR code saves Apple hundreds of millions of dollars a year

QR codes on individual components are not uncommon, after all, Apple has most of the components in its iPhones marked as such. These tags hide details about the origin of the components, so it’s no surprise that the display also has its own QR code. Unlike other components that are hidden inside the phone and therefore their QR codes are hidden from the average user, the display has its QR code engraved directly on the front, although it is so well hidden that you probably won’t be able to detect it even when you examine it in detail.

According to The Information, Apple developed the system to help it find and reduce defects that arise willy-nilly during the mass production of any product. These codes are laser engraved directly at the factory and are approximately the size of a grain of sand. So it’s no wonder that the naked eye is not enough to find them, but you need special equipment to do so. Thanks to them, Apple is able to track how many defective pieces are supplied by suppliers Lens Technology and Biel Crystal, based on which it files complaints.

The location of the code varies from iPhone to iPhone, for example, the 12 series has it located above the handset, while newer models have it in a black frame at the bottom edge of the phone. Although the implementation of this defect tracking system was quite expensive for Apple, in the end it pays off royally – while 3 out of 10 displays were previously discarded, the number dropped to 1 out of 10 pieces after the introduction of QR codes. As a result, Apple will save a considerable amount of money that can be used elsewhere.

About the author
Eli Wallace is a seasoned tech writer and gaming enthusiast. With a background in computer engineering, he offers insightful, informed commentary on hardware innovations, cutting-edge technology trends, and the latest in video game news and developments.
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