decoded-iphone-2015

In each edition of “Decoded” we take a recognizable product and break it down by explaining what everything on it means. In this installment, we look at all those funky symbols on the back of the iPhone 5. Actually, most of the symbols are not uncommon and can be found on other wireless devices under the battery cover, but since the iPhone doesn’t have a removeable battery cover, they’re displayed right on the back. Here’s what they all mean.

  • 1. *The markings on iPhones built for sale in countries outside of the U.S., Canada, and Europe are different.
  • 2. Designed by Apple in California: Originally designed at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. “Designed by Apple in California” is also the theme of the company’s latest series of ads.
  • 3. FCC ID: The identification code that comes with FCC approval for a wireless device. BCG (the three letters at the start of the ID) is the code for Apple and the rest of the numbers reference the product.
  • 4. IC ID: Industry Canada Identification. Much like a FCC ID, the beginning of the number (579C) identifies the company and the rest of the numbers are the product code.
  • 5. FC Logo: Logo for The Federal Communication Commission. Means the phone is FCC approved and therefore allowed to be sold in the United States.
  • 6. Trash Can: The trash can with an “X” over it represents the fact that your iPhone should not be disposed of with your standard garbage. Either donate or dispose of it in an environmentally acceptable way.
  • 7. Assembled in China: Apple’s products are assembled in factories in China. If they were to be built in the US (even though it would probably be impossible) a 16GB version of the iPhone would likely cost over $1000.
  • 8. Model Number: Each version of the iPhone has a different model number displayed here.
  • 9. IMEI: International Mobile Equipment Identity. This number is unique to your phone and can be used to identify it. It’s printed on the back of the iPhone 5 and on the SIM tray of previous iPhone versions. You can also find it by dialing “*#06#”.
  • 10. Alert Symbol: The “Alert Symbol” is actually the third part in the series of CE symbols. Devices carrying it are consider Class II because they violate a regulation of at least one of the European Union countries. In the case of your iPhone, it happens to be a French regulation related to the frequency range a device can operate in.
  • 11. 0682: The number “0682” goes along with the CE Mark and verifies the unit is an approved communication device. The number is unique to Cetecom ICT Services (a German company) who was responsible for evaluating the product.
  • 12. CE Mark: The “CE” printed on the back of an iPhone simply means the product complies with European Union safety standards. The letters used to stand for “Conformité Européenne.”
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