What Are Those Symbols On the Back of Your Apple Device?

If you look on the back of your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you will see some tiny text and some symbols. There are usually just a statement of where the device was made, government regulatory numbers, and symbols from different regulatory agencies. See what can be found on a 2016 iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro. You can use the FCC numbers to look up interesting public information about your device.
Video Transcript / Captions
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So was recently asked by someone if I knew what the tiny text on the back of the iPhone meant. So I thought I'd take a look. Boy is it tiny! You can find some text on the back of the iPhone and on the back of the iPad and it seems to be different and depends which model you have.

Here I am just looking at the 7+. The back of the 7+ under the large text iPhone I can see is says Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China. So that's true. Designed by Apple in California is something that Apple has had on products for years. Decades I think. Kind of a symbol of pride that they're a California company. Assembled in China, of course, is true. The iPhones are assembled in China although I guess some are now assembled in Brazil and we might see some other countries soon as well. It will be interesting to see how that is reflected there.

Under that you've got model numbers. So the 7+ is model A1784. That's there on the back. Then you see a FCC ID. As you can imagine this is the identification number provided by the FCC. Apple submits the iPhone for testing by the FCC to make sure it complies with all the rules and laws and things like that. Then the FCC has to approve it. I found out the BCG part, that's Apple's identifier. So anything with a FCC ID, BCG, is an Apple product. Then the number after it is something that Apple supplies. So they actually say this is device E3092A. They tell the FCC that. When the FCC approves it they can then put this little FCC ID on the back.

IC, the C stands for Canada. This is the Canadian version of the FCC in following all those rules. You can see a similar number there. I imagine that it's different if you bought an iPhone somewhere else since the iPhone I got, I guess, was approved for sale in the United States and Canada and it has these symbols on it.

Now you can look up this FCC number on the FCC.gov site. You can get some interesting things about your iPhone. So i did a goggle search on the FCC ID and it got me to the FCC.gov site. There's probably a way to search inside FCC.gov. There they make public all the documents that Apple provided to the FCC for testing. These include lots of photos, different letters, different things. Even the pdf manual that you can get from Apple. They include that as well.

There's some interesting things though like, for instance, internal photos. So you can actually look at the internal photos that Apple provided to the FCC and see what the inside of your iPhone looks like. Here you go. You can see it's pretty interesting stuff if you're ever curious of what it looks like inside your device but don't want to crack it open to find out.

So here's the back of my iPad. It's a little different. It's still designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China. It's got the model number over here and then it has the FCC and IC identification there. Notice that for this iPad they actually used that same A1673. This is an iPad Pro 9.7 inch from last year. They use that model number in the FCC filing. There's also the serial for my specific iPad imprinted on the back. Interesting that it's not on the iPhone. Then you've got these special symbols here at a the bottom. The FCC one is showing that it has FCC approval. The trashcan with the X through it shows that it complies with certain waste disposal rules. The rest of the symbols have to do with the European Union. That CE is the official it's okay to sell it in the European Union symbol. The exclamation point with the circle around it right there in the middle, that has to do with looks like similar rules as the FCC but for the European Union. I'm not quite sure what the number is there. I'm thinking that since it's between two European Union symbols it may be something to do with that.

A search for the FCC ID for the iPad turned out a similar set of documents including internal photos so you can go and see what the inside of an iPad looks like as well.

Finally here's what I found on the back of my 2016 MacBook Pro. You can see some of the same things on it. In addition, there's another Canadian number there. That CAN ICES. That's another number for compliance in Canada. Then there's some symbols at the bottom. One that looks like a box with VCCI in it. That's for Japan.The triangle with the circle and checkmark, that's for Australia.

Comments: One Response to “What Are Those Symbols On the Back of Your Apple Device?”

    George Rubin
    2 years ago

    Something I was always curious about.
    Thanks, Gary

Comments Closed.