Apple has spent millions of dollars to protect itself from losing hundreds of millions of dollars due to defective iPhone screens. Every iPhone screen now has two tiny barcodes: a smaller one to help Apple protect itself from unscrupulous suppliers; the second, larger one is used to track the actual faulty components. This was reported by the resource The information.
Chinese display component manufacturers Lens Technology and Biel Crystal, which supply screens for the iPhone, provided Apple with too high a percentage of defects: up to 30% of the products were discarded, costing customers hundreds of millions of dollars. The publication does not immediately indicate that the companies knowingly supplied substandard or counterfeit goods, but when Apple decided to introduce labeling of displays, the error rate dropped to 10%.
Every iPhone display now has two tiny QR codes – they are different sizes, are in different places and are applied at different stages of production. There is no exact information about their size, but one is said to be the size of a grain of sand, and the second is comparable to the size of a pencil tip.
In 2020, Apple spent millions of dollars to introduce less coding into the manufacturing process. It is an array of 625 dots formed by laser engraving. This QR code is present on all iPhone displays, but the location varies from one to another. The implementation was not easy for Apple: at the initial stage, this element weakened the strength of the screen so much that during tests cracks spread across the entire surface, but this was remedied with new optical elements. Lens Technology and Biel Crystal tried to prevent the innovation, but Apple implemented the labeling anyway.
While the first, smaller QR code is used to track the actions of unscrupulous suppliers, the second, larger one is used to analyze real errors. This allows Apple to determine which of the two suppliers supplied the faulty component. There is also an opinion that this QR code contains additional information, allowing you to find out not only the manufacturer, but also the batch number in which the defective item was found.