Unearth the Symbols of your iPhone

back of Phone
You all have some kind of a mobile device with you. But how often have you tried to explore each and every part of your mobile. The user manual that comes along with the mobile sets tells us much more than we know about our devices that we own. Here we will see different types of symbols, icons, numbers and codes that we see in our phones and know more about them.

Symbols at the back of the phone

Let us first start with the back of the phone. If you turn over your iPhone and look down at the bottom, underneath where it says ‘iPhone’ you’ll see such few strange symbols, codes and numbers. Do you know what these symbols mean.

Recycling advice, compliancy denotations and information regarding which frequencies that the phone can access are just some of the meanings for the cryptic symbols.

While the symbols on the iPhone may make it appear more space age than other phones and electrical devices, they are actually more common than you’d think. Most devices have the same or similar symbols on the battery but as the iPhone doesn’t have a removable battery, they are printed right on the back.

Depending on where your iPhone comes from and which iPhone you have, the symbols may vary slightly. However as iPhones all come from China (assembled in China, as said on the back) the phones need to have a range of different symbols for each country/region in which they operate.

FCC Logo

This is the approval symbol from the United States Federal Communication Commission, indicating that the phone can be sold in the US.

CE Logo, 0682



In French, this stands for ‘Conformité Européenne’ (meaning European Conformity for you language buffs). It basically means it complies with EU standards, and can be sold there.

0682 is part of the European approval, verifying the iPhone as an approved communication device. The number doesn’t really mean anything in particular, rather it comes from Cetecom ICT Services – which is a German telecommunications company in charge of approving such devices.

Alert Symbol (!) (the exclamation mark inside a circle)

This denotes that the device is a Class II wireless device. While this is related to EU approval, it is an indication that the iPhone violates EU law – in particular French frequency specifications. However it is still valid for sale and use in the land of long bread and horizontal stripes.

Trash can with big X

Trash Can
This is probably the most obvious of the symbols, basically meaning don’t throw your iPhone in the trash. Wherever you are in the world, there will be an authority charged with recycling your phone, often run by Apple itself.

In Australia you will even get 10 per cent off your next purchase in some instances, and in other instances can go up to $250.

For those who don’t want to give their stuff back to Apple, some Coles outlets still have a mobile recycling box for you to chuck it in there.

Finally, new iPhones are having fewer symbols due to a last year law change in the US. This allows the symbols to be placed on the software instead. Of course, that will only apply to US symbols  so half of them are expected to remain.

There are a range of other symbols, including model numbers and ID notifications.

Symbols found in front of the phone

Screen Symbols

Symbols on the phone screen are like cell bars signal (or the true numerical signal if you enabled it) and the 4G, LTE, battery, and Wi-Fi indicators are pretty self explanatory, a little circle you see sometimes, the moon icon, or the two interlinking circle and the little arrow that points up and to the right.

The newest iPhone models with modern iOS have refined status bar icons that are intended to convey a meaning quickly, here is what they are, and what the icons indicate, directly from the Apple iPhone user guide.

Chart 1
On prior versions of iPhone with iOS software the status icons are more or less the same but contain colors and are just a bit different, as seen below

You’ll notice there is quite a bit of overlap with these icons on the iPhone and the iPad and iPod touch too, with most variation coming from whether the latter two devices are equipped with cellular capabilities or not. Some of the icons are changing a little bit in iOS 7 and iOS 8 versus how they appeared in prior versions of the OS, but Apple isn’t abandoning existing precedent and the changes are minor enough for the status icons to still be recognizable to users.

Any other symbol on iPhone you would like to share?