Since 2020, Apple has introduced an innovative system for marking iPhone displays using microscopic QR codes in order to reduce the percentage of product defects. This was reported by The Information.
Based on the source's information, Apple has invested several million dollars in the development and implementation of two types of QR codes that are applied to iPhone screens at various stages of production. This innovation allowed the company to effectively track the source of faulty components and protect itself from unscrupulous suppliers.
It is noted that Chinese display component manufacturers such as Lens Technology and Biel Crystal have in the past supplied Apple with components with high defect rates of up to 30%. This cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. However, after implementing a labeling system using QR codes, Apple was able to reduce the defect rate to 10%.
One of the QR codes is smaller than a grain of sand and is an array of 625 dots that are created using laser engraving. The location of this QR code on the screen varies depending on the device model. It is used to track the actions of unscrupulous suppliers who may try to replace or counterfeit components.
A second QR code, about the size of a pencil tip, is applied at another point in production and allows Apple to pinpoint which supplier shipped the faulty component. Moreover, it may contain additional information that allows you to determine not only the manufacturer, but also the batch number in which the defective item was found.
This innovative labeling system has helped Apple significantly reduce manufacturing defects and ensure higher quality iPhone products.