12 iPhone facts you probably don't know

December 13, 2013 8:33 AM EST

Apple's iPhone 5S has already become the world's biggest-selling smartphone, to mark the achievement I've put together 12 iPhone facts you probably don't already know.

12 iPhone facts you probably don't already know.

[ABOVE: Manufacturing is complex. Image c/o Apple.]

Design

iPhone 5S manufacture is really complex. For example, look at the two black or white elements at the top and bottom rear of the iPhone, they look like they were born with the main case, right? They're not. During manufacturing the apertures in which these ceramics will be placed are photographed while on the production line. The images are analyzed to assess the incredibly minute production differences of that particular back plate and any one of 140 ever so slightly different ceramic components designed to fit that space are put into place.

The camera lens on the iPhone 5S uses sapphire crystal, as does the Home button used for TouchID. The camera lens has been coated with this precious substance since iPhone 4.

Look at the flash on your iPhone 5S and you'll see two small dots, one white, another amber. The two dots are flashlights that work together to moderate and improve the glare of the camera flash on whatever, or whoever, you are photographing by balancing the color in response to ambient light.

History

Glance at the 'Artists' icon within the Music app on your iPod or iPhone. If it seems slightly familiar it's because the image is a silhouette of U2 lead singer, Bono. That's because Bono was once close with Steve Jobs, even filming an iPod commercial and offering a digital song collection via iTunes. Oh, and there was the U2 iPod, of course.

Look at an Apple ad or PR shot and you'll see the time is always set to 9:42. That's because keynotes are designed so the big product reveal takes place around 40-minutes into the show.

Purple was the code name for the secret two-year development project for the original iPhone. Only 30 people knew about the $150 million project.

Arguably, Apple made its first prototype phone in 1983. Designed by Hartmut Esslinger, the product never saw the light of day. (Nor, incidentally, did another Apple phone prototype a few years before the iPhone, I once heard.)

The iPhone was almost the iPad: Before Apple decided to call its phone the iPhone the company looked at a range of different names. One of these was 'iPad'.

[ABOVE: Yes, it's an Apple ad, but it does shed some interesting insight into how TouchID works.]

Manufacture

Back when Apple launched the original iPhone the company chose to redesign the display at the last minute. This meant the factory assembly line had to be completely overhauled. It's claimed 8,000 workers had to rise at midnight to begin fitting the new displays. Within 96 hours the plant was rolling out 10,000 iPhones a day.

Foxconn now manufactures around 500,000 iPhone 5S units daily. To achieve this it runs 100 production lines with 600 people per line. There's over 300,000 iPhone 5S workers at just one factory in Zhengzhou, China.

Daily iPhone 5S production now matches the entire third quarter sales of Motorola's Moto X smartphone.

And finally, a useful tip: if you put your iPhone into Airplane Mode it will charge twice as fast.

Sources: Me, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Atlantic, Mashable, Network World, Insanely Simple by Ken Segall, Electronic 360

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