How to Identify iPhone Icons

By Robert Schrader

Icons, which are small images that communicate a message with a need for only minimal words, are extremely useful for companies who market and sell products internationally. Apple, one such company, has compiled a list of icons for manufacturers of products compatible with its various iPhone devices to print on their packaging to indicate this compatibility to consumers. Deciphering these icons from those which represent iPods is relatively simple, although it does require close attention to detail.

Step 1

Look for the "touchscreen." The key physical difference between iPhones and other iPod devices—excepting the iPod Touch—is that you control an iPhone by touching a screen that covers the entire front face of the device. The icon reflects this: a vertical rectangle representing the screen is its definition feature.

Step 2

Disregard icons with prominent black shading. Another feature that distinguishes iPhone icons from those representing older iPod devices is that the only black in them exists in the form of thin lines. iPod icons, on the other hand, contain thick, shaded circles to represent their "Click Wheel" navigation instruments.

Step 3

Pay attention to size. iPhone icons are larger than those that represent older-generation iPods and their "Shuffle" and "Nano" variants, such as iPhones themselves as compared to the respective physical devices. If the icon you observe is slim or otherwise small in shape, it does not represent an iPhone.

Step 4

Read any additional details provided. As of October 2010, Apple does not visually differentiate compatibility between different variants of iPhones with its icons. Instead, it specifies which—"iPhone 3G 16GB and 32GB," for example—are compatible with small text under the icon itself.

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