“Apple is sourcing an important system component, the Apple A9 system-on-a-chip, from both Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC),” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica. “This is something that it normally doesn’t do, since manufacturing processes from different chipmakers can have different performance and power consumption even when the chip’s design is identical.”
“And that’s just what some iPhone 6S and 6S Plus buyers have run into. Using an app that has since been pulled from the App Store, some users were able to determine which chip individual iPhones were using and found that the phones with Samsung chips had significantly lower battery life than the phones with TSMC chips in certain tests,” Cunningham reports. “The findings got enough attention that Apple offered a rare comment on the situation, claiming that the test being used wasn’t representative of actual use and that in “real-world usage” the difference between iPhone models with any combination of components was no more than 2 to 3 percent.”
“We just happen to have two iPhone 6S models here, one with a Samsung chip and one with a TSMC chip, and we’ve been running a variety of battery life tests for the last few days to see if we could find any differences,” Cunningham reports. “There are two big takeaways from the results here. First, the Samsung phone did have consistently lower battery life results than the TSMC phone… Second, even though that’s true, the Geekbench test was the only test that caused what we would believe to be a significant difference, one that we can definitely attribute to the SoC rather than the screen or the battery itself or some other system component. All three of the other tests showed the two phones scoring within two to three percent of each other, which just happens to be the same figure Apple quoted to the press last week. The heavier Geekbench test, on the other hand, showed the TSMC phone lasting an average of 28 percent longer than the Samsung phone.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Chips fabbed at 14nm versus 16nm are simply not the same chips and should not be referred to or sold as such.
How to find out if your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus has the good TSMC or crappy Samsung chip – October 9, 2015
Analyzing Apple’s statement on TSMC- and Samsung-stamped A9 chips – October 9, 2015
Apple may have made a huge mistake in having Samsung stamp inferior A9 chips – October 9, 2015
Apple claims iPhone 6s/Plus’ A9 battery performance only varies 2-3% between TSMC and Samsung variants in ‘real-world usage’ – October 8, 2015
Chipgate: Did you get the good A9 or the crap A9 in your iPhone 6s/Plus? – October 8, 2015
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Denis” for the heads up.]