Half of iPhone 6s’ produced may have lower performance and there’s nothing you can do about it

Posted:  October 9, 2015   By:    7 comments   


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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus with Geekbench results shown above

A manufacturer with high standards such as Apple would be assumed to be a company that it takes a lot to please but do 2% – 3% of a gap make a difference? Well it surely does, if you look at the actual numbers. Immensely so, if you needed that extra battery mile to last through your long work day or on your expedition in some desolated area. Apple says the difference is negligible on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus but we’ll let you decide yourself.

Basically, Apple’s iDevices vary in their processors by engaging two different vendors to supply their A9 chipset. On one hand, you have (their competitor) Samsung, while the other 50% is made by TSMC. The former has a 14nm FinFET process footprint, opposed to the latter – 16.nm FinFET process. This allegiance is nothing new, as Apple has enlisted help for quite a number of years already.

In real-world scenarios the 2-3% could set off alarms, depending how you use your new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. A Geekbench battery test was run comparing the two devices and the results are shown below:

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On the left is the Samsung processor. The right is the TSMC processor.

Other than their battery scores, the two processors also performed differently on AnTuTu’s benchmark – TSMC’s chip won overall. In the same test, it was also clear that their batteries levels differed; again, the TSMC processor had more battery left (77%), when compared to the Samsung powered iPhone 6s (71%). If you managed to do the math, that’s a 6% disparity in numbers, which is double the 3% Apple noticed in their lab tests.

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Then again, once you’ve loaded up your apps and info, your device would run totally different compared to someone with the same chipset. So its possible that Apple was spot on with the 2-3% irregularity. Being quick to assess damage Apple has since made a statement addressed to the various publications that brought this information to light.

With the Apple-designed A9 chip in your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you are getting the most advanced smartphone chip in the world. Every chip we ship meets Apple’s highest standards for providing incredible performance and deliver great battery life, regardless of iPhone 6s capacity, color, or model.

Certain manufactured lab tests which run the processors with a continuous heavy workload until the battery depletes are not representative of real-world usage, since they spend an unrealistic amount of time at the highest CPU performance state. It’s a misleading way to measure real-world battery life. Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, even taking into account variable component differences, vary within just 2-3% of each other.”

There’s nothing much you can do about it though, but if you’d like to see if you’ve one-upped a friend/family member of yours, by all means use this iTunes approved Lirum Device Info Lite – System Monitor to identify if your iPhone 6s / Plus is using the better performing chip

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If your device list these magic model numbers below then you’re in luck:

TSMC processor
iPhone 6s – N71MAP / iPhone 6s Plus – N66MAP

but if you’re finding this model number instead, you’re on the other end:

Samsung processor
iPhone 6s – N71AP / iPhone 6s Plus – N66AP

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There may be a silver lining after all, cause any company should have an amazing reason choosing two sources for their internals. As far as supply and demand go, it’s tough when you need to go to a competitor like Samsung to get your chipsets, and relying on them is definitely pain. You could say that, biting the bullet and producing real-world results through its products on the shelves allows Apple to gauge if there’s still worth in getting chips from Samsung.

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Can Malaysians nationwide do anything about this? Well it’ll be hard to make a case stating that their device is inferior, cause there’s no way of telling the difference when actually buying the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus; unlike Android OEMs (e.g Samsung) that clearly tell you that this model is an Exynos processor, while the other is a Qualcomm chip.

Apple’s statement was only directed at one publication but it doesn’t take a lot to assume that they will continue to roll-out system updates that could make them more alike; whether that means making the Samsung chip in the iPhone 6s / Plus better than the TSMC’s or vice versa, still remains unseen. Their power in controlling both their hardware and software internally gives them the ability to tweak and adjust to these issues highlighted.

What do you make of this? Will Apple’s new iPhones suffer? Or will people just live with their new status symbol? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.

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7 Comments for Half of iPhone 6s’ produced may have lower performance and there’s nothing you can do about it

Preshotheman Nair

i guess Samsung chip fucked up pretty well…

    pwk1983

    Well, its more like Apple f**ked up pretty well.

    Apple sell those phone, customer deal with Apple, in any case if Apple find problem with Samsung chip, they should pick it up before it reaches customer. They can even order the chip from a different manufacturer.

    I guess customer who pay a freaking 3K+ for a phone should deserve some serious work from Apple.

      davidt4n

      The benchmark like Apple said is impossible for real world usage because the benchmark powers at the maximum processor limit which you won't be doing that in real time situation. So difference will be almost negligible. The assembly production of 6s starts July/August and before both months they already have to sign contract with many component manufacturers and TSMC can't produce that much orders so Samsung has to be the alternative, else Malaysian won't be getting the phone that fast. The A9 internal design instruction set is the same sent to both companies, it's just both companies fabrication techniques in their factory are difference. TSMC is deploying all of their production in 16nm and Samsung 14nm, that's why it's different in size and modelling number.

viknes

launching in malaysia soon, could be clearing Samsung processor

Nick Chan Abdullah

i wish my 2GB android phone can perform as quickly as 1GB RAM ipone6

Oh god

I dont understand this, a 16nm outperforms a 14nm chip?

andrekua

Personally I think the hatred for Samsung runs deeper than you thought in the iFag community.

Just try running the benches on your phone for few times and you'll realize all phone produce different results everyone. Besides, there's so many components inside a smartphone nowadays with different suppliers for display, nand, soc, batteries etc.