iPhone 6s owners decry Samsung chips

iPhone 6s owners decry Samsung chips
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Apple fans from Taiwan and Hong Kong have complained that iPhone 6s smartphones made with Samsung processors perform worse than those made with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) ones.

Following the release of the new iPhone 6s, it has come to light that Apple dual-sourced its A9 processors for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus from both Samsung and its rival TSMC. The difference between the two versions continues to be a point of debate.

"They are not created equal," said tech journalist Andy Patrizio, writing on his blog at ITworld.com.

Users have found the TSMC chip had eight hours of battery life, while Samsung had six hours. In addition, some lab results have shown the TSMC chip is faster and generates less heat than the Samsung processor.

Some users said on the Internet that they were insisting on "TSMC only," while another user remarked, "If I get the Samsung version, I might as well buy a Samsung phone." However, there are others who don't find the difference too significant, since they would "say goodbye" to the model in a year anyway.

Some Hong Kong media said the two chips appear to be unequally distributed around the world - almost 60 per cent of iPhone 6s models sold in the United States and Japan were made with the TSMC chips, while over 60 per cent of chips in Hong Kong were provided by Samsung. As for Taiwan, over 80 per cent of iPhone 6s handsets allegedly run on Samsung chips.

It is not evident by looking at the packaging whether Samsung or TSMC supplied the processor for an individual iPhone, nor do serial codes or barcodes offer any clues. Developers have created apps that can detect which chip your phone operates on, such as the "CPU Identifier" app offered online, free of charge.

Apple issued a statement on Oct. 9, "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 per cent of each other." Apple rebutted previous lab tests, indicating such tests were conducted under battery-straining conditions that would be deemed "unrealistic" for real-world use.

Amid user complaints and online debate, both Samsung and TSMC have declined to comment on the subject.

Hong Kong media has speculated that Apple would cut down on chip orders from Samsung in the future, and industry analysts predict that TSMC would likely gain an upper hand in a coming deal with Apple, allowing it to become the exclusive supplier for Apple's A10 processors.

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