At this point, it'd be surprising if an iPhone release wasn't coupled with some sort of new scandal or controversy; it's gradually becoming Apple's new modus operandi. First, there was antennagate with the iPhone 4. Then it was scuffgate with the iPhone 5. Last year, it was bendgate with the iPhone 6 models. This year, it's chipgate with the iPhone 6S models, which affects something important to all on us—battery life.
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Essentially, not every iPhone 6S is created equal. The inequality lies in the hardware of your device, more specifically, the A9 processor chip. Due to manufacturing hiccups, Apple had their A9 produced by two different manufacturers: Samsung and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company).
TSMC's 16-nanometer A9 chip is slightly larger than Samsung's 14-nanometer chip and has also been reported to provide anywhere from one and a half to two hours of extra battery life over Samsung's smaller version. The disappointing part, which is why most people are miffed, is that there's no way of predicting which iPhone 6S or 6S Plus you'll be getting with your purchase, but there is a way to determine which you have after you already have it in your possession.
In order to find out which chip is inside of your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, you'll need to see which model you have. The easiest way to do this is by installing Lirum Device Info by Rogerio Hirooka.
As soon as you launch the app, you'll be able to view your model number in the Storage and Model Information box.
Here's the breakdown of model number and which chip manufacturer is associated with it:
- Model: N71mAP -> TSMC
- Model: N71AP -> Samsung
iPhone 6S Plus:
- Model: N766mAP -> TSMC
- Model: N66AP -> Samsung
If you have the TSMC A9 chip, then you can sleep peacefully tonight. To view how the two different chips perform, take a look at Austin Evens' chipgate video embedded below.
So is chipgate as big of a deal as it's been made to be, and does the Samsung chip underperform that much? Well, it probably depends on how you actually use your iPhone. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Even in an Apple controversy, it's a little funny that Samsung is the one getting some egg on their face. And right now, the only fix is returning the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus to Apple before the 14-day window ends and hope that you get the one with the TSMC chip in it—but you can't keep doing that forever.
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