Not every iPhone 6s or 6s Plus was created equal, it seems, with widespread reports that the phones’ performance and battery life varies depending on the specific A9 chip powering it.
In tearing down the new phones, the analysts at Chipworks discovered Apple’s A9 actually features one of two system-on-a-chip (SoC) circuits: either one made by Samsung or one made by a company called TSMC.
While people in online forums initially speculated the Samsung SoC would be of higher quality, research has seemed to show it actually runs hotter and results in a lower battery life than its TSMC counterpart.
These two iPhones will look identical, but there could be important differences inside.
These two iPhones will look identical, but there could be important differences inside. Photo: Bloomberg
Test results circulating on a Reddit thread show a phone with the TSMC SoC lasting a battery test for seven hours and 50 minutes while one with the Samsung SoC tapping out after barely making it to six hours, indicating an almost 20 per cent difference in longevity. It’s important to note that, even if these results are legitimate (and they do appear to be consistent across tests posted by multiple users), they might not be indicative of real world performance.
There’s no way to tell which SoC is in which phone just by looking at them, but there are free apps available that can tell you what you have in your phone (in the linked app, a result of N66AP or N71AP would indicate the Samsung chip).
Some fairly unscientific tests from the online community have indicated that around 60 per cent of all iPhone 6s units and around 30 per cent of all iPhone 6s Plus units feature the Samsung chip. Source :Agency