Researchers find that iPhone 6S and 6S Plus devices powered by a Samsung chip last far shorter than those from TSMC
The battery life of your new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus may well depend on which company has built its components, according to new research.
A number of reports have found that versions of the device containing a Samsung-made version of its A9 processor can offer up to two hours more than those powered by the version made by TSMC.
Apple decided to use two separate vendors to make the A9 chip in order to keep up with the expected huge demand for its latest smartphone, which proved to be a wise move as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sold a record-breaking 13 million units in just three days.
One user with two iPhone 6S Plus sporting different chips reported on Reddit that there was a difference of around two hours in battery life between the phones: with the TSMC chip recording almost eight hours while running a collection of battery-intensive activities, while the Samsung one barely managed six.
A report by Anandtech highlighted that although the two chips are based on the same design from Apple (and therefore interact with the rest of the device identically), the manufacturing process used can have an effect on the performance of the device.
TSMC’s manufacturing process uses a minimum transistor width of 16nm, compared to Samsung’s 14nm, resulting in a chip that is in fact larger in size by 8.5mm.
Record-breaking sales prove that the public’s appetite for the latest iPhone devices remains strong, but this is the second such issue raised surrounding the battery life in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
An in-depth analysis by industry experts iFixit found that the iPhone 6S is powered by a significantly smaller battery than many other premium phones, with only a 1715mAh unit inside.
To put that into perspective, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 features a 2,550mAh battery, and the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has a 2,900mAh battery, meaning Apple is somewhat behind when it comes to its juice.
This is also lower than the capacity in the iPhone 6, which packed in a 1810mAh battery, but Apple says that the iPhone 6S will offer up to 14 hours of 3G talk time and 10 days of standby—the same as in its older brother.
This reduction appears to be due to the inclusion of several extra hardware features that Apple has had to pack into the iPhone 6S, including the new Taptic Engine, which powers the 3D Touch responsive interface, and was found to take up quite a large space.
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