by Jim Lynch

Find out if your iPhone 6s has a TSMC or Samsung chip

Oct 09, 2015
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

The 'Chipgate' controversy has iPhone users wondering if their phone has a Samsung or TSMC chip

Apple is awash in yet another product release controversy. Reports and videos floating around the Internet seem to indicate that there might be a significant battery life difference between the Samsung and TSMC chips used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

And this has made Apple’s customers wonder which chip their iPhones might be using. No worries though, it’s easy to find out which chip is in your iPhone 6s or 6 Plus. I’ll show you how to find out in this how-to.

How to find out if your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus has a Samsung or TSMC chip

samsung or tsmc chip iphone 6s

It’s very easy to see if you have a Samsung or TSMC chip in your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus if you install the Battery Memory System Status Monitor app.

Here’s how you can quickly find out if your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus has a Samsung or TSMC chip:

1. Open the app store on your iPhone.

2. Download and install the free Battery Memory System Status Monitor app.

3. Open the app and tap on the System tab.

4. Under the Device section, look for the Model.

5. The chip breakdown is as follows:

N71mAP — TSMC N66mAP — TSMC N71AP — Samsung N66AP — Samsung

And that’s it, that’s all you need to do to figure out if your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus has a Samsung or a TSMC chip.

What to do if you have a Samsung chip in your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus?

If you find that you have a Samsung chip, you have the option of returning your iPhone to Apple if you are within the 14 day return window. Is it worth it to do so? If battery life is a concern for you then I’d say yes it is, but you can make up your own mind after you watch the videos below.

I lucked out and got a TSMC chip in my iPhone 6s

When I heard about the chipgate controversy, I was very curious to see which chip I had in my new iPhone 6s. So I installed the BMSSM app and held my breath as I tapped to open it, and sure enough I had lucked out and gotten the TSMC chip.

If I had gotten the Samsung chip, I would certainly have returned my iPhone 6s to Apple. Battery life is very important to me, particularly since I switched from the iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone 6s as I needed a more portable phone.

The iPhone 6s obviously has a smaller battery than the 6 Plus so I would not have wanted to deal with even a small amount of lesser battery life because of Samsung’s chip. The cost of my iPhone 6s was significant enough that settling for potentially inferior battery life would not have been acceptable to me, regardless of what Apple says about it.

But your mileage may vary in all of this, so make up your own mind about it.

What are Apple’s customers saying about the Chipgate scandal?

As you might imagine, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Chipgate scandal has caused a lot of heat in online discussions. So I dropped by the Apple subreddit and here’s a sampling of some of the comments in one thread:

Hampa9: ”The question is, is this a real issue for customers?

You only get to 20% variance if you perform maximum CPU workloads from fully charged to completely flat. I would imagine that display brightness plays a part – on higher brightness the variance would decrease as the display plays a larger role in consumption. (And the radios were switched off as well, right? Wifi, cellular and Bluetooth will all play a role in real world use, further muffling the variance.)

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which a user would max out the CPU for several hours without rest. Seriously heavy gaming might do it, but who plays these games for more than one or two hours per battery cycle?”

Seweso: ”If the phone works as advertised then no consumer has the right to complain. Maybe some people simply see the glass as half full. But you can also see it the other way around. Some phones are simply better than others. Some people are just a little bit lucky. ”

Nickerbocker: ”Absolutely shocked that Apple came out and said anything. I think they would have been better off not saying anything at all about it. Now that they came out and said “2-3%” variation, the whole tech blog universe is going to respond with “challenge accepted.”

There is a battery benchmark test that shows ~20% difference. YouTube video comparing a 4k iMovie render reported a 12% difference between the two chipsets. In the same test, watching a 30 minuted video there was a 6% difference. All of those figures are a far cry from this 2-3% Apple PR is now putting out there. They would have been better off just saying it is an “insignificant” difference.”

Hampa9: ”You really can’t make a judgement from such a short test. You have to go from fully charged, where it’s kept charged for an hour after it appears to reach 100%, right down to nothing, where it physically stops turning on. You can’t make a judgement from the drop in battery % because that figure isn’t always accurate and relies on some fuzzy calibrations that will differ from phone to phone.”

Drunkbusdriver: ”Seriously. They are all losing their shit because of the geek bench tests that peg your processor out until it dies. No one uses their phone like that. You’d have to play the most intensive game for 6 hours to do so. The funny thing you never saw hardly anyone complaining about battery life before this. That and everyone was all excited that they had the Samsung chip and never said shit about had life until these geek bench tests. ”

Itsclassified: ”I don’t understand why everyone is dismissing this? A consumer with prior knowledge of the difference in chips and given the choice to choose from the Samsung chip and the TSMC chip 8-9/10 would choose the TSMC chip, maybe 1 or 2 at the most won’t care. That is still significant amount of people who would go with the TSMC chip iPhone. I personally would.

Even if the difference is 2-3% as Apple claims which from every test I’ve seen in real life to benchmarks hasn’t been the case. I could be wrong but this could be true when more data comes out. I understand that chip performance will vary even with the same manufacturer but I think if you gave people the choice to pick from one or the other, almost no one will pick the Samsung chip iPhone. ”

L33tMasta: ”You’re kidding yourself if you think any normal person cares about this. This isn’t some huge issue. If Apple went with one supplier for their chips a lot of people wouldn’t have an iPhone 6S. 2-3% is an acceptable range. Some devices with the exact same hardware have even more of a variance between devices. ”

MarcoPolo: ”I guess there’s never a non-controversial Apple product launch. I interpret Apple’s statement as essentially saying one chip performs better in whatever battery benchmark is being used. That’s not exactly something to be proud of. It seems pretty clear that in daily normal use, the chips are identical in performance.”

Fabos: ”I’m very skeptical of Apple’s bullshitting in general but this really does seem likely to be accurate. Most of the time the phone’s radios, GPU, GPS, and screen are going to have a much larger impact on battery life, regardless of the CPU. There are certainly CPU-intensive tasks but they shouldn’t be a huge component of battery life in regular usage. However the controlled benchmarks just hammer on the CPU almost in isolation.”

JamesR: ”Yep. Forget all the tests confirming the 2 hour difference. Let’s just all now say everything is okay because the manufacturer’a PR marketing team came up with some bullshit. Ignore all the real life evidence and listen to your corporate masters. I love Apple’s stuff as much as the next guy but I wish fanboys would stop ignoring actual evidence when their PR team spouts bullshit.”

More at Reddit

As you can see from the comments, opinions among Apple’s customers are split as to whether or not there really is a significant difference in battery life between the Samsung and TSMC chips used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Some redditors think that there is a significant difference, while others dismiss the entire affair as much ado about nothing.

It remains to be seen if Chipgate is going to go away quickly or if it will take on new life as more and more people find out about it. I’m just glad I lucked out and got the TSMC chip in my iPhone 6s.

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