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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Over the past several days, a slew of battery tests on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus have revealed some performance differences between models that have an A9 chip manufactured by TSMC and those with an A9 chip created by Samsung. While various benchmarking and real world usage tests have shown differences of 6 percent to 22 percent, in favor of TSMC chips, Apple says that its own testing has shown battery life variations of only two to three percent.


In a statement given to TechCrunch, Apple says that it has done internal testing and gathered customer data to determine the performance difference between the two chips in the iPhones.
With the Apple-designed A9 chip in your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you are getting the most advanced smartphone chip in the world. Every chip we ship meets Apple's highest standards for providing incredible performance and deliver great battery life, regardless of iPhone 6s capacity, color, or model.

Certain manufactured lab tests which run the processors with a continuous heavy workload until the battery depletes are not representative of real-world usage, since they spend an unrealistic amount of time at the highest CPU performance state. It's a misleading way to measure real-world battery life. 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% of each other.
Apple says that early battery benchmark tests conducted by customers, such as those we shared yesterday, are not reflective of real world usage conditions. The two to three percent difference that Apple has seen in data gathered from customers is "well within its manufacturing tolerances" and is a level of variation that could be seen between two devices with the same chip.

Apple's statement on real world usage reflects what recent YouTube tests have revealed. Side-by-side battery tests comparing a TSMC iPhone and a Samsung iPhone did not show differences as dramatic as benchmark tests have shown, but those videos are also not quite indicative of real world usage results. On the MacRumors forums, opinions on battery life have been highly mixed. While some users with Samsung chips have reported poor battery life, others have not reported issues.

Article Link: Apple Claims TSMC vs Samsung A9 Chip Variants Result in Only 2-3% Difference in 'Real World' Battery Life


macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2014
It makes perfect sense. Yes, the Samsung A9 is much worse at battery efficiency when running at its highest clockspeed. But the phone is very rarely at its highest clockspeed. Video is done on specialized decoding hardware, not the CPU, so video doesnt stress it. Music / UI navigation likely dont stress the CPU. What apple is saying is that only if you actually USE the CPU a whole whole lot do you see this difference. Which makes perfect sense.

And im really glad I got the TSMC :)


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
Unfortunately this won't stop people from repeatedly talking about this. The reason so many people argue over battery life is because each of us uses our iPhone in different ways throughout the day. Some take more photos, some shoot more videos, some watch lots of video, some browse the web a lot, some game, some do a mix of everything, and others primarily use it for checking work email and calendars. TSMC chips might be slightly better, but the average user won't notice it. Furthermore iOS now has a low power mode to help when needed.


macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2007
New Mexico
Conservation of energy. Watts are Watts. I don't get how -- if they are doing the same thing -- if one chews through the battery faster than the other you can say they are the same. If you start Safari and go through the exact same sites and do the same stuff how can they both use the same amount of power running that program and not the test program? ...unless there are different tweaks for the different processors. Then it's possible.


macrumors member
Jan 10, 2013
Denver, CO
I'm exact opposite, not sure what chip i have but my 6s has significantly better battery life than my 6

Envious! Maybe I have a setting I need to change. I set this phone up as a new one rather than restoring from my backup so maybe I missed something.

Not sure if it's accurate or not, but I've noticed that my cellular service has been worse. Have AT&T and it's never been great in my office or home, but now it's worse. Don't know if it's related or not.
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