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article imageApple: iPhone 6S batterygate claims are 'misleading'

By James Walker     Oct 11, 2015 in Technology
It has been a few days since reports that some iPhone 6S handsets have as much as two hours more battery life than others began circulating online. The time has been enough for Apple to issue a response in which it dismisses the claims as "misleading."
The company told TechCrunch that the artificial battery benchmarks used to determine the performance differences are not indicative of real-world usage. Because they deliberately throw the processor into its highest-power mode for lengthy periods of time, the tests are "a misleading way to measure real-world battery life."
News of some iPhone 6S devices having noticeably longer battery lives than others began circulating after it was discovered that there are actually two variants of the Apple A9 processor. One is built by Samsung while the other comes from TSMC. Battery benchmarks found the TSMC chip can last as much as two hours longer than the Samsung one, sending owners scrambling to find which processor is inside their phone.
It's not surprising that Apple says the reports shouldn't be relied upon, as it is true that benchmarks do not tell the whole story. The company has confirmed that there are two A9 processors in the wild though and has even admitted there may be minor discrepancies between the two.
It wrote in its statement to TechCrunch: "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."
Two to three percent remains a negligible difference though and one that most owners are unlikely to notice. Besides, there is no easy way of telling unless two devices are left side-by-side for hours. Even then, other factors such as number of running background apps and signal strength will still incur deviations in battery performance even between identical phones with the same processor.
Apple was keen to allay any concerns that owners may have regarding if one chip is better than the other, beginning by writing: "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."
Apple appears to have dual-sourced the A9 processor so it could have many more devices available on day 1 than if it had commissioned only Samsung or TSMC. It's certainly possible that one chip is more careful with battery consumption than the other but in the real-world owners are unlikely to notice. The benchmarks may favour TSMC but it's far too early to say if there is one "better A9" overall.
More about Apple, iPhone, iphone 6s, Processor, Chip
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