back to article Apple in eyebrow-raising threesome with TSMC, Samsung for iPhone 6S

Apple is using two slightly different A9 processors from two suppliers – TSMC and Samsung – in its new iPhone 6S. This is according to analyst house Chipworks, which tore apart the electronics in the new smartphones: the silicon gazers found that the system-on-chips in the iPhone 6S are manufactured by either TSMC or Samsung …

  1. gerdesj Silver badge


    "If Apple is having sourcing problems, they haven't shown up on opening weekend"

    They did, they got a second supplier and now they don't have a sourcing problem. Simples. It's called the supplier chain and it really isn't complicated.

    It's also not really worth a news article: Is IT/telephony really so different and otherworldly that an alternative supplier for some bits is news. I'd even be happy with an article that took the piss out of other news sites getting their knickers in a twist over this.

    Come on el Reg - get a grip.

    1. Velv

      Re: Saucy

      Not only that, but two paragraphs further on:

      "Apple currently reports a 2-3 week wait on new orders for the 6S Plus"

      Even before release Apple advised the Plus was in constraint. Which would be another alarm bell do sourcing problems

  2. J. R. Hartley

    The title is no longer required.

    The iPhone has been a legacy device since the underwhelming launch of the 5. Be a shame when da kidz stop buying them...

    1. Raphael

      Re: The title is no longer required.

      Now personally I don't like Apple *hrrawk ptui* very much (I don't own any of their hardware and refuse to even consider buying some)

      But given they had their biggest launch (13 million units in 3 days) I don't think we can call it a legacy device.

      (even though I will possibly rejoice when the kids stop buying them)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The title is no longer required.

        You know 13m is horseshit right? That number is invented based on the theory that you say as many as you think you can sell before someone can check the books. The more you SAY you sold, the more sheep will buy (safety in numbers pack mentality).

        It's all media spin. Apple have niche marketshare (~12% and dropping), they aren't attracting new users, if anything losing users. The fashion victims that own iPhones are just upgrading to newer more expensive contracts.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: The title is no longer required.

          Apple have niche marketshare (~12% and dropping), they aren't attracting new users, if anything losing users.

          Irrelevant, commercially speaking. If they're still increasing profits, that is how they will be judged by those who really matter; the shareholders.

          The fashion victims that own iPhones are just upgrading to newer more expensive contracts.

          Well, how about that?!

          Like them (I don't) or loathe them (hmmm, maybe), their commercial success is undeniable. If they can continue to make profits like this despite falling market share that's potentially a gold mine in it's own right; one could conclude that they're narrowing their user base to the ultra-premium market, where price is increasingly not an issue.

          That's what every company wants, a customer base addicted to your product with no financial or other motivation whatsoever to buy a competing product. They can charge what they like then, so long as they keep churning out something basically the same as before but "better" (even if it's not really).

          Arguably they've been there for quite a while now...

          BA did the same with Concorde ticket prices. When they realised that none of their passengers actually knew what the flight was costing them, they put the price up by, what, 500%? Made no difference to their passenger numbers, but made a big difference to their profits.

          The Android market is different. That's involved in a race to the bottom. There be dragons down in those depths...

          1. rcmattyw

            Re: The title is no longer required.

            True, though the problem with an aging user base (an lets face it, its nnot kids that can afford to pay more) is that eventually you have no one to buy your new products. If you're not attracting new users you have a major problem on your hands. Not immediately, but down the track.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Don't they need two sets of FCC approval if they've got different hardware in them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The FCC only cares about the radios, not the CPUs. AFAIK they all use the same cellular chip from Qualcomm.

      Dell and other PC OEMs (but Dell was the worst offender) used to use a variety of components in the "same" model back before Intel started making chipsets and everyone began using them. They'd have different GPUs, different USB chipsets, different IDE chipsets and so forth. If they required a FCC certification for every combination they'd still be getting approvals for the Inspiron laptop I bought in 2001.

  4. PleebSmash

    tear this phone down

    Will benchmarks be followed by teardowns to compare the slight differences between the two SoCs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tear this phone down

      They are clocked the same, the only possible difference would be if one gets warm and has to clock down eventually. A review I saw that measured this found that after running flat out for 30 minutes, the 6S would clock down to 400 MHz for a few seconds, then back up to the default 1.84 GHz. They weren't sure if that was intended or some sort of bug, but since no one runs a phone flat out for 30 minutes for all practical purposes it doesn't throttle.

      Maybe they'd have somewhat different findings if that was a TSMC fabbed A9 and they retested with a Samsung fabbed A9.

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