back to article TRANSISTOR-GATE-GATE: Apple admits some iPhone 6Ses crappier than others

Apple has confessed that some iPhone 6Ses have worse battery life than others because their processors are made by two different chip bakers. The Cupertino giant said in a statement on Thursday that the handsets using TSMC-built 16nm A9 processors will have a slightly longer battery life than those powered by Samsung-built …

  1. Rik Myslewski

    Biased much?

    "Apple admits some iPhone 6Ses crappier than others." Ah, El Reg — always to be counted on for even-handed, unbiased, well-supported reportage when it comes to matters Cupertinian...

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Biased much?

      Thanks Rik! <3

      C.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Biased much?

        Biased - hah! Just got that one.

        1. Turtle

          @dan1980 Re: Biased much?

          "Biased - hah! Just got that one."

          Bear in mind that it might not have been put there intentionally.

    2. Oh Matron!

      Re: Biased much?

      The Daily Express of IT Journalism is El Reg. And yet, I still come here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Biased much?

        "The Daily Express of IT Journalism is El Reg"

        But with much longer words, sentences and paragraphs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Biased much?

        Are you saying that it's a less successful rival to an otherwise similarly-pitched publication (albeit with a morbid Princess Diana and Madeline McCann obsession) and if so, then who is "The Daily Mail of IT journalism"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Biased much?

          "then who is "The Daily Mail of IT journalism"?"

          It would be difficult to find an IT journalist so befuddled that he or she could simultaneously demand a stop to immigration and complain about the shortage of staff in the NHS.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Biased much?

            "It would be difficult to find an IT journalist so befuddled that he or she could simultaneously demand a stop to immigration and complain about the shortage of staff in the NHS."

            Offtopic - but the shortage of medical staff in this country is DIRECTLY down to previous governments reducing funding for training. Both Labour and Tory are equally guilty on this.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Biased and a little bit clueless

      "There's no word on whether the smaller process size brings in a measurable performance boost "

      Err no, It won't do anything unless they also raise the clock speed for the 14nm chip. You Reg hacks do know how a von neumann computer works don't you? Hello?

      1. JeffyPoooh
        Pint

        Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

        boltar "...know how a von neumann computer works...?"

        So the physics of gates isn't applicable to computers using the Harvard architecture?

        /pendant

        1. Chemist
          Headmaster

          Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

          "/pendant"

          Unless you hang around a lot I think /pedant is what you meant

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

          "So the physics of gates isn't applicable to computers using the Harvard architecture?"

          Harvard is a derivative. Your point is? Oh, I know, a straw man.

          The physics of gates is irrelevant if you don't change the clock speed to utilise faster gates.

          And someone modded you up on a tech site. Jesus H.

          1. the spectacularly refined chap

            Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

            The physics of gates is irrelevant if you don't change the clock speed to utilise faster gates.

            And someone modded you up on a tech site. Jesus H.

            Not by definition nor even universally in practice. Plenty of architectures have used 'early out' instructions that essentially stall the processor until the result is known: for example multiply on the 386 - how long it took was a complex formula depending on the exact values being multiplied.

            A faster logic could potentially shave a few cycles of such variable-duration instructions.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

              "Plenty of architectures have used 'early out' instructions that essentially stall the processor until the result is known: for example multiply on the 386 - how long it took was a complex formula depending on the exact values being multiplied."

              And? Its still clocked whether its via the main system clock or an internal processor clock. If the clock speed isn't raised it ain't going any faster.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

                "Plenty of architectures have used 'early out' instructions that essentially stall the processor until the result is known: for example multiply on the 386 - how long it took was a complex formula depending on the exact values being multiplied."

                And? Its still clocked whether its via the main system clock or an internal processor clock. If the clock speed isn't raised it ain't going any faster.

                You've completely missed his point. The vast majority of hardware multipliers (and all of them aiming for high performance) are not synchronous multi-cycle designs, they're a single chunk of combinatorial logic. They are not "clocked" to anything. The difficulty arises because the logic is very deep, meaning a lot of propagation delays and you can't be sure the result is going to be known in a single clock cycle. Hence the early out approach - instead of waiting the maximum amount of time for each invocation you monitor carried values at strategic points in the logic. If those carry values have changed by a given deadline within the cycle you say "changes are still propagating through, we need more time". On the other hand if they stay the same you say "OK, things have stabilized, we'll know the answer by the end of this cycle".

                How long it actually takes for those values to stabilize is NOTHING to do with the system clock - it isn't even connected to the multiplier proper.

        3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

          Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

          @JeffyPooh

          > So the physics of gates isn't applicable to computers using the Harvard architecture?

          The physics of gates is only applicable to the maximum speed: if the processor (or core) is under-clocked then its speed is limited regardless of how fast the gate is. It's a bit like me walking to the shops with Usain Bolt: as long as he doesn't start running we'll both get there together.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

        "Err no, It won't do anything unless they also raise the clock speed for the 14nm chip. You Reg hacks do know how a von neumann computer works don't you? Hello?"

        Well, I know how a von Neumann[sic] computer works and I recall what happened when we went from TTL/NMOS to CMOS. Same architecture but now it could run for hours off a battery instead of needing a mains operated PSU. The side benefit was not having to run at reduced clock to get to reliable operation at 70C ambient.

        Hand held computers spend a lot of time at lowered clock speeds to reduce dissipation. Under heavy computing load they often have to slow down to avoid excessive heat dissipation. So if the 14nm process gives lower power consumption per Hz per gate, it can run with less throttling. Thus they may not need to raise the max clock speed, the performance boost comes from being able to run closer to it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

          "The side benefit was not having to run at reduced clock to get to reliable operation at 70C ambient."

          If the ambient temperature around a smartphone is 70C then someones put it in the tumble drier by mistake.

          "So if the 14nm process gives lower power consumption per Hz per gate, it can run with less throttling."

          If. And how often do smartphone CPU or GPUs need to run at max speed for any appreciable length of time that would cause them to get so hot they'd need to throttle? Maybe a few games, other than that...

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

            Candy Crush would drain a colleague's phone in a very short space of time and turn the phone into a lovely pocket warmer. A fully charged phone would just about survive the journey into work but needed to see a charger ASAP. If there was a delay to the train it sometimes didn't last and they couldn't then phone and say they would be late.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

            "If the ambient temperature around a smartphone is 70C then someones put it in the tumble drier by mistake."

            Did I say I was working on mobile phones? I didn't. In fact at the transition from TTL/NMOS to CMOS very, very few people owned mobile phones, so you could have guessed that.

            Instrumentation computers that ran in harsh industrial conditions.

            I refer you to your own headline. That, and a mirror.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Biased and a little bit clueless

              "Did I say I was working on mobile phones?"

              I don't care what you were working on, this article is about an Apple phone.

              "That, and a mirror."

              *GUFFAW*

              You should do stand up mate.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Biased much?

      The only difference I can see, one iPhone mean you need reconnecting to a wallwart after 5 hours, one of the 4 hours.

      Me, I'm laughing because my Xperia Z3+ gives me 2 days real use battery life. I hear the Z5 is just as good, if not a little bit better.

  2. dan1980

    I think you mean that some iPhones are even more awesome than others. Surely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think

      you mean that some iPhones are even more awful (sic) than others. Surely?

      TFTFY

  3. Crazy Operations Guy

    I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

    Given that whenever I see an iPhone its either in use or plugged into the wall, I don't think anyone would really notice the reduced battery life, especially since that 2% is dwarfed by the battery life reduction that charging it so much causes.

    When at the office or at the airport, I have to spend quite a bit of time to find a power outlet that isn't filled with those white power adapters. But what I find odd is that I see an even mix of Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows phones in the hands of my coworkers and fellow passengers. So why the discrepancy in the brands of phones being charged?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      I would speculate its twofold firstly Apple owners probably represent a high proportion of the population that use airports - ranging from US students with MacBooks on a gap year to 90% of the people flying business class.

      Secondly I bet Apple has a bigger share of the BYOD market that a lot of business users have flipped to since blackberry jumped the shark. So Apple users are more likely to run the batteries down with dual usage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      Is it one or more of these?

      i) apple owners, having beggared themselves buying the thing, need to grab as much free electricity as possible

      ii) hubristic sense of entitlement to power sockets

      iii) unnatural phobia that sudden loss of battery oomph will leave them bereft of social media contact (with other owners of shiny applely goodness)

      iiii) some sort of mating or territorial display

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

        Quote

        iii) unnatural phobia that sudden loss of battery oomph will leave them bereft of social media contact (with other owners of shiny applely goodness)

        I'd have thought that it would have been the opposite. After all, you are off social media for the duration of most flights aren't you? Sure some flights have net access but it tends to get very slow.

        Thus the airport is the last chance for users of all mobiles to get their Social Media Fix.

        Personally I think that planes should become a Faraday cage with no access to mobile networks once the door has closed.

        Thumbs down for those railway companies who are removing 'Quiet Carriages' but I'm proud to be a Grumpy Old Man so my opinion don't count in today's hip world.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      Perhaps the majority of Crapple users are locked away in the Business Class Lounge?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iPhone 6s Plus beats EVERY phone out there except Note 5 in Geekbench tests

      Even beats most tablets tested. Granted this is mainly a test of CPU efficiency, but it sure puts a lie to Samsung's stupid FUD about iPhone users huddling near chargers. Funny how Samsung stopped those ads once they dropped their replaceable batteries and put their users in the same situation.

      https://browser.primatelabs.com/battery-benchmarks

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: iPhone 6s Plus beats EVERY phone out there except Note 5 in Geekbench tests

        Yes, it's a constant war. Finally Apple has crept up to where Samsung has been for years. Next years' Samsung will beat the iPhone, then maybe the year after Apple will be on top again. Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi. Blah. And Apple's UI is finally creeping up on what Android users have taken for granted for several years at least. Maybe next they'll learn to not make them so damn fragile and actually include some water resistance, but I've always found putting form completely over function to be utter folly.

        I've never much cared for Apple phones, and supporting hundreds of them has only reinforced my disdain of them. But to each their own.

    5. Fitz_

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      "When at the office or at the airport, I have to spend quite a bit of time to find a power outlet that isn't filled with those white power adapters. But what I find odd is that I see an even mix of Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows phones in the hands of my coworkers and fellow passengers. So why the discrepancy in the brands of phones being charged?"

      An 'even mix' of Blackberry and Windows phones next to iPhones and Android? You wouldn't be bullshitting for dramatic effect here would you?

      1. Turtle

        @Fitz_ Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

        I think that he meant to write "I see an (sic) mix of Android, Apple, Blackberry, and even Windows phones in the hands of my coworkers and fellow passengers. "

        1. Crazy Operations Guy

          Re: @Fitz_ I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          "I think that he meant to write "I see an (sic) mix of Android, Apple, Blackberry, and even Windows phones in the hands of my coworkers and fellow passengers. "

          "

          More or less. The point I was trying to make was that there was a vastly disproportionate number of Apple devices charging vs. other brands.

          I had actually posted that from the airport were I was sitting in a row of 19 other people at my gate, the flight was just announced as delayed, so everyone had their phones out for one reason or another. In my row there were 8 iPhones, 8 Androids, 2 Windows phones (bright yellow Lumias), and 2 Blackberries; yet, plugged in were all 8 of the iPhones, an Android, a BlackBerry, and a pair of outlets used to charge a MacBook.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      >> I don't think anyone would really notice the reduced battery life, especially since that 2% is dwarfed by the battery life reduction that charging it so much causes.

      Curious comment. Of course any modern device will stop charging its internal battery once it reaches 100%*. So just having a phone plugged in doesn't mean that it's actually charging.

      So you must mean that keeping a battery charged towards the higher end of its charge capacity reduces its longevity... any evidence to support that notion?

      * Also note that when your device says the battery is at 100%, it's not actually "full." That just means it reached the maximum "safe" charge capacity as determined by the charging hardware/software, i.e., the capacity where any more charge would probably be detrimental to longevity.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

        Longevity of owner.

        Lithium batteries and cells explode if you have them on float charge as is possible with Lead Acid or NiMH. Interesting too that the higher capacity NiMH have life reduced if on NiCd style float charge, they should only have enough to cancel the self discharge, but they don't explode, except if you "turbo charge" when it's charged!

        So Lithium cell charger has to disconnect if voltage too low or if cell charged. Unlink NiMH and Lead Acid, in a battery each cell must be separately tracked. This is why multi-cell packs (aka batteries) have a CPU built in. Note most single Lithium cells either have a temperature sensor built in, or if naked and soldered to main board there is one on the parent PCB.

      2. Naselus

        Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

        "Curious comment. Of course any modern device will stop charging its internal battery once it reaches 100%."

        Ish. They usually charge to 100%, stop charging, runs on battery to 95%, and then begin charging again. The display remains fixed on 100% at this point (mostly to stop users questioning why their phone isn't charging even though it's plugged in and only on 96%). So while it's not charging constantly, it IS charging for about half the time it's listed at 100% and plugged in; the phone isn't running off the mains.

        And yes, that still saps the battery life comparatively aggressively. Of course, given that most flagship phones are probably replaced after just a year to 18 months (as opposed to budget models, which are usually used for much longer and usually have replaceable batteries), it's probably not overly noticeable to anyone who's not still rocking an iPhone 4; the other flagships from that period pretty much all had user-swapable batteries. And really, how many Apple fanboys would still be using a phone that's 2 1/2 generations old?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          "And yes, that still saps the battery life comparatively aggressively"

          Really? I have a 4 year old desktop replacement laptop that is almost always on mains power (because I need the GPU and a bright screen). It does exactly what you say as shown by the battery meter; the battery periodically gets a few percent of topup charge. After 4 years the battery is probably around 10% below new capacity (I say probably because it has gone from W7 to W10 and this may affect the run time.)

          As I understand it with lithium cells, and roughly speaking, they tolerate around 300-500 discharge cycles, but this could more accurately be represented as a life in coulombs. So 5 times 20% discharges is about one full discharge. That's why I prefer phones with a long battery life; other things being equal with a daily charge the battery should last longer.

          1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

            Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

            Sorry to correct you, but Lithium batteries also have calendar life.

            Expect to lose 5-7% per year if in use. @4 years, at least 20%.

        2. Lusty

          Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          "And really, how many Apple fanboys would still be using a phone that's 2 1/2 generations old?"

          My iPhone 4S battery is still as good as my 5S battery. Both easily last a day with normal use, and usually two days if I forget to charge. That said I don't have that nervous twitch a lot of people have these days where I keep lighting up the screen to check the time/messages/facebook every 4 seconds so YMMV :)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          "They usually charge to 100%, stop charging, runs on battery to 95%, and then begin charging again."

          Errr. No.

          They charge to 100%, stop charging and then run on the power coming in from the USB.

          They will start charging again if the battery voltage drops below a certain level, which it will even if not powering the phone, all batteries self discharge a small amount and more importantly voltage will drop with temperature and the phone will cool down once it stops charging.

          Yes, keeping a Li-ion battery fully charged for long periods is bad for them, especially if the phone is being used, hot and fully charged is not a good condition for battery life.

          But it's still better than constantly charging and discharging them.

          The ideal state to maximize battery life is to keep it between 50% and 30% charge, cool but not too cold temperature and only charge or discharge it very slowly or not at all. In other words you get the most life out of your phone battery by switching it off an putting it in the fridge.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          "So while it's not charging constantly, it IS charging for about half the time it's listed at 100% and plugged in; the phone isn't running off the mains."

          I'm pretty sure you're COMPLETELY wrong, but out of curiosity, why do you think this?

          I mean, I can take a battery out of a laptop and it will work fine when plugged in. So laptops can be powered off the mains while charging (or not charging) a battery. Why would phones be different?

          It makes zero sense to me why anybody would design a device that ran on battery power even if it's plugged in.

    7. LucreLout

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      Well, yes, it's pretty hard to see the battery meter through the spider web of cracks.

      You never see an iPhone without a broken screen, and yet you never see a broken screen on any other phone. May I have an EU grant to study whether the root cause is the tech, or the users?

    8. Jared Earle

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      That's because the people with white wall warts actually use their phones while travelling. Useful phones use power, unlike less useful ones.

      What you're seeing is people who want to keep listening to music, playing a few games and doing their emails.

    9. jason 7

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      We were staying with some friends at a large holiday cottage and another family they knew were staying too. They were a family of 5. All of them had iPhones. All they seemed to do was spend their time going "Where's my/your phone charger?? I need to charge my phone!!" Just never stopped.

      Seems owning an iPhone is a stressful endeavour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

        "We were staying with some friends at a large holiday cottage and another family they knew were staying too. They were a family of 5. All of them had iPhones. All they seemed to do was spend their time going "Where's my/your phone charger?? I need to charge my phone!!" Just never stopped."

        A lot of the time when I go on vacation, it's to a location that doesn't have very good cell coverage (small towns, beaches/coasts, etc.). That alone will ruin your battery life.

        Add to that that you might not know your way around very well, which means more phone use to get maps, look at restaurant reviews, etc. Also, when you're on vacation, you'll probably be taking more photos than usual and communicating with friends back home more than usual. All of this takes battery power.

        Additionally, in vacation homes, beds don't necessarily have electrical outlets convenient to them, so charging overnight might not be an easy thing to do.

        So yeah, I'm an iPhone user and I commonly find myself running low on battery when on vacation but not because I have an iPhone in particular. And when I'm not on vacation, I usually end the day with over 70% left.

        1. jason 7

          Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

          Yes but the thing is...we weren't having to do the charger shuffle all day with our non Apple phones. It was a constant source of amusement for the week.

    10. Vince

      Re: I don't think the vast majority of people would even notice

      There's a café in Weymouth that charges for use of "iPhone Chargers" when you have a meal, and when I asked why no other phone, she said because nobody else ever seems to be running low on battery.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Anyone else...

    ...feeling clickbaited?

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Anyone else...

      Not generally on The Register, but increasingly more so on other sites.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Anyone else...

      Isn't that why we visit ElReg?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ..feeling clickbaited?

      Yeah, I hate smartarse ACs with fancy icons!!!!! Downvote!!!!!!

  5. PleebSmash
  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs Moores Law...

    when Cults Law suffices.

    Apple Socs, refreshes parts of physics other Socs fail to rewrite.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is deflecting from the truth a bit

    Granted, Geekbench's battery test is running the CPU flat out until the battery goes, which is not what anyone is doing with their phone in the real world. But what it shows is true - that there's a pretty big difference in how much better a TSMC fabbed A9 is compared to a Samsung fabbed A9 in power draw (and therefore heat originating from the SoC)

    However, Apple is correct that the difference in actual observed battery life from real world use is only a few percent, because normally you are doing a lot of other battery draining things like chewing through LTE data, using the GPS, having the screen on, and so forth so a more efficient CPU is mostly lost in the noise since all that other hardware is identical between the phones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple is deflecting from the truth a bit

      Also, if a chip uses less power under load, that doesn't necessarily mean that it uses less power when idle.

      In other words, the Samsung chips might actually last longer in real-world scenarios.

      I mean, I don't know for sure but it's a possibility. Do we know the switching current vs. leakage current curves for these processes?

      1. Naselus

        Re: Apple is deflecting from the truth a bit

        "Also, if a chip uses less power under load, that doesn't necessarily mean that it uses less power when idle.

        In other words, the Samsung chips might actually last longer in real-world scenario"

        I'd expect the inverse tbh; the 14nm process chips would have greater leakage when idle but should have lower draw when active.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Apple is deflecting from the truth a bit

      I know people who use iphones for CPU intensive mobile gaming (hammers data & GPS as well as CPU) and they get very toasty in the hand. These people would pretty much be running phones on maxed out CPU as per those tests, so deffo real world tests for a small proportion of people.

      Obv, those gamers all have external power packs rather than just relying on internal battery

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Throttling problem!

    The ones lasting the extra hours have to be slow as *uck throttled.

    Something would have to drastically wrong with the phone to have such a variation.

    Hell, it could now end up with people preferring to have a Fawlty phone.

    Basil will be well pleased with no complaints from Sybil this time.

    1. PleebSmash
      Facepalm

      Re: Throttling problem!

      Slow as *uck throttled, eh? It's the 10th iteration of the product and CPU performance is 70% better than its predecessor. Well, your mileage may vary on the 70%... but how fast did you want your fondler to be?

      Did you just marathon some Cleese?

      1. d3vy

        Re: Throttling problem!

        "Did you just marathon some Cleese?"

        It can't be a coincidence that FT has been available on Netflix for a week or so...

  9. Esme

    Granny grammarian

    "...the difference is far smaller than what had previously been suggested".

    Tsk, tsk, tsk... (squints the eyes, taps the feet...) kindly remove that superfluous "what" from that sentence forthwith! <g,d&r>

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Kristian Walsh

    "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."

    Well, if you'll forgive me, Apple (and Microsoft, and Samsung, and Motorola), so is quoting standby time calculated for a device with screen kept turned off in a lab with only one access network presented to the phone and no LTE or Wifi connection established.

    Or quoting "video playback time", as if anyone detaches their phone from the power and then immediately watches hours of movies from the inbuilt storage. (Oh, didn't they mention that it's not online video playback?)

    Basically, goose sauce is also a delicious accompaniment to gander.

    As for this story, I actually side with the substance of Apple's response (but not its whiny tone): this is really not going to be a big deal for the average user. The only way it could be is if there's also a significant difference in heat between the parts.

  11. Yugguy

    So Iphones are really Samsung phones?

    i.e. they use the same chips as us inferior andriod people? Yet cost double?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    IPhones are the Audi of the mobile world.

    1. Naselus

      Re: So Iphones are really Samsung phones?

      No, of course they aren't. They have an Apple painted on them, which everyone knows makes them go 50% faster and magically scares away malware.

    2. jbuk1

      Re: So Iphones are really Samsung phones?

      Same chip hey? So which Android phone uses the custom designed Apple A9 then?

      1. Yugguy

        Re: So Iphones are really Samsung phones?

        The one your momma uses to call me on a Saturday night.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: The one your momma uses to call me on a Saturday night.

          Yeah, she loves her pizza. Did you get it there on time?

          1. Yugguy

            Re: The one your momma uses to call me on a Saturday night.

            She aint usin' that mouth for eatin' son.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But the real question is...

    ... do TSMC chipped iPhone owners look down on Samsung chipped iPhone owners with disdain?

    Or vice versa because Samsung ones have a newer/smaller tech node?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What??

    As a fully confirmed fanboi, I'm just horrified that my iShiny might have ugly smelly Samsung components in it. Ugh! I thought Apple made every last beautiful molecule in my phone from unicorn tears and the breath of Jesus.

    Where do I sign up for the class action?

  14. D@v3

    all i know is

    my 5s lasted a little over a day (when new), my 6s, lasts a little under 2, which is fine by me.

    1. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: all i know is

      "...6s, lasts a little under 2 [days]..."

      As long as you sleep where there's electricity, then you'll be fine most of the time.

      The real battery test comes when your 'Lightning' cable goes bad. You go off to the shops and buy a generic version, only to find out that your latest iOS update rejects it and refuses to charge. So the next day you try again, looking for a 'MiFi' "certified (Apple taxed) version, but the shops don't have any. Now things start getting desperate. Etc Etc.

      This is where the Apple Lightning cable with the built in DRM, flouting the EU law and US competition rules, really starts to hit home personally.

      Best take £100 to the Apple store and buy a few spare cables.

      1. Steve Todd
        Stop

        Re: all i know is

        You can find Apple Certified 3rd party cables without trouble, and they are both cheaper than the Apple version and won't stop working on an OS upgrade. I got a pack of 5 from Amazon for £15.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: all i know is

          >> You can find Apple Certified 3rd party cables without trouble, and they are both cheaper than the Apple version and won't stop working on an OS upgrade. I got a pack of 5 from Amazon for £15.

          Indeed. Certified Lightning cables are pretty cheap. This is just another thing poorly-informed Android fans like to harp on when they're bashing Apple. Some other gems:

          - Devices with sealed batteries become worthless after a couple years. False. Apple themselves will replace an iPhone battery for ~$130 and many independent shops will do it for much cheaper.

          - iPhones have the same internal components as any other phone. (You can see an example of this inanity above, where a few people apparently don't know that Apple designs their own CPUs, which really are massively faster than Qualcomm's, etc.)

          - Apple's "walled garden" forces you to use all of Apple's services, like iCloud, Apple Music, etc. Couldn't be more wrong. You can get apps to use basically any service you want via an iPhone: Google Maps, Spotify, DropBox, etc. etc.

          - Of course the cable thing. People say they don't want to buy cables from Apple for $19 each. Fine, don't. Certified ones are available on Amazon for ~$7.

          - iPhones have poor battery life. False. When tested fairly by an independent party, iPhones have better battery life than most Android phones. (Check out Anandtech's review, etc.)

          - Lack of a user-replaceable iPhone battery makes it useless on long flights, etc. False. Just plug in an external battery. There are millions to choose from.

          And so on.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: just plug in an external battery

            The opposite of this.

            I hate the very idea of it, always have-- this is nothing personal, just the occasion on which I bitch about it. The typical external battery runs down a 4.2V lithium cell to power a 5V boost converter (draining it faster and faster as its voltage falls) just so the Lightning or USB connector sees the voltage it requires, just so it can step it back down to ~4.2V, with every discrete component just pissing away energy. Damn! Wouldn't it be nice if there was just some way to physically move the energy goo out of a full battery and into the dead one? Maybe some kind of hot-swappable modular goo container that the battery can quickly tap into?

            P.S. There's a guy who plays a game (which I don't believe runs on iOS) and who occasionally says "bbl, need to charge my iPhone". Failing to imagine how charging an iPhone would require one to disconnect from an online multiplayer session for a short time, I had just decided that "charge my iPhone" is a euphemism for "sit on the toilet". Then, this article...

  15. leon clarke

    This has interesting implications beyond Apple

    The Qualcomm 810 (fabricated by TSMC) has a well-publicised heat problem, leading Samsung to switch to their own processors for the Galaxy S6 and Qualcomm to switch from TSMC to Samsung for the 820. So at the time it rather looked like TSMC was having heat problems relative to Samsung. But now it's looking like TSMC have more than got their house in order.

    (Heat and power draw are basically the same thing; where else does the power go?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This has interesting implications beyond Apple

      EM emissions...

    2. Kristian Walsh
      Boffin

      Re: This has interesting implications beyond Apple

      On a point of pedantry only, I'd add that energy is also wasted in the emission of electromagnetic radiation. All semiconductor junctions emit photons, and "transistor-variety" silicon emits in the infra-red, if my electronics course-notes haven't completely left my head...

      You're still right though: excess heat is by far the biggest waste of energy in transistors.

      [edit: I see i've been beaten to it.. note to self: refresh before posting ;) ]

    3. Steve Todd

      Re: This has interesting implications beyond Apple

      I'm not sure it's that simple. Heat and power are only two factors when choosing a fab. Lead time, capacity (how many wafer starts you can buy on the line) and yield (how many good chips do you get from a wafer) are important factors too. Apple may have used the two fabs in order to isolate themselves from yield issues at one of other of them, or in order to ensure enough capacity to meet expected demand.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "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,"

    Eh, if you're trying to determine if one CPU sucks more juice than another CPU, wouldn't you WANT to run the CPUs in question in their highest performance state?

    1. Steve Todd

      There is a strategy in mobile devices called "hurry up and wait" where the CPU goes to full power and clock speed to (a) finish the user request as quickly as possible, but (b) to go back to sleep as soon as it can. Sleep states use little power, and most of the time a mobile CPU is doing little more than idling. Maxing the CPU continuously doesn't represent its typical workload.

      Put it another way, it's like complaining that Car A gets shitty MPG when you floor it and take it to speeds over 100MPH. Most people won't drive it like that, so what you are interested in is what its MPG looks like around town or on the motorway.

  17. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    Testing

    Please tell me that Tim Cook isn't the ONLY one permitted to test new products and that they KNEW there was a disparity in the overall system efficiency between the two.

  18. Amorous Cowherder
    Pint

    "Reminder to conspiracy theorists: Samsung's electronics wing makes Android smartphones and tablets that rival Apple's iThings, while its semiconductor arm makes the chips in Apple gear. One to think about."

    Well Remington, Wilkinson and even Ford sold weapons and parts to both sides of warring armies during various conflicts!

  19. Midnight

    "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," sniffed Apple.

    "Not representative of real-world usage?" How is it possible that nobody at Apple has ever heard of "Fallout Shelter"?

    1. JaimieV

      Don't remind me

      I spent about eight hours solid poking that Skinner box a few weekends back. I ran down to 40% on battery about six hours in and continued playing while plugged in. Then I deleted it at the 8 hour mark as I realised what I was doing. Free!

      Can't wait til the real Fallout 4 though.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But I thought the point of Apple was the hardware was all the same so the software would run the same on everything. Then they go and split a phone model across two different architectures? Boneheaded exTesla employees.

  21. dmdev

    Bad idea -- posting a link to source code

    A warning about posting links to source code that people can build on their own machine:

    This is even more risky than downloading an app from the App Store, because it can access Private APIs that would otherwise be rejected by Apple.

    Even this author admits that he's uploading some data to a server of his own.

    Don't let the fact that it is an Xcode project built on your own machine trick you into thinking it's safe.

  22. Joe Gurman

    One of these things is kind of different

    "Reminder to conspiracy theorists: Samsung's electronics wing makes Android smartphones and tablets that rival Apple's iThings, while its semiconductor arm makes the chips in Apple gear. One to think about."

    Exactly. I bet Samsung's semiconductor biz is profitable, while its smartphone operation....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how screen brightness never gets mentioned.....

    All mobile devices run the battery flat more quickly if you turn the brightness up - I've seen it on Android. IoS and Windows phones and tablets.

    If I use the sat-nav on my Android (2 years old), whilst playing music and the screen full on, I'm lucky to get 3 hours out of it. On low brightness I can surf all day. Also seen it with company Ipads, if the brightness is up they run down faster (and if Airplay in use, 3x that).

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