Apple A9 (mockup 001)

For the first time ever, Apple has dual-sourced the engine that drives the new handsets from more than one supplier. Both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) won contracts to build the Apple-designed ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

While these chips offer literally the same compute and graphics power, both synthetic benchmarks and real-life tests have shown small yet notable difference in terms of battery as the TSCM-built A9 appears to be more power efficient than its Samsung counterpart.

The question is, does your brand spanking new iPhone 6s have the TSMC or Samsung-built chip? You can find that out in just a few simple steps, let me show you how.

But how does one determine if one’s iPhone 6s runs TSMC or Samsung chip?

It’s as easy as knowing your device ID. Thankfully, the App Store is home to some nifty utilities that can run an analysis of your iOS device’s underlying hardware and provide a detailed breakdown of the components used.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to use a free of charge app called Battery Memory System Status Monitor, which does exactly what the name says.

How to tell if your iPhone 6s has TSMC or Samsung chip

Step 1: Launch Battery Memory System Status Monitor on your device.

Step 2: Tap on the button labeled System at the top of the screen.

Step 3: Check your device’s ID number under the Device → Model sub-section:

  • N71mAP — iPhone 6s with TSMC-manufactured A9 processor
  • N66mAP — iPhone 6s Plus with TSMC-manufactured A9 processor
  • N71AP — iPhone 6s with Samsung-manufactured A9 processor
  • N66AP — iPhone 6s Plus with Samsung-manufactured A9 processor

As an example, Sébastien’s device runs a Samsung-made A9 processor, as designated by the device ID of “N71AP”. Good luck with that, boss!

TSMC Samsung iPhone screenshot 001

So, which chip does your phone run?

Can you recommend other system-profiling apps?

I thought you’d never ask.

In addition to Battery Memory System Status Monitor, an app called Lirum Device Info, a $2.99 download, offers even richer sets of data points pertaining to your device’s hardware and software.

Sadly, that app is being pulled from the App Store in 24 hours due to some serious issues with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Air 2 hardware.

The small team behind the app wrote on Facebook that a new version will fix that while adding a bunch of new features but it won’t be available for a few months.

Beyond Battery Memory System Status Monitor and Lirum Device Info, I would definitely recommend the $2.99 System Status by Technet, which also gives you the device ID information needed to identify the A9 chip type.

The adventurous types, feel free to compile David Stockley’s open-source app designed specifically for determining the type or chip your iPhone runs. My colleague Jeff has the full instructions, but please note that you will need to register your Apple ID as a developer.

Speaking of Jeff, both his iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feature the larger TSMC chips. I still haven’t purchased a new iPhone but sure as hell hope I’m gonna get the TSMC chip inside.

Are we just being nit-picky or does the battery performance difference between the Samsung and TSMC chips affect your perception of Apple’s latest handsets?

  • Ángel Javier Esquivel

    Well, I’ll wait to get my hands on a 6s/6s+ to confirm that xD

  • whodakat

    Is the phone with a Samsung processor still getting the advertised battery life? Or is it under what Apple said it would get? Because if Apple says something will last 10 hours and then makes 2 versions and one gets 12 hours and one gets 10, hey you bought what you paid for. If its more like 8 and 10, then I might be irritated. No worries though… I’m in TSMC camp!

  • Jake Frackin’ Healy

    I’ve got the TSMC!! Maybe if I resell this I might get more money!!

    • John

      I bet in the resell market, the TSMC will resale for a ton more than the Samsung

  • Wyn

    Yay?

    • tipoo2

      That’s the Samsung then, TSMC is the better process.

  • (In case my previous comment isn’t approved for having a link)
    I prefer “System Status” great app with lots of functionality.
    System Status – activity monitor, network info, battery charge & memory manager by Techet
    https:// appsto. re/us/naC7x.i

  • Jose Gonzalez

    Nice!

    • Jose Gonzalez

      I’ve had the phone since launch day and I have had great battery life! Here is where I am at so far:

      • rockdude094

        the most used app is solitaire… you better get good battery life

      • Raanor

        Lol! I was thinking the exact same thing. More likely it’s Facebook as the most battery consuming app and this person just scrolled all the way to the bottom to show ‘time since last charge’.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        Try again 🙂

      • Briedis

        Is this a 6s Plus???

      • Jose Gonzalez

        Yes it is.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        Like Raanor said, I scrolled all the way to the bottom to show the amount of time it’s gone on without charging.

  • I have the N66AP chip, but I’ve not noticed anything different as far as battery life goes from the previous device I had. Seems to me there’s always some nit picking going on when apple releases a new product.

    • Yujin

      Got the Samsung one but also no difference. As of now I’m at 79% battery and its almost 5PM.

      • TheShade247

        It’s because you don’t use it lol

      • 7-down

        LOL

  • FCBKris

    From personal experience I can say the Samsung processor works better. I’ve had two iPhone 6s Plus. The original that I pre ordered like everyone, was giving battery problems. Since I was still within my 14 day return policy, I walked in to the Apple Store and i got a new iPhone. This new iPhone not only last longer through the day but I can say the performance is a lot smoother as well.

    • Dany Quirion

      Even out of the 14 days you still can get it changed, apple care is there for a reason

      • FCBKris

        Ok ?

      • Dany Quirion

        just saying, because you didnt need to mention it

      • FCBKris

        Ok ?

      • Someone

        Ok

  • N71mAP! TSMC!

    On a related note, Samsung is making crappy processors for Apple, huh? And it’s just a coincidence they also make the biggest rival phones for the iPhone?

    • raulortiz318

      You’re insane.

    • tipoo2

      Look at Glofos issues with AMD GPUs…Samsung and Glofo share fab processes, so it’s just the process that’s bad, not some grand conspiracy.

  • Joonyaboy

    *eyeroll. Here come the complainers. And the returners. I have the “bad” one and the phone is super fast and lasts a day and a half.

    Just be happy people

  • M L

    N66AP Samsung here.

  • Samsung and so not bothered, 6S flies.

    • blu

      Same here, N71AP, but it works just fine and has better battery life than my 6 did.

  • George

    What’s the point of figuring this out? Are you going to advertise it on your Craigslist ad in the future?

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    Interesting to see reliability testing i.e. Water damage heat test drop test.

  • GINGERDREADS

    My 6s has the TSMC processor 🙂

  • Gabriel Diaz

    Honestly, who cares? It’s not like you can take it back to Apple and get the better one…

  • Jamessmooth

    I got a damn sammy 🙁 Sounds sexual, which it is, but like something real real bad.

  • AnoNymouz

    Had mine since launch day… iPhone 6s Plus 128gb

    M66mAP

    Great battery life.

    • Lucus Bendzsa

      Great batter life……. At one percent.

      Laugh Out Loud. Just kidding man.

      • AnoNymouz

        Yea at very end before it died… Haha

    • AA-TCR

      Wow what processor is that? who makes it? The first letter an M or a typo?

      • AnoNymouz

        Haha typo

  • Jayy

    TSMC!

  • JayDee917

    Laaaaame. Honestly though, I have felt like this 6s Plus has had slightly worse battery life than my old 6 Plus.

  • Stephen Hucks

    I don’t get why Apple doesn’t just make their own chips and why Samsung is making chips for Apple and then put out the stupidest commercial saying their products (phones) are superior to IPhones? Makes no sense! Apple is King when it comes to the smartphone market and has it locked down. All you got to do is look at the s6 and see how Samsung just copied the 6s and even the name, be original! Samsung pay sounds familiar! Well, I guess if you can’t beat ’em, COPY THEM AND TAKE CREDIT AS YOUR OWN!

  • Riar Jotz

    I see battery issues

  • Riar Jotz

    Samsung hate it

  • Blip dude

    No difference for me. I got TSMC and the battery is equally as crappy as it was on the iPhone 6 Plus. While this may be considered an oxymoron, that is actually a good thing, because for some reason I was expecting the battery to be much worse.

  • NetMage

    I have the TSMC chip and have my 6s lockup (or power off) while asleep twice. Wonder if that is related.

  • HamptonWalley

    That explains in notebookcheck why was 1W power consumption diference under load between iphone 6S and 6S plus. Because most of 6S are coming with TSMC chip, 6S plus with Samsung. Probably Apple was aware of this thing and that is why the bigger iphones gets the crappier samsung chip. And 1W is huge difference, 4.6W vs. 5.7W matters a lot!

  • 5723alex .

    I’ve tested the Lirum app on my iPhone 6 with iOS 9.1 beta 4.
    The app doesn’t recognize the correct iOS version : Latest OS version iOS 8.1
    My CPU model is N61AP (all iPhone 6 CPUs are made by TSMC, thanks god :-).

  • Andy Gostavo

    Simply, i will not pay a huge amount of money for a sim-free iPhone 6s to stay with heat and battery problems .. there must be a way on packaging that indicates which one is samsung and which is TSMC …. will never buy 6s now 🙁 i will stay with my 4s

    • iSnowstorm

      4s??? Take a L for still having that haha!

      • Andy Gostavo

        i bought the 6s and guess what.. it’s N71mAP !! so happy

      • iSnowstorm

        Nice!!!

  • iByron

    Okay, I have the TSMC in my 6s Plus.

    I’ve been getting great battery life from it over the past week!

  • Dracodude

    I’ve got the TSMC one. Hurray!

  • Dracodude

    Yeah, I use that one.

  • leart

    got this,, is it ok?

  • leart

    me to

  • Lordrootman

    I have 2 6SPlus funny one is TSMC AND OTHER IS SAMSUNG

  • Andy Gostavo

    N71mAP
    Wohooooooooooooooooo

  • DopamineAddicted

    Just got my 6S Plus today and i have the TSMC chip. Yay. I don’t know if there is a difference but yay.

  • Tarek Al Shawi

    Just got my 6s , Thank god

  • Yay!

  • tipoo2

    Dang, Samsung (which = Glofo process, shared tech). I never bothered checking until now, but my 6S gets really warm during Pokemon Go and my friends GS7E outlasts it by nearly half.