Ever since Richard Nixon’s resignation from the Office of the President in a now infamous incident called Watergate, the suffix “gate” has come to be associated with anything scandalous. And while the nomenclature was supposed to be reserved for political disgrace only, like most pop-culture, it has seeped into various other aspects of our lives.
The tech industry wasn’t spared as well. Apple, in particular, has already suffered through many such “gates”. The most infamous among them were the ‘Bendgate’ and the ‘Antennagate’.
This year there is new gate, and it’s called ‘Chipgate’!
What is Chipgate?
As the name suggests, it has something to do with the processor chip inside the new iPhones. Every year, Apple puts in a new, more advanced and powerful processor inside its phones. The A9 chip is this year’s star. But unlike previous years, Apple didn’t manufacture the chip themselves. They outsourced it to two companies, TSMC and Samsung, and the two companies’ chips have turned out to be of different sizes.
The difference is marginal – only eight and a half square millimetres (8.5 mm2) and it is mostly because the two companies use different technologies to manufacture the chips. Although chip sizes do affect performances, to the best of our knowledge, it’s not all that evident in the new iPhones. But the internet being the internet, it exploded with reports about how the Samsung chip might be draining the battery much faster than the TSMC chip.
Is it really true?
Early lab tests did show a difference in the battery lives of the two models. But the exact amount of this difference is still a matter of speculation. Some people have reported a variance of as much as an hour; but we believe that to be a highly skewed result, most likely a work of some gossip-monger publication.
What does Apple have to say about all this?
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple said that its own testing and data gathered from its customers after a few weeks with the device show that the actual battery life of both devices varied just 2-3%.
Now the skeptic in you will not believe Apple, and we are with you. But we also believe that Apple would not outrightly lie about it. At best, they’d try and downplay the problem. So, let’s assume that the actual difference in battery life is about 4–5 %. It’s a higher figure, no doubt, but it’s not exactly a deal breaker.
What can I do about this problem?
The real bummer in this situation is that there is no way to know which chip is inside the phone until you’ve actually bought it. And unlike the US, Apple India doesn’t have a 14 day return policy. So if you have ended up with a Samsung Chip, there is nothing you can do about it. Sorry!
But how do you know which chip you have?
The easiest way to check would be by using Lirum Device Info Lite. It’s a free App available on the App Store.
1) Download and launch the App.
2) Look under model in the main page.
3) N66AP and N71AP are Samsung chips, while N66MAP and N71MAP are TSMC.
It’s important to point out here that battery performance depends just as much on the user as it does on the processor inside. My cousin has an iPhone 6, while her father has a 5S, and even though the 6 has a bigger battery than 5S (along with a more efficient firmware), my Uncle’s phone lasts longer than my cousin’s every single time.
So yes, in terms of percentage, both chips might turn out to be different, but it will not have any definitive impact on your experience. No reason to feel disgusted if you ended up with the so called ‘bad’ chip.