How to check whether your new iPhone 6s / 6s Plus comes with Samsung or TSMC-made Apple A9

How to check whether your new iPhone 6s / 6s Plus comes with Samsung or TSMC-made Apple A9

The new Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come with the brand new Apple A9 system chip that is a huge improvement over the A8 used in the iPhone 6.

But did you know that - unlike before - this time, the Apple A9 is not one chip. With the transition to a new and more efficient manufacturing method, Apple had to double source the Apple A9 from Samsung and TSMC. And since the actual manufacturing technology at the two companies differ - both use FinFETs, but Samsung makes its chips on a 14nm process, while TSMC uses a 16nm manufacturing node. In fact, while the Samsung-made Apple A9 occupies a die surface of 96mm2, the one made by TSMC is slightly larger, at 104.5mm2. We have also seen that there is a difference in the actual performance of the two.

So how do you check whether your new iPhone 6s has a Samsung or a TSMC version of the Apple A9 chip?

Luckily, this is not a hard task. You can download one of the many free apps that report the model number for your new iPhone, like the Lirum Device Info app right below.


Once you download it, you just open it and scroll down to the 'Storage and Model Information' section. What you are looking for here is the 'Model' number. And here is how to decipher the meaning of the model number:

Apple iPhone 6s:


N71AP - Apple A9 made by Samsung
N71MAP - Apple A9 made by TSMC

Apple iPhone 6s Plus:


N66AP - Apple A9 made by Samsung
N66MAP - Apple A9 made by TSMC

Right below you can see that we have the N71AP, an iPhone 6s with a Samsung-made Apple A9. What's yours?

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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59 Comments

1. Shocky unregistered

Makes no difference which your phone using so what's the point in checking this? You came to a conclusion based on a single sample from each, it was meaningless. Stop spreading BS.

3. TyrionLannister unregistered

Actually many Youtubers checked and found the same. The performance is the same on both but the TSMC one is about 20-30% better at battery management. Samsung screwed it up big time; or they did it on purpose. I don't know. But one thing is clear. I would want the TSMC made iPhone 6S.

5. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You really think Samsung would do it on purpose? Really? That's how Bullsh!t rumors get started with idiots saying stupid crap they cant prove, to put questions in peoples's heads. Apple had at least a year to test Samsung's chipset. If they had an issue with it, they would have worked with Samsung to deal with it, if they saw it as an issue.

23. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nope as TSMC was unable to fullfill all the order and Apple had no other choice to go for the Shamesung crap soc thats overheat.

56. uggman

Posts: 58; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

of all the companies in the world that makes chips they go the the "enemy" company, thats stupid thinking right there, they worked with samsung to ensure a great chip thats the truth, by the way it is tsmc who should be worried since theire technology is not up to par with that of apple.

90. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

business knows no enemy, Apple don't make hardware They need other companies to make it. Samsung wants the sells and apple wants the product. it's a win win for both of them. If samsung said no apple would just go somewhere else...

60. combatmedic870

Posts: 982; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

It's probably the opposite

83. Shocky unregistered

That's not actually what was reported to have happened, you just made that up didn't you? :)

88. engineer-1701d unregistered

moron you do know that almost 50% of the iphones are samsung, most iphones use samsung display chips and many other things.i will give the the massive heat thing, i have a gs6 and man when i get going with music playing watch hooked up surfing the web and watching youtube videos all the the same time that back right corner gets hot as sheet. but when i have ma case on dont feel a thing.

69. 8ozchickenbreast unregistered

This whole viral video is a joke. TSMC was in Airplane mode while Samsung wasnt. Not to mention other different factors these morons arent noticing.

91. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Of course Sammy didn't do it on purpose. Sammy just sucks. 16nm wipes the floor with 14nm on the same architecture? ROFL.

95. techhahn

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Or is it apple who purposely shortened battery life of Samsung SOC?

52. maherk

Posts: 6684; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Doesn't Apple design their own processors?

80. TyrionLannister unregistered

Yes, the architecture is made by Apple. But the placement and chip design is made by Samsung. Apple just gives the specific. It's like ARM designing cortex A57 cores. But implementation, core placement, interconnects, cache and all are to be implemented by the companies producing cores. That's why you see a huge difference between Exynos 7420 and 810 despite both using same cores( such big difference is not only due to the process itself. Samsung also has a better design).

81. Shocky unregistered

You can't just give two different fabs a design expect everything to be the same, Apple will have had to have made changes. Just look at them, they are clearly not the same, if there is something wrong at this point the blame lies entirely with Apple.

57. Shocky unregistered

Doesn't mean Samsung have done anything wrong, heaven forbid the possibility Apple screwed up. Software plays a role as well.

70. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

It is Apple as they will have to had used the same design for both and also setup the Samsung CPU to the wrong setup for the type of soc to run the tsmc soc in the same space and setup Or the tsmc will have not even worked at all I like it to have been Samsung doing damage to Apple, that be a good thing as the basic customer as no idea that Samsung in it, but it will be Apple design of the CPU being made for the tsmc CPU and then having to mod it so it runs on the Samsung 14nm

64. MSi_GS70 unregistered

u naive

76. Shocky unregistered

Their interest (PA) was nothing to do with battery life, in neither of the articles they done was battery life mentioned, it was purely based on one performing slightly better than the other. The battery life is interesting but reports are showing widely different results so far, maybe when something respected does a through test we can talk about it more. As for Samsung screwing up, it's Apples design and not Samsung's plus it might be nothing to do with hardware.

85. taeyax82

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 27, 2015

Nope ! The performance is the faster on samsung and real battery life is the same on both youtube.com/watch?v=vQgu9xTspfU youtube.com/watch?v=fde15ih0N2o

87. engineer-1701d unregistered

thats funny since apple said the difference in testing is only 2-3% tyrion this is how bad rumors get started,

97. Tajiseo

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

thats why you're not supposed to have two different ap's in the first place. Primary blame goes to Apple, not Samsung, for doing that. Results cud have been different depending on the manufacturer of the A9 chip, which is, clearly, not samsung, but Apple.

4. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

They aren't spreading BS. If I owned a 6s, I'd want to know which one I have and if it performs slightly worse. Who knows if one leads to problems down the road while the other doesn't. I'm sorry, but Apple isn't cool for doing this. But at least they were able to meet demand on the phone by having 2 manufactures create the chips.

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

This isnt the first time Apple used Samsung and TSMC to make chips for a phone model. Samsung simply made more of them the last couple of times. Obviously Apple didnt see a problem, unless they have crappy tests. If it was an issue, Apple could have said something...right?

12. Iodine

Posts: 1470; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

What if they didn't have any other choice ? They want to make some 90 millions phones till end of they year and TSMC the biggest foundry on earth just wasn't enough for Apple. Apple did the best thing they could.

30. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

and its still not enuf. IF TSMC cant do it then they need to go into there deep pocket full of money and start producing there own hardware. using inferior hardware in half your phone of the same model dont cut it when you sell at a super premium price. If i buy a super car i want it with all the best part and not some subquality part because they did not have enuf to manufacture it. This is NOT our problem its apple problem!

72. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

As I said many times before, the A9 was 100% designed for the tsmc 16nm soc, when tsmc was unable to make the number needed they had to just do a crap mod to get it working o. The Samsung 14nm, this will not have been an easy task and there is no way they was going to be able to setup both to work in the same way, they will have had to make it work better in the tsmc soc just to get it working If it was easy to just change soc size, the sd 810 will have moved to 14nm by now

15. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Well I'm just being honest. If I owned one, and a problem or less performance was an issue later on, I'd be mad lol

28. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Why such a high rate of return on both iphone 6 and 6S then? They need to improve quality check and put more money into it.

65. barondebxl

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Well the general consumer out there will never care

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