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 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 APL0898, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1715 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x



96. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Mine is TMSC

93. dimas

Posts: 3465; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If I'm a casual iphone user, why would I want to worry about these things since I pay big money for a product that I expect will run smoothly? Unless apple is ripping me off right?

94. Victor.H

Posts: 1117; Member since: May 27, 2011

Obviously, you don't need to worry. This is just for those who are curious to learn about the chip inside their phone. No need to look for drama in every single detail, we've posted similar articles about the difference between Samsung Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in Galaxy phones.

92. hanabi

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

There is 1/16 chance you will get the best iphone: 1. Samsung 14 + mlc + LG ips + Samsung 2GB 2 Samsung 14 + mlc + LG ips + Hynix 2GB . 7. Samsung 14 + tlc + Sharp ips + Hynix 2GB . 10. tsmc 16 +mlc + LG ips +Samsung 2GB . 16. tsmc 16 + tlc + sharp ips + hynix 2GB If tsmc got all the best components and samsung got all the worst, tsmc wins but, if they had same ones, samsung wins typical chinese tactic brainwashing people saying that 16 is better than 14 even tho they can't explain. they will next say their 14 is better than 10 for unknown reasons

89. camhiliciouz

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 11, 2014

i dont see the point of samsung screwing up such. its a big market for them to lose.

86. discharge unregistered

Gee Apple can't make things on there own and need Samsung to help??

75. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol my work phone is the Samsung one. Oh well, at least I have the 14nm and smaller chip. I'd actually take that over the 7% extra battery.

61. kabel

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Lirum is not available for download. WTF PA?

42. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Fuuaa...Samsung chip on my 6s Plus :(

48. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Find a reason to return it for an exchange.

51. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Mine also has the Samsung chip idk I haven't had any issues and my battery lasts all day so what happens if we return our phones and get the same chip again.

98. JC557

Posts: 1927; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

You could probably ask them for the model numbers listed in the phonearena article on differentiating between the Samsung and TSMC parts.

71. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol Samsung really killed it this year. The GS6 and Note 5 crushed everything easily, gear S2 is flat out brilliant and the only watch that can really pass off as a real watch vs an oversized computer on your wrist. And now they created a lot of isheep tears by f**king up the A9. Great Job Samsung. Spot on year. Now don't screw it up by releasing and hyping that Galaxy View thing unless it's actually on par with the GS6/Note5/Gear S2.

41. torr310

Posts: 1736; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

TSMC > SAMSUNG on chip manufacturing. It is that simple.

54. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Yet Samsung one is smaller with same perfomance lol

16. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

So Chipworks was the first to reveal through the their teardowns the availability of two A9 chips and said they will do a performance review between the two. But two weeks later there is still no review from Chipworks, think someone has silenced them (hint hint, look east)

11. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

So Samsung has an advantage with 14nm but they still get beaten by TSMC who is at a disadvantage?

35. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

TSMC are better with the architecture Apple use. Also samsung 14nm is not thats good with overheating ( Samsung S6 throttle up to 40% btw )

74. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nope, it's because you have to design a soc for one soc size and amusing was added at the last sec more like

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"One of the many free apps" and PA links to the one that isn't available...

9. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Seriously, who cares?

34. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

i would.

7. DaBigDogg

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

App is "not available in the US Store"...

33. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yep was removed to stop you from checking lol.

2. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

OK coool

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.

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