The cheaper, problematic TLC flash in some new iPhones is also a worse performer, benchmarks show

The cheaper, problematic TLC flash in some new iPhones is also a worse performer, benchmarks show
If Apple had gone with multi-level cell (MLC) instead of the cheaper triple-level cell (TLC) flash in some capacious iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, there might not have been the reported random reboot and freeze problems with those units, but that's not the whole story. 

A Korean publication has put the two types of NAND flash storage used in the new iPhones to the test, and it turns out that MLC flash is also a notably better performer in terms of overall speed and idle usage than its TLC counterpart, as you can see in the charts. Rumors are that Apple will be switching entirely to MLC for the next batches, so future owners can sleep tight, while if your current unit is experiencing the aforementioned issues, Apple is said to be replacing those if the issue proves to be a hardware one.

source: KBench (translated) via G4Games

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. android_hitman unregistered

cheap components in a premium phone? geez. good jobs apple

6. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It isn't premium, it just feels/looks premium. The illusion is the product really, they make it with the cheapest things they can find and market it as premium to people who don't know what that means.

7. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

And they call the galaxy series being cheap since it is made out of plastic...smh

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

yeah, no, the iphones 6 and 6+ is not premium - joke is on iphone quality is questionable -...heck, I went into the Apple store here with my brother in law and he and I each bent an iphone 6+. I am sure I could bend my G3, but LG never claimed it was of premium construction - nice looking phone it is, though, compared to the ugliness of the iphone, what was APPLE thinking...oh, yeah, they were not...

30. HildyJ

Posts: 341; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Just to summarize, Apple chose to use cheaper memory. The parts are not faulty, they perform like they are supposed to, slower. This is just one of a number of choices Apple made to increase their profit margins. Unfortunately, it means the phones don't react well to stress - whether it's system load or pants pockets. The grandmas (like mine) won't notice. So Apple won't be hurt. If they change to MLC, they will not announce it and, truth be told, I doubt they will do anything besdes floating the rumor that they are changing. If this were a car whose transmission couldn't handle acceleration, it would be recalled. iPhones, not so much.

31. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Bad analogy. If that were the case Apple would also be distinguishing which products were V6 automatic and which were V8 manual transmissions.

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Wouldn't it be unfair to the consumers who bought their iphone already?they are not gonna be aware of this

4. android_hitman unregistered

FAIR? No Manufacturer care for FAIR! They just want our money.

8. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol. Apple has a 100 billion in liquid assets. "Fair" would suggest a semi equal or equivalently beneficial relationship. One has a 100 billion, the other has 750p, 1810 mah battery, and 1gb of ram. I think "rape" and "unfair" is what you should expecting from them. Definitely not "fair." That's just not how Apple rolls. Lol

24. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

massive drop price scheme from samsung is definitely fairest of all,especially for loyal samsung early adopter sheep

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Sub par builds now float around, nice work. So yeah guys, you holding one of these will have a publicly shunned an tainted version if big Apple doesn't replace it. A lepers version for resale later. All the way to the bank Cook laughs an laughs.

5. Limbopope

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Sounds like something similar to my randomly rebooting OnePlus One. At least they are entertaining the idea of a replacement after 2 months of proving it to them T_T

9. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You paid for 1 one plus one though. If they rep,aced yours they would be down 2 handsets vs you paying the cost of 1. That's just not feasible business wise so they won't replace it unless they are absolutely sure it's a lemon. Apple, they charge you like the price of 5 iphones so if they replace 1 they are still up by 4 and they can pretend they have great customer service because they can replace it easily while still making times 4 profit. And even then Apple will only replace the TLC models if a customer walks into their store and complains. Apple is like the worst comoact in the world and the sheep need to stop feeding them cash.

29. Limbopope

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Very true. I'm glad I was able to convince OnePlus that I in fact have a lemon phone. Courier for RMA is coming by the end of the week

11. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Can you say iFail?...

12. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

You guys are retarded and basically don't know anything about tech if you actually believe Apple uses cheap components. These guys design a new CPU core every year. That's insanely expensive. It's a faulty parts issue. And their replacing it with better components. Honestly you're an idiot if you buy any device within the first 6 months. There are ALWAYS issues with all devices.

13. tedkord

Posts: 17453; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Well, Apple used the TLC flash in it's iPhones when MLC was readily available. The TLC performs more slowly and is failing, and the reason they chose it is it was less expensive. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably not a whale.

14. synot

Posts: 277; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Apple Iphones and Tablets are white washed Sepulchers,they looks good on the outside but inside is full of dead bones.Your profile picture looks just the same.

17. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol Buying in the first 6 months is actually pretty safe unless it's an Asus or HTC product. Besides, with companies with a 6 month cycle like Sony, waiting 6 months would be idiotic or strudelz-otic since if you wait 6 months for a Z3, the Z4 would be already out. 6 months is like a decade in the mobile tech world. Waiting 6 months would be retarded. Although I expect nothing less from you.

19. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

True, HTC has quite the habit of failing a bit on launch with QC, thank god this year they got their act together short after the launch of the M8, my M8 is problems free, no wavy/unglued speaker covers, no dead pixels on screen nor any other problems, thank god tho as my M7 had the pink tinted camera and had to stay without it for two weeks. Does ASUS still ship their phones with horribly slow memory like they did with the first Nexus 7? I bought a Memopad 7 for my mom because she wanted a cheap tab and the screen on that thing is the worst screen ive seen quality niggles wise, at least 10 areas on the screen sides where the brightness is noticeably lower than the rest of the panel.

32. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

My Asus vivobook work laptop developed a crack at the plastic hinge from normal use in the first few days. I went by the PC mag and laptop mag and other online revuews saying it was the best of the budget ultrabooks. I should have known better. I can probably replace it with their two year warranty but I am not going to buy another one for work just so they can take two months to fix it and send it back. Only Taiwanese company that hasn't gavenme a lemon on launch was Acer.

15. Muayyad

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2012


16. rangoj

Posts: 46; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

Apple premium in all his glory!!! :D I guess they hoped that nobody would notice that they used cheap memory :)

18. zibbyzib2000

Posts: 221; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

This is such BS!!! I bought a 6 Plus 64GB and now I'm second guessing myself if its one of the affected models that come with TLC. I shouldn't have to be doing this when I buy a phone this expensive. I love Apple but this is just inexcusable.

20. Derekjeter

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

How do you know if you have an iPhone with TLC? Can anyone answer that?

22. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

See my post below.

21. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Being an Android guy I can't vouch for this one way or another, but I saw this on the Apple discussions site: "Currently, using phonedoctor app is best way to configure. (no require jailbreaking) After checking storage, writing speed is around or under 100, it is mlc. wring speed is over 200, it could be tlc."

25. Derekjeter

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Fudge my iPhone 6 plus 128 gig tested 163 MB/sec. So..... Does that mean I have a TLC flash?

28. dimas

Posts: 3394; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

No it's mlc. Mlc writes slower because it makes sure that the data won't suffer hiccups and writing errors.

23. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

I have an iP6 64gb so far I havent encountered any random reboot and freeze problem. My s4 mini however, freezes very frequently.

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