Last week we posted a report about how TSMC's version of the A9 processor appeared to provide iPhone 6s users with better battery life than a similar iPhone that uses the Samsung version of the processor. Apple eventually chimed in on this issue before it spiraled out of control. Apple's bottom line was this: "Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, even taking into account variable component differences, vary within just 2-3% of each other."
In spite of Apple's assurances that the differences in battery life between the two processors powering the iPhone 6s are minute and within a normal range, the Taiwan Government has now decided to step into this matter.
According to a new report today we learn that Taiwan's Department of Consumer Protection said this week that "it has asked the country's communications regulator to check whether there is a difference in the performance of the new iPhone chips made by two different suppliers.
Wu Cheng-hsueh, deputy director-general of the department, told the press that he has asked the National Communication Commission (NCC) to test the power consumption of Apple's A9 chips supplied by Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
If it is found that there is a difference in power consumption between the chips supplied by Samsung and TSMC, to the point where the quality of the device is affected, the NCC would be obligated to protect consumers' interests by seeking a recall or a discount, Wu said.
In Taiwan today people who buy the new iPhone models via Taiwan's Apple online store have the option to return them for an unconditional refund within 14 days of purchase. However, telecom stores in Taiwan state that iPhone returns are allowed only in cases of malfunction or visible flaws – and this latest problem doesn't fall into that narrow scope. This is what the NCC will override if their tests prove that the difference in battery life goes beyond Apple's findings of 2 or 3%.
UPDATE 2:50 PM: But before the Taiwanese government goes too far in conducting tests, perhaps they should check out the new U.S. ConsumersReport that was only published hours ago that did independent testing and found that there was no 'Chipgate' in the making. Hopefully this will put an end to this odd little story.