In the latest stage of the manufactured outrage over the launch of the iPhone 6s, stories about apparently wild differences in battery life between devices using A9 chipsets made by different mobile-makers have become big news.
The story goes like this. Chipsets made by one partner, TSMC, are better than those made by another, Samsung.
Benchmark tests purportedly show up to 22% variation in battery life, which could be a pretty serious charge if it was actually borne out in reality.
Now though, independent real life tests (those that don’t use ‘pure’ iOS installs and run the phone as every person on the street would) have shown variation to be as little as 1%.
For what it’s worth, Apple too has weighed in, saying it found variations between 2 and 3%, well within the margin of error.
In a statement, it added: “Certain manufactured lab tests which run the processors with a continuous heavy workload until the battery depletes are not representative of real-world usage, since they spend an unrealistic amount of time at the highest CPU performance state.
"It’s a misleading way to measure real-world battery life.”
The fact is the iPhone 6s launch has been Apple’s biggest and most successful to date.
It had to use different chipset suppliers in order to meet huge demand, especially as it decided to launch in China at the same time as the US and Western Europe.
That it’s sold so many, with only minor issues, suggests it’s done pretty well. There are no signs of customers sending devices back in droves.
Yes there have been issues, with devices running hot, speakers not working and random switch offs.
These are annoying, but fall under warranty, meaning users can secure a new iPhone by taking it back to Apple. A pain, but hardly something to lose your head over.
Every year, there’s a new story about Apple’s new iPhone failing to do the business. See last year’s bendgate, for example.
Not since the catastrophic launch of Apple Maps, a software problem, has Apple really had to face up to anything truly disastrous.
Yes, there’s a difference in battery life between some iPhones. No, it’s not a major problem.
If you can spot the difference between the two, it might be time to lighten up a little.
Apple’s iPhone launch has been a success, and no number of lab–centric battery tests are going to stop it being so.