The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that it would consult with the Ministry of Economic Affairs about the possibility of asking mobile phone manufacturers to disclose the information of the central processing units (CPU) they use in their devices.
The announcement followed reported controversies surrounding the chips used in Apple Inc’s iPhone 6S, which has been available for sale in Taiwan since Friday last week.
Apple’s latest innovation was reported to have its CPUs manufactured by both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Samsung.
However, some Apple fans said the chips produced by TSMC fare better than those made by its South Korean competitor in terms of energy efficiency and heat dissipation.
Because of the alleged difference, the media in Hong Kong reported that some iPhone users there have demanded they be allowed to return the iPhone 6S installed with Samsung chips in exchange for those equipped with chips made by TSMC, fearing that the information might affect the price they can sell their iPhone 6S to second-hand mobile phone retailers.
Some netizens in Hong Kong further claimed that 60 percent of the new Apple smartphones sold in the US and Japan are equipped with TSMC chips, but the percentage in Hong Kong is less than 40 percent. They said that 80 percent of the phones sold in Taiwan are equipped with chips made by Samsung.
A resolution proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) and three other DPP lawmakers yesterday said the NCC should ask the manufacturers to disclose the information on the CPUs and other key components in the mobile phones.
When consumers are asked to sign a mobile phone contract, the service carriers should provide important details of the contract so customers’ interests can be protected, the resolution said.
NCC Chairperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) said consumers would pick an iPhone 6S with better performance if they were all sold at the same price. Because Apple is an international corporation, Shyr said the NCC would need to confer the proposal with the ministry and produce possible solutions within three months.
Yeh’s proposal was not welcomed by netizens.
“Using his logic, the specification of any part in any product should be disclosed to the public,” netizen Yuan Jo-shun said. “So does that mean we will need a case as big as a coffin to print this information, with a little iPhone lying there?”
Apple also issued a statement to dismiss the rumors.
“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,” the company said.
“It is a misleading way to measure real-world battery life. Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus vary within just 2 percent to 3 percent of each other,” the company said.
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