Huge Potential Recall: Technical Defects of iPhone 6+ Raise Questions about Controller IC | BusinessKorea

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
3 November 2014 - 3:02pm

Functional defects in some of Apple's latest smartphones have been observed.

According to overseas IT news sites on Nov. 2, problems have been reported related to data storage in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.

Business Insider reported on Oct. 24 that a number of 128GB iPhone 6+ users have reported functional defects via Twitter. When owners switch between apps or check notifications, the phone is said to inexplicably crash or enter a reboot loop.

Apple Insider also reported on Oct. 23 that some owners have replaced their iPhone 6+ four times. It was also pointed out that Apple's recent iOS 8.1 update did not fix these defects.

Some in the industry point out that considering that technical defects mainly occur in the 128GB version of the iPhone 6 Plus, there might be a problem in the controller IC of triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash.

TLC flash is a type of solid-state NAND flash memory that stores three bits of data per flash media cell. It can store two to three times as much data as a single-level cell (SLC) that stores one bit of data and a multi-level cell (MLC) solid-state flash memory that stores two bits of data. Moreover, TLC flash is more affordable. However, TLC is slower than SLC or MLC in reading and writing data.

To reduce cost, Apple reportedly used TLC NAND flash in the 128GB version of the iPhone 6+ and some other models. Previously, TLC NAND was used in some iPads, whereas more expensive but more stable MLC NAND was used in most of the iPhone series.

As numerous reports of low read performance of the Samsung SSD 840 and 840 EVO using TLC NAND flash have surfaced on the Internet, a problem in the controller IC is considered to be the more likely cause of the defects. As the controversy over the SSD 840 and 840 EVO grew, Samsung embarked on firmware upgrades. Some in the industry think that if TLC flash is indeed the cause of the defects, Apple might recall all of the products that have been sold so far.

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