A report from Business Korea warns that Apple might be facing a huge potential iPhone 6 Plus recall, not because it bends — something that is a problem for many buyers, even though the company tried its best to minimize its seriousness — but because of a different kind of issue that might be affecting the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus model. A few days ago, various reports claimed that 128GB iPhone 6 Plus owners have discovered a strange type of error affecting their devices, particularly ones that store very large libraries of apps: the device would constantly crash and reboot, with Apple not being able to fix the issue.
Now, this new report says there may be a memory defect affecting these 128GB iPhone 6 Plus units, specifically with the “controller IC of triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash” memory.
“TLC flash is a type of solid-state NAND flash memory that stores three bits of data per flash media cell,” Business Korea writes. “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.”
Apparently, Apple used TLC NAND memory in 128GB iPhone 6 Plus and other models. The same kind of memory was used in some iPads, though most iPhones got the more stable MLC NAND memory version.
The publication also notes that a similar TLC NAND memory issue might be affecting certain Samsung SSD drives, including SSD 840 and 840 EVO, with Samsung having tried to fix them with firmware updates.
Business Korea says that “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.”
Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus has been more popular with consumers than initially estimated, with Apple being rumored more than once to increase mass-production to reflect the higher-than-expected interest in the 5.5-inch smartphone. However, it’s not known how many 128GB iPhone 6 Plus units have been sold so far, which appear to be the only iPhone 6 Plus models to be affected by this particular crash and reboot bug.