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Will Apple Stick To 1GB RAM For iPhone 6? Possible, But Unlikely

By - Source: Weibo | B 19 comments

According to a leaked schematic from the Chinese repair firm GeekBar, at least one of the two models of the iPhone 6 (the 4.7" or the 5.5") would be using only 1 GB of RAM. If this is true, it would be a disappointing decision from Apple that could affect new iPhone 6 buyers sooner than they think.

It's no secret that Apple has been inclined to use significantly less RAM (usually half as much) than the competition's flagship mobile devices. One excuse for this has been that iOS is much more optimized and is a leaner operating system than Android. While that may have been true in the past, things are rapidly changing for the two operating systems in terms of RAM usage.

With the release of Android KitKat last year, Android received significant RAM utilization and management improvements to the point where KitKat can now operate smoothly even on devices with only 512 MB of RAM. With the new Android L version, things should improve even more for RAM usage thanks to the switch to ART and compressed memory addresses for 64-bit Android apps.

On the other hand, 64-bit iOS apps on the iPhone 5S have increased their RAM usage from the longer memory addresses by 20 to 30 percent. The 64-bit apps are typically more memory-bloated on all operating systems, so this isn't a major surprise, but this is a problem that will only get worse for iOS users who have 1 GB of RAM. As iOS becomes a more mature operating system that can support multiple apps and extensions running at the same time, devices with 1 GB of RAM will soon find themselves bottlenecked by the low amount of memory.

Why the rumor may not be true

Despite the shown schematic, it still seems highly unlikely that Apple would keep the amount of RAM the same. Apple typically changes the RAM every two generations, and it hasn't changed it since the iPhone 5, so it follows that the iPhone 6 release would be time for an upgrade to 2GB of RAM.

We've already seen Android devices with 3 GB of RAM, and with 64-bit ARMv8 chips arriving on the market soon for Android devices, we will begin to see handsets with 4 GB of RAM as we go into the next year. Apple's iOS devices will once again remain behind in the amount of RAM they support, but 2 GB should easily last for another two generations before Apple moves to 4 GB. The move to 2 GB of RAM would definitely be a major improvement for iOS devices.

We're only a few weeks away from Apple's September 9 event, so we fortunately don't have to wait much longer for the confirmation of the new iPhone 6 specs, whatever they may be.

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  • 3 Hide
    therogerwilco , August 18, 2014 10:53 AM
    Dear Apple, no.
  • 0 Hide
    SirKnobsworth , August 18, 2014 11:18 AM
    Newer reports suggest (and the schematic agrees) that this has to do with NAND and not system DRAM.
  • 3 Hide
    southernshark , August 18, 2014 12:01 PM
    More RAM would be good, but let's be honest, IOS doesn't have to run its apps inside a Java virtual machine. So those programs will always run better, or more efficiently anyway.

    MS made a mistake copying Java with C#. They should have just upgraded C++, like Apple has done. I am far from being an Apple fan, but SWIFT is heads above either Java or C#, not even going to discuss crap like Python.
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Steve Simons , August 18, 2014 12:26 PM
    I certainly hope they go to 2 GB of RAM. With a larger screen, that will be significantly more rendering that I would guess would fall upon a heavier RAM load if the GPU gets maxed out. But I'm not a real tech guy, so I wouldn't know. I like smooth start up and shut down times. RAM seems to help that.
  • 1 Hide
    Kieran Warren , August 18, 2014 12:39 PM
    I think in terms of specs it is the only thing iOS needs. Unlike a processor there is a very limited amount of optimization possible until you have to write stuff to secondary storage and make the system slower. 2GB would be a good move
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , August 18, 2014 12:41 PM
    Well they can sell new phones, when 1 Gb is not enough... Why not upgrade now, because there is not competition?
    Am I a pessimistic person or Am I?
  • -1 Hide
    nickul , August 18, 2014 12:58 PM
    Why, of course Apple is going to only have 1GB of RAM in the coming iPhone 6, and with good reason! They are a bunch of complete idiots!.. Why would you truly have multitasking capabilities in an OS in 2014, when you can have a convenient list of the last used apps, that when you launch, will start reloading those app from 0, with nothing saved?! pfff... i can't believe we are still talking about this..
  • -2 Hide
    dextermat , August 18, 2014 2:02 PM
    Just another reason to get another Icrook device 6 month to 1 year after.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , August 18, 2014 5:05 PM
    I usually get the new iphone every year, but if the iphone 6 only has 1gb, i'll be skipping it. I expect the only thing noteworthy the iphone 6 will have is a better camera and bigger screen.

    Bluetooth LE, Touch ID, 64bit CPU, Great Camera, GOT ALL THOSE ALREADY with 5S
  • 1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 18, 2014 6:17 PM
    Wow what a deal breaker that would be. Like the author wrote, Apple tends to double memory capacity every other generation, so I'm sure anyone who knows anything about the specs in iOS devices was expecting to see 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 6, especially considering Apple's transition to 64-bit. I just can't see the iPhone 6 coming with 1GB of memory. I think that would be a truly unprecedented and stupid decision.
  • 0 Hide
    ericburnby , August 18, 2014 6:26 PM
    Newer reports suggest (and the schematic agrees) that this has to do with NAND and not system DRAM.

    Bingo. Apple SoC's have their DRAM integrated.
  • 0 Hide
    iKon007 , August 18, 2014 7:05 PM
    Why not just buy a real phone? I'm pretty dam happy with the cheaper and better Oppo Find 7
  • -1 Hide
    canadianvice , August 18, 2014 8:07 PM
    2GB of RAM? How innovative! Samsung just ripped Apple off, stupid posers.

    (Why get more than a GB of RAM in a piece of crap? Give me a real phone like a Nexus)
  • 0 Hide
    nitrium , August 18, 2014 10:10 PM
    If Apple already put 2GB in the 6, what will be the key selling point of the 6S? You have to think like Apple. They HAVE to keep a carrot hanging forever out of reach.
  • 0 Hide
    canadianvice , August 18, 2014 10:33 PM
    If Apple already put 2GB in the 6, what will be the key selling point of the 6S? You have to think like Apple. They HAVE to keep a carrot hanging forever out of reach.

    They already have that. It's called a good phone.
  • 1 Hide
    Cons29 , August 19, 2014 4:00 AM
    let's say that 1GB will indeed be enough, just for the sake of arguement. Then i only see one reason... more money for them, same price less hardware cost (this is assuming that prices remain the same)
    having a little more is better
  • 0 Hide
    klepp0906 , August 19, 2014 7:46 AM
    Ignorance is bliss they say. Sometimes - often, the internet makes me feel so much smarter than I really am. It's both gratifying and disappointing.

    Thanks guys!

    (Oh, btw. It's coming with 2gb)
  • 1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 19, 2014 7:53 AM
    If Apple already put 2GB in the 6, what will be the key selling point of the 6S? You have to think like Apple. They HAVE to keep a carrot hanging forever out of reach.

    The memory upgrade is usually followed by a major performance boost the following generation. This happened with the 3GS, 4S and 5S.
  • 0 Hide
    icemunk , August 19, 2014 8:02 AM
    They need to save costs somehow, I mean, they wouldn't want to cut into their 300% markup.