iPhone 6 RAM still up in the air

A blog site's report on the amount of memory in the next iPhone turns out to be based on a misreading of a technical diagram, but the question of how much RAM the iPhone 6 needs is an interesting one.

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Will the next iPhone stay with the usual 1GB of RAM? Sarah Tew/CNET

Correction at 4:50 a.m. PT August 19: Blog site G for Games' report on the amount of RAM in the iPhone 6 was based on a misreading of a technical diagram. The schematic actually shows the layout for the NAND flash memory that stores firmware and other data.

Would 1GB of memory be enough for the next iPhone?

A G for Games report on Monday about the amount of RAM shown in a technical diagram for the iPhone 6 turned out to be incorrect. The schematic -- which popped up on Chinese website Weibo and came from Chinese Apple repair firm Geekbar -- actually showed the layout for the NAND flash memory, G for Games reported later.

Although the iPhone 6's RAM is once again an unknown, if Apple were to outfit the device with 1GB of RAM, that would mean it was sticking with the same amount of memory stuffed into the iPhone 5, 5C,and 5S.

RAM in a smartphone is one of those specs always nestled in the list of features, though it's not considered as sexy a selling point as screen size, display quality, or on-board storage. Apple itself has never played up the amount of RAM in its flagship phone and has instead touted other features seen as more enticing to the average buyer. A variety of Android phones offer more RAM, notably the Galaxy S5 with 2GB of RAM, the HTC One M8 also with 2GB, and the Galaxy Note 3 with 3GB.

So does RAM in a smartphone matter? As on a PC, more RAM won't really matter if you run only one or two apps at a time. Extra RAM can certainly help performance if you're juggling multiple apps. However, iOS is considered more adept than Android at managing and optimizing resources. So comparing the amount of RAM on an iOS device versus that on an Android device is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

Regardless, 1GB of RAM does sound low in today's mobile world. Apple may -- or may not -- bump up the memory in the iPhone 6, not so much to keep pace with Android but more if it believes the average user would feel a difference. At this point, iPhone 6 buyers are more likely to be eagerly awaiting a bigger screen, sharper display, beefier processor, better camera, and other key enhancements.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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