iPhone 5 to offer 1GB RAM and voice control?

The latest rumors about the next-gen iPhone say it will come with 1GB of memory and feature a voice-control system dubbed the Assistant.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Will you be able to control the next iPhone by voice?
Will you be able to control the next iPhone by voice? Apple

Apple's iPhone 5 will include a whopping 1GB of RAM and a voice-control system known as the Assistant, according to the latest reports hopping onboard the iPhone rumor mill.

Word of these potential new features was apparently leaked to TUAW by an unnamed but "reliable source" last week. However, the tech news site said it was hesitant to publish the details without corroboration.

But yesterday 9to5Mac said it received the same information from a "source familiar with the SOC's manufacturing," which refers to the phone's expected A5 processor, or system-on-a-chip.

Based on details revealed by the source or sources, the new iPhone will come equipped with the A5 chip, 1GB of internal memory, and an 8-megapixel camera. The phone will also include a Qualcomm Gobi Baseband chipset that will allow it to run on both CDMA and GSM networks, claims 9to5Mac's source.

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Beyond the boost in memory, the most compelling feature to reportedly pop up on the new phone will be a voice-control system called the Assistant. Described by 9to5Mac as the "biggest game changer" of the next iPhone, the Assistant will allow users to navigate the device and issue commands via voice.

Reports of a voice control system coming to the next iPhone and iOS 5 have been around for several months. But the Assistant, which is based on voice technology from Siri, will let people run some pretty sophisticated tasks using just their voice.

For example, you could tell the iPhone to "send a text message to John Smith asking him to come to dinner tonight," and the Assistant will do just that. Even further, the voice feature will include an intelligent conversation mode so that you can engage in a dialog. As an example of this, you could tell the phone to "call mom," and it might ask if you want to call her on her home number or her mobile number.

Beyond requiring iOS 5, the new voice feature apparently needs some beefy hardware to support it, specificially the A5 chip and the 1GB of memory. If true, that means owners of older iPhone models won't be able to join in on the conversations with their phones.

The Assistant certainly would sound like a game changer and something that should make the next iPhone worth the wait. But as with all iPhone rumors picked up over the past several months, we won't know anything for sure until Apple finally pulls back the curtain on its new phone, which according to yet another rumor could happen exactly one week from today.