2020 iPhone could finally sport 6GB of RAM

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iPhone 11 has only 4GB of RAM.
Opening the 2020 iPhone will hopefully turn up 50% more RAM.
Photo: iFixit

Apple is reportedly taking an important step to improve the performance of the 2020 iPhone: more RAM.

Specifically, next year’s top-tier models will supposedly make the jump from 4 GB of RAM to 6 GB.

The change will happen in the replacements for the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, reports Barclays‘s analyst Blayne Curtis in a note to investors, according to MacRumors. This information allegedly came from sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain.

However, the cheaper iPhone 11 sequel will supposedly stick with 4 GB.

iPhone RAM matters

The original iPhone back in 2007 had a meager 128 MB of RAM. Obviously, that’s grown considerably over the years. The iPhone 5 from 2013 was the first with 1GB of RAM, and that jumped to 2 GB with the iPhone 6S. The iPhone X sported 3GB, then the iPhone XS went up to 4GB. All the 2019 models stick with that amount.

While processor speed has the largest effect on performance, RAM plays a critical role in multitasking. Switching from one application to another goes much more quickly when both are held in RAM, rather than one having to be reloaded.

This was demonstrated in a head-to-head competition between the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note+ designed to compare their multitasking capabilities. Apple’s flagship beat its rival in loading applications, but then lost when it came time to reopen the apps.

This is because the Note+ has 12 GB of RAM while the iPhone has 4 GB, forcing it to fully reload many applications its competitor could just pull out of RAM.

This doesn’t mean the 2020 iPhone also needs 12 GB. iOS is far more efficient than Android OS, and a move to 6 GB will almost certainly make a significant difference.

Also, this might be a sign that Apple will increase the amount of RAM in the 2020 iPad Pro. Most versions of the 2018 model have 4GB, but the 1TB model has 6GB.

Other 2020 iPhone improvements

The analyst with Barclays also helped confirm rumors that next fall’s iOS model — possibly called the iPhone 12 — will have a 3D sensor for use in augmented reality. An earlier report predicted this technology will debut in the next iPad Pro before making it to iPhone.

It’s a virtual certainty the 2020 iPhone will have 5G high-speed cellular-wireless networking. Curtis says his sources indicate this will include mmWave support, the version of 5G adopted by most US carriers.