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Leaker teases a big iPhone 12 upgrade no one saw coming

Published Jul 10th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
iPhone 12 Release Date
Image: YouTube

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  • As the iPhone 12 release date approaches, an increasing number of leaks are piling it, with the latest one offering an exciting spec detail.
  • The iPhone 12 will feature a significant upgrade, according to a person that posts Apple rumors with some regularity.
  • The new phones will have more memory than their predecessors. If the leak is accurate, then we must be looking at the brand-new, faster type of memory.

This year’s new iPhones will deliver a bunch of notable upgrades over their predecessors, including several features that were not available on previous devices, and I’m not just referring to the brand new 5nm A14 chip explicitly made for the iPhone 12 series, the new iPads, and quite possibly a few Macs. iPhone 12 will come in four versions and three screen sizes, including a smaller 5.4-inch model. All handsets will feature OLED displays with Face ID notches at the top, and all of them will support 5G connectivity. Storage will start at 128GB for the first time for the iPhone series, and the Pro versions will ship with LiDAR cameras similar to the 2020 iPad Pro. Add to that a significant design update that will make the phone look more like the iPad Pro, and you’ve got the full picture of this year’s iPhone upgrade. That’s according to leaks, of course. Apple won’t confirm anything until mid-September when it’ll hopefully unveil the iPhone 12 series. And we have another leak that teases a great iPhone 12 upgrade, one that we’ve predicted from the moment the Galaxy S20 launched.

The Galaxy S20 is Samsung’s first phone to feature LPDDR5 memory, and one of the few 2020 Android handsets this year to make the jump to the faster RAM variety. Samsung makes its own RAM chips, with LPDDR5 being 1.3 times faster than the LPDDR4x RAM inside the iPhone 11 and other Android handsets, and 30% more efficient.

That’s the kind of upgrade Apple would want for the iPhone 12, I told you back in February. Apple isn’t known for upgrading the RAM of the iPhone as often and as abruptly as Android device makers. In fact, you’re more likely to hear someone utter Voldemort’s name during a Harry Potter episode than getting any Apple execs to refer to iPhone memory during iPhone events.

The Galaxy S20 is the best example of what happens on the other side, as the phone comes with up to 16GB of RAM onboard. That’s four times the memory of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pros. But Android handsets need that memory to make up for the inability to make processors as fast as the iPhone or to customize the software experience for the silicon.

Apple will just have to move to LPDDR5 this year for the speed and efficiency gains that come with the upgrade, I said back in February. The memory upgrade will ensure the iPhone 12 will work great several years from now, as the iPhone has a much longer life than Android handsets.

At the time, I told you that Apple won’t be as aggressive as Samsung, so we won’t see 16GB of RAM on the iPhone 12 versions. But the lowest capacity of LPDDR5 RAM is 6GB.

Well-known leaker Jon Prosser said a few weeks ago that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will feature 4GB of RAM, while the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will get 6GB of memory. He didn’t specify the kind of RAM coming to the iPhone at the time.

This brings us to the latest iPhone 12 leak that mysterious Chinese leaker @L0vetodream posted on Twitter:

He could be talking about anything, but the leaker usually addresses upcoming Apple products in his tweets. As such, the tweet above probably means that the two regular iPhone 12 phones will feature 4GB of RAM, while the iPhone 12 Pro versions will come with 6GB of RAM onboard.

The leaker makes no mention of LPDDR5 in his announcement either, but his leak matches Prosser’s take.

If Apple is going to 6GB of RAM for the iPhone, then it will have to be LPDDR5 memory. Let’s not forget that the Pro phones will also have to support new camera modes, including new augmented reality (AR) features made possible by the LiDAR sensor. More, faster RAM will be needed for all that. As for the cheaper iPhone 12 phones, they’ll probably stick with LPDDR4x RAM, just like the iPhone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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