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The iPhone 8 won’t need 6GB of RAM to beat the competition

Published May 2nd, 2017 4:54PM EDT

Apple has never chosen to engage in a RAM spec-war with its rivals, choosing to optimize the iOS experience instead. That doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t upgraded the iPhone’s RAM when it’s needed to do it. For example, last year’s iPhone 7s Plus has 3GB of RAM, as the more complex dual lens camera requires additional memory.

A new research note indicates that Apple’s 2017 iPhones will not see huge RAM jumps either.

In a note to clients, TrendForce explains that the average memory content for smartphones will grow 33.4% annually to 3.2GB this year. However, that estimate is lower than TrendForce earlier prediction, as the company lowered its forecast from 3.7GB to 3.2GB.

TrendForce explains that all smartphone makers, Apple included, are dealing with increased prices for mobile DRAM chips, which is preventing some smartphone makers from upgrading the RAM on their devices.

The report notes that Android devices do benefit from a bump in RAM, due to the nature of the operating system. Furthermore, in Asia, some buyers associate more RAM with better quality, which explains why some device makers are willing to bump the amount of memory all the way to 6GB of RAM and beyond for this specific market.

However, while Samsung does sell a 6GB version of the Galaxy S8, Apple isn’t expected to use more than 3GB of RAM in its three iPhones this year, TrendForce explains. Instead, Apple is seen upgrading the iPhone’s memory to 4GB of RAM only next year.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s Plus are expected to have 3GB of RAM each, while the iPhone 7s is expected to pack just 2GB of RAM. Even so, the average memory content of iPhone devices will increase this year, as more buyers will choose models with 3GB of RAM this year, the report notes.

Chris Smith
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 closely follows the events in 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.