December 7, 2023

It’s extra doubtless for somebody to say Voldemort out loud in a Harry Potter film than for Apple to say the quantity of RAM on the iPhone. It’s as if Apple is afraid to discuss iPhone reminiscence, though that’s clearly not the case with the iPad Professional and the Mac.

By the best way, the M3 Max MacBook Professional helps as much as 128GB of RAM, which is mindblowing. It’s what some professionals may want on a strong pc. However Apple isn’t as prepared to debate the RAM on iPhones and the way growing it’d assist with pro-grade duties.

Quick-forward to the iPhone 15 Professional, and we don’t actually care about how a lot RAM it packs. We all know it’s 8GB, a bump from 6GB on the iPhone 14 Professional. However we’ve been educated to not fear about it. And, certainly, the iPhone 15 is quicker than Android handsets which have much more RAM. Then once more, keep in mind that 24GB of RAM is the brand new development for 2024 Android flagships.

Nonetheless, there may be a very good motive for Apple to bump the RAM on the iPhone 16 Professional and Professional Max: on-device generative AI options. In line with an estimate, on-device synthetic intelligence would require loads of processing energy and reminiscence.

Twitter person Tech_Reve, identified for a few of their Samsung and Apple leaks, quoted a report from Macquarie Capital that supplied some perception into RAM wants for numerous on-device AI duties.

If the report is correct, options like on-device AI picture era will want 12GB of RAM. On-device AI assistant options will want round 20GB of reminiscence. Macquarie notes {that a} typical smartphone has 8GB of RAM.

It’s unclear how the analysts got here to this conclusion. And I’ll level out that of all of the smartphone distributors on the market, Apple is greatest positioned to optimize reminiscence use on the iPhone. That’s why it by no means mentions the quantity of RAM on its units. The thought is the iPhone will ship a quick expertise, routinely outperforming rivals, with out the person worrying about RAM.

I’ll additionally level out that Apple seems to have moved to sooner LPDDR5 RAM for your entire iPhone 15 sequence, although the cheaper fashions solely have 6GB of reminiscence.

Lastly, I’ll remind you about iOS 18 rumors that point out Apple GPT options. They are saying Apple is each on-device AI capabilities for the following iPhones and at server-based AI. A combination between the 2 can also be a chance.

If the RAM estimates above for on-device AI are appropriate, Apple may at all times take into account boosting the RAM of the iPhone 16 Professional and 16 Professional Max to deal with sure AI options. I don’t see the iPhone going to 20GB of RAM, however a bump to 12GB may at all times be doable. However that’s simply hypothesis.

Another choice is having the iPhone 16 Professionals follow 8GB of RAM and optimizing solely sure AI options for on-device processing. Keep in mind that the next-gen A18 Professional chip must be much more highly effective than the iPhone 15 Professional. And it ought to ship an improved neural engine to deal with AI options. Extra complicated AI queries could possibly be handed on to Apple’s servers the place RAM wouldn’t be an issue.

We’ll definitely know extra particulars concerning the iPhone 16 {hardware} in a couple of months from now. And as soon as Apple takes the stage at WWDC 2024 to demo the generative AI options of iOS 18, we’ll additionally know extra particulars concerning the {hardware} necessities.

I anticipate loads of iPhone’s lineup to help generative AI options that depend on the cloud. However I additionally anticipate on-device AI to be extra restricted. On high of that, I additionally assume the iPhone 16 Professionals will get unique AI options.

It’ll even be fascinating to see what Samsung does with the Galaxy S24 sequence in terms of reminiscence. The telephones ought to include Gauss built-in, Samsung’s generative AI software program that helps on-device performance.