All Three 2017 iPhones Predicted to Have 3GB of RAM and Lightning Connectors With Faster Charging

All three of Apple's rumored 2017 iPhone models will likely have 3GB of RAM, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri.


An excerpt from Arcuri's late March research note, obtained by MacRumors:
In terms of memory/storage configuration, all three models will likely adopt 3GB RAM; the 4.7”/5.5” will likely have the same storage options as the current iPhone 7/7+ in 32/128/256GB while the 5.8” model looks to be only offered in two memory configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Finally, the 5.8” model will likely have extended battery life with two packs of batteries.
Arcuri's research contradicts Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which recently said that only the next 5.5-inch iPhone and Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will have 3GB of RAM. TrendForce said the next 4.7-inch iPhone will continue to have 2GB of RAM like the iPhone 7.

Apple already includes 3GB of RAM in the iPhone 7 Plus, so the 4.7-inch iPhone would be the only model with increased RAM.

If the prediction is accurate, it's welcomed news for customers that plan on purchasing the next 4.7-inch iPhone, rather than spending upwards of $200 more on the so-called "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display.

Increased RAM means an iPhone can store more data in memory. If you have dozens of tabs open in Safari on an older iPhone, for example, you may notice that some of the tabs refresh when you revisit them. But with increased RAM, the likelihood of Safari reloading a website you previously loaded is lower.


Arcuri also corroborated KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in saying that all three 2017 iPhone models will continue to have Lightning connectors with USB Type-C Power Delivery for faster charging.

Cowen's research is based on his own checks of Apple's supply chain, so his prediction lends credence to the already-reliable Kuo.

The Wall Street Journal previously said the "iPhone 8" will have "a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector." But the report did not provide any additional details, and it appears the Lightning connector will live on.


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Apple is Struggling to Integrate Touch ID Under the iPhone 8’s Display

Apple's supposed "biggest bottleneck" in preparing to mass produce the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display remains integrating Touch ID underneath the display glass, according to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri obtained by MacRumors.


Arcuri, citing his own "field work" within the supply chain, said the current yield of Apple's in-house AuthenTec-based fingerprint sensor solution is low, while noting that Apple seems unwilling to use an outside solution at this time. If Apple cannot resolve these yield issues, he sees three different scenarios:

• Apple removes Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and relies solely on facial/iris recognition. Arcuri said this is unlikely, as it's not secure enough, risky, and would potentially create issues with Apple Pay.

• Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but in a different place than the one on the Galaxy S8, which can be hard to reach. Arcuri said this would not be a user-friendly or optimal solution to say the least.

• Apple delays production of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but still announces the device in early September alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

Arcuri said Apple is aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification by May, but if its in-house AuthenTec-based solution is not feasible due to yield issues, mass production of the tentatively named "iPhone 8" could be delayed until September, compared to its usual late July to August timeframe.

Arcuri still expects Apple to announce the 5.8-inch iPhone alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models in September, but supplies may be extremely limited or unavailable whatsoever until later in the year. That timeline echoes recent predictions from Apple analyst Brian White and investment bank Barclays.

It's also a scenario that has occurred with nearly every previous iPhone launch. Last year, the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black was a highly popular model among customers, and shipping estimates for online orders quickly slipped to several weeks out. It wasn't until around November that it became more widely available.

The device, which has also been called the iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, is expected to feature a new glass and stainless steel design, wireless charging, longer battery life, a new front-facing camera with 3D sensing capabilities, and improved water resistance. It also won't have a physical Home button.

Touch ID-related yield issues may be the reason why 5.8-inch iPhone components and schematics have yet to leak from the supply chain. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus parts began to leak around March last year.


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iPhone 8 May Include Facial and Gesture Recognition

The next-generation iPhone 8, set to debut this September, could include facial or gesture recognition technology, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri (via AppleInsider). The facial recognition capabilities could be powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera.

We've previously heard rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning, both from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo and from details sourced from the Asian supply chain.

With facial recognition, Apple could replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone or augment its functionality with a two-factor verification system for sensitive information. In this scenario, unlocking the iPhone would require users to scan their faces, something that would increase security on iOS devices.

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Facial recognition could also power other features on the phone, like augmented reality camera functions, and while gesture recognition is a new rumor, it could allow users to control their devices with simple gestures for doing things like turning volume up or down.

Capabilities like gesture control and facial recognition are also some of the first steps towards a rich augmented reality experience, something Apple is rumored to be working on.

Arcuri also reiterates several rumors we've previously heard. He believes Apple will launch a total of three iPhones, the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch models and a new higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display.

The 5.8-inch iPhone, he says, will feature a wraparound display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that is located under the glass, a technology Apple has been pursuing for some time. Wireless charging, a much-rumored and highly desired feature, is also expected.

Today's report from Timothy Arcuri covers many rumors that have been circulating for a few months, which is similar to much of the information that comes from the analyst. Cowen and Company has something of a mixed track record, but accurately predicted some iPhone 7 features.


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