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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Next-Generation DDR5 RAM Will Double Speeds of DDR4 RAM as MacBook Pro Remains on DDR3

JEDEC, the organization that develops global standards for computer memory, has announced it will be previewing its next-generation DDR5 standard for RAM in June 2017. The standard is expected to be finalized by 2018, at which point chipmakers like Intel will be able to add support for the technology.


As noted by Ars Technica, DDR5 RAM will double the speed of current DDR4 RAM while offering greater power efficiency.
DDR5 memory will offer improved performance with greater power efficiency as compared to previous generation DRAM technologies. As planned, DDR5 will provide double the bandwidth and density over DDR4, along with delivering improved channel efficiency. These enhancements, combined with a more user-friendly interface for server and client platforms, will enable high performance and improved power management in a wide variety of applications.
It might be quite a while until DDR5 RAM goes mainstream, however, as the first computers with DDR4 RAM did not arrive until two years after that standard was finalized. Apple itself has yet to even adopt DDR4 RAM, with the entire current Mac lineup equipped with older DDR3 RAM.

MacBook: 8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM
MacBook Air: 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM
MacBook Pro: 8/16GB of 1866/2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
iMac: 8/16/32GB of 1867MHz LPDDR3 RAM
Mac mini: 4/8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM
Mac Pro: 12/16GB of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC RAM

Apple's latest MacBook Pro models in particular use an enhanced low-power version of DDR3 RAM called LPDDR3E, which maxes out at 16GB.

Apple said the 2016 MacBook Pro does not support DDR4 RAM because of battery life considerations. DDR4 memory's low-power variant LPDDR4 is not supported by Intel's Skylake processors powering the latest MacBook Pro models, and using regular DDR4 RAM would have reduced space for batteries.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller in November:
The MacBook Pro uses 16GB of very fast LPDDR memory, up to 2133MHz. To support 32GB of memory would require using DDR memory that is not low power and also require a different design of the logic board which might reduce space for batteries. Both factors would reduce battery life.
The often reliable Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said Apple will release a 15-inch MacBook with 32GB of desktop-class RAM later this year, but it is unclear which Intel processor the notebook would use.

Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake processors do not support LPDDR4 RAM beyond ultra-low-power chips, while Cannonlake processors expected by early 2018 are not designed for the MacBook Pro.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: RAM
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)

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