A newly leaked document claiming to be a schematic for Apple’s next-generation “A8” processor expected to power the “iPhone 6” claims the chip will come with 1 gigabyte of RAM, falling short of competing devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S5.
The purported schematic was published on Chinese social media site Weibo by repair firm “GeekBar,” and it suggests that the “A8” processor will not expand the amount of RAM available. The document was first highlighted on Monday by GforGames.
Apple first began offering a gigabyte of RAM in its custom CPUs with the A5X chip that debuted in the third-generation iPad with Retina display in 2012. Later that same year, the A6 processor that powered the iPhone 5 also came with a gigabyte of RAM, marking the first time Apple had achieved that amount on a phone.
If Apple does in fact stick with 1 gigabyte of RAM for this year’s expected “A8” chip, the chief reason may be to improve battery life. RAM constantly consumes power, and more RAM available for programs will result in a faster battery drain, so less memory will actually improve battery life.
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Of course, there’s a cost as well: Less memory means that iOS must actively close background tasks and refresh tabs in Safari as well.
For its part, Apple does not focus on the amount of RAM available in the current A7 processor. The company’s website only mentions that it has a 64-bit architecture, and the company played up the chip as “desktop-class” when the iPhone 5s was unveiled next September.
However much RAM it does end up having, the “A8” chip is expected to be unveiled at a media event Sept. 9 where the company is said to be planning to unveil its next-generation “iPhone 6.” It’s expected that Apple will launch two new iPhone models this year: One with a 4.7-inch display, and a jumbo-sized version with a 5.5-inch screen.
Some have speculated that the larger iPhone could be a so-called “iPhone Pro,” speculating that Apple could add in more advanced features like a superior camera — or even more RAM — for those who want a more powerful handset. But thus far there has been little hard evidence to suggest that either model would be drastically different.