Are 16GB iPhones finally dead? The rumours begin

22 May 2015

Trendforce, a global research firm, as released a report outlining some supposed specs of the upcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. As you would expect from an iPhone “s” year, each device is expected to maintain the same-sized screen, but minimum storage capacity, RAM and screen brightness may all be affected.

Ditching the 16GB

This one is pretty straight forward. This year we have seen a move away from the 16GB storage model from HTC and Samsung, both of which now start at 32GB for their flagship phones.

Apple last year made the odd choice to ditch its 32GB model in favour of a 16GB, 64GB, 128GB lineup.

It’s not totally safe to assume that we’ll see the 16GB model go the way of 8GB, resulting in a launching pad of 32GB for iPhone prices. It does make sense; doubling the storage capacity of the base model would represent an obvious upgrade between the 6s and the 6 for consumers, without requiring a new physical design or phone experience.

This is an “s” year, so Apple needs to keep any big changes it’s working on until 2016 when the iPhone 7 will presumably be announced. Traditionally all we see are minor camera improvements or CPU and graphics enhancements. Boosting storage would fit in well with this trend.

Trendforce is confident that the time of the 16GB iPhone is over. We certainly see where its coming from, but would prefer more in the way of hard evidence before laying down any solid bets.

Speed upgrades

The 6s and 6s Plus (or 6 Plus s?) are sure to have CPU and graphics improvements over their predecessors. That’s taken for granted. Interestingly, we might see a big boost in RAM as well.

It might sound like a dry topic, but RAM (random access memory) is one of the biggest factors when it comes to having a fast device that transitions smoothly between tasks or apps. Currently the iPhone 6 reportedly uses 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

According to Trendforce, not only is the amount said to be doubled next time around to 2GB, but the type of RAM is going to be switched to LPDDR4, which in itself is significantly more efficient than the current LPDDR3.

What we’re essentially looking at here is more than twice the RAM power of the current iPhone generation.

Screen brightness

Trendforce also reports that, in an effort to make the new iPhones even thinner, Apple is reducing the profile of the screen’s LED backlight. The reduction is about 0.2mm, which the research firm claims could result in a drop of 10% screen brightness.

This sounds very un-Apple. Embracing thinner form factors over larger batteries is one thing, but reducing the quality of its precious screens is a severe deviation from form. If Apple is thinning out its lighting panel, it seems plausible that it has discovered some clever way to avoid any loss of brightness.



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