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9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPhone SE pack 2GB of RAM [Update]

It looks like the new iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro both pack 2GB of memory. That's not something Apple normally divulges in its product announcements — meaning those interested usually have to wait for benchmarks for stats and tear-downs for chip analysis.

We've got the former from several sources now, including our own senior editor, Daniel Bader, editor-in-chief, Rene Ritchie, as well as Matthew Panzarino from Twitter, who all have both devices in hand.

For comparison, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro packs double the RAM of the 9.7-inch version, coming in at 4GB. Popular benchmarking app Geekbench also shows the CPU is running at a slightly lower clock speed of 2.16GHz compared to its 12.9-inch sibling's 2.24GHz:

We have also confirmed that the iPhone SE's processor is clocked at 1.85GHz, which matches the A9 processor in the iPhone 6s. Combined with matching RAM totals, it appears that the iPhone SE's internals are in fact identical to the iPhone 6s.

What do you think of these memory specs? What you expected?

25 Comments
  • That's disappointing... Procreate determines things like maximum canvas size and layer amount based on how much RAM is available. I was hoping they would make the Pro line of iPads all have the same specs so you are only choosing based on form factor.
  • So iPad Pro 9.7 is not "Pro". Sent from the iMore App
  • It's Pro in the sense that it has the new speakers and Smart connector, along with Pencil support. But yes, in the area that really matters (performance), it's an Air 3. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Hm, another reason I should think about hanging on to my iPad Air for another year. I assumed any iPad Pro would have 4GB of RAM. That's good news for iOS apps, though. No RAM hogs allowed!
  • It's arguably good for iOS apps TODAY but what about in the future? The biggest issue to me with "legacy" iOS devices is their lack of RAM.
  • If you have the first generation Air like I do, I would still upgrade. My Pro blows the Air away performance wise. I picked it up after not using it at all for a couple weeks and the difference was definitely noticeable. If you have an Air 2, then year I would hold off. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Glad to hear that the SE has 2GB, it would have been incredibly stupid to have less. I'm not surprised that the Air 3 only has 2GB, I wasn't expecting 4GB but I was hoping for 3GB.
  • I was expecting 3, myself. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I was expecting at least 3GB myself i can't see any reason why it only has 2 and why the CPU is slightly down locked when both devices carry the same A9x processor you would think they could have it at the same clock speed without hampering the battery by much seeing it's a smaller screen size but it could do with the added features that are incorporated in the 9.7 versus the 12.9 like always on Siri and the new screen tech :(
  • Totally Disappointed- 2gigs ram, slower clock speed, camera bump, , no 64gb option and on top of that cost is higher..
  • I notice that camera bump too. And I was like WTF!? is this Apple's industrial design standard?
  • So, so relieved to hear this about the iPhone SE. I'm pretty sure I want to go back to a smaller phone, but only 1 gig of RAM made me worry it would start to suck under future versions of iOS sooner.
  • I find it hilarious and ironic that my ipad pro is more pwerful than my mac air
  • I was hoping for 4 gb of RAM; that would make me upgrade from my Air for sure. The bigger Pro seems nice, but I need something more portable and easy to hold when I'm teaching my classes. (Do people read Kindle books on their Pros, too? What's that like?) As it stands now, I likely will put my money toward a new MacBook (when that's released) and wait to see what happens with the next iteration of iPads.
  • I mostly read Kindle books on my iPad Air 2 and it works very well.
  • Only 2 GB of memory in the 9.7" Pro? Seriously? I'm hoping someone will do an actual tear-down soon to confirm, but if its true, so very very disappointing. I guess I might just wait for the iPad Pro 2 at this rate.
  • So if the Ram support is there and all other internals are the same as 6s, is 3d touch simply being held back as bait to upgrade next year? Just seems lazy to me.
  • That puts to rest any ideas I had about replacing my Air 2 with the 9.7" Pro. I don't use the camera and the CPU is more than capable enough on the Air 2. Unless you want the pencil, I see no justifiable reason to 'upgrade'. Sent from the iMore App
  • In your case there really isn't one. Enjoy your Air 2 for another year Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • It's strange but learning that the Pro has only got 2Gb of RAM and is under-clocked has completely changed my view of it. From being really enthusiastic about it after the keynote and keen to buy one first thing tomorrow, I am now in much less of a hurry and will wait a few weeks and see what the prices are like on Amazon. I may even get an Air 2 if they drop in price a lot. I know it's crazy that such a minor detail makes a difference but I use my existing iPad 3 almost exclusively for browsing and the main problem I find is the constant reloading when switching between tabs. I figured 4Gb would fix that, but if it only has 2Gb then I may as well go for the Air 2. This got me assessing each of the advantages of the Pro over the Air 2 and realising that Apple haven't progressed much at all in 18 months in terms of what I want from an iPad. I can't draw, so have no need for the pencil, and never use a separate keyboard. I don't use the camera and have no issues with speakers. So basically the only improvement over the Air 2 for me is that it is faster. And by the sound of it the Air 2 is plenty quick. Sure there are a couple of minor screen improvements but nothing major. I think most people are similar - we mainly use our iPads for browsing. And the most important thing for the multi-tab browsing experience is the amount of RAM. It looks like Apple could go at least 2 years without producing a "consumer" iPad in the most popular size. Instead they release one with features that most people don't need, call it a Pro and charge more money for it. It's no wonder iPad sales are tanking.
  • Some of you put way too much emphasis on this RAM argument. The 9.7 Pro will perform just fine with 2 gb. Unless you want to use that as an excuse, is not really a valid argument. Sent from the iMore App
  • There's doubt that it will perform just fine NOW, but what about six months from now when iOS 10 is released, or in a year or two. Tables are like computers. People don't get a new one every year or two. Tons of people are still on the iPad 2 or 3. It's a nice upgrade, and if they had kept the same $499 and called it Air 3 not as many people would be complaining. But they raised the price and called it Pro, but it's really only half Pro Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Waiting for the long article on how only giving the 9.7 inch IPad Pro 2 gigs of ram was a great idea. There is no excuse at all on why something considered to be a possible (but not realistically) laptop replacement to be replaced with a laughable 2 gigs of ram. I don't care how well optimized the os is, you will suffer memory and speed issues, like web tabs having to constantly reload, etc. depending on what programs you are running. I am not sure who's idea this was, and I don't care how much of die hard fan you are on Apple, it must be said that they really dropped the ball on this, and will suffer from losing customers who actually was looking to upgrade from the IPad Air 2, or whom wanted something smaller than the 12 inch pro
  • Apple did this for the same reason they always withhold features in new products: they design these things to make a manufacturing cost and thus maintain their profit margin. They only add new features when they absolutely have to either for performance issues or its completely expected. The RAM and old Touch ID aren't immediately noticeable, but not adding Pencil support would have ****** a lot more people off. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Wow that's shocking but it really makes the iPad lines look more and more like the MacBook lines. Despite the hand few screen upgrades it got over the 12.9" iPad this 9.7" iPad may not be the best b Sent from the iMore App