What you need to know
- Conflicting reports say new iPhones have 4GB or 6GB of RAM.
- Steve Troughton-Smith might have stumbled upon the answer.
- They actually have 6GB. But only 4GB is accessible.
We've seen conflicting reports in recent days regarding whether the iPhone 11 lineup has 4GB or 6GB of RAM. But developer Steve Troughton-Smith might have found the answer, and oddly, it's that both reports are right. Maybe.
In a series of tweets overnight, the infamous iOS tinkerer shared what he'd found from Xcode's reports on the new iPhones. At first he notes that no iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro appears to have 6GB of RAM – all have 6GB.
Xcode also confirms that no model of iPhone 11 or 11 Pro/Max has 6GB of RAM. All models have 4GB of RAMXcode also confirms that no model of iPhone 11 or 11 Pro/Max has 6GB of RAM. All models have 4GB of RAM— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 18, 2019September 18, 2019
But then he qualified that by saying that there is only 4GB of RAM available to iOS and apps. Effectively, there's 4GB of RAM in these devices.
But physically, is it possible that there could be 6GB in these iPhones – perhaps the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max as suggested previously – with 2GB reserved for all of the fancy camera work that the new iPhones are capable of? Why yes, yes it might just be.
❗️ Several people have now suggested to me that there may just be an extra 2GB of RAM dedicated to the camera. All of this new photo stuff & Deep Fusion doesn’t come cheap, it seems. I have no way of verifying these details right now, and to the user it wouldn’t be visible anyway❗️ Several people have now suggested to me that there may just be an extra 2GB of RAM dedicated to the camera. All of this new photo stuff & Deep Fusion doesn’t come cheap, it seems. I have no way of verifying these details right now, and to the user it wouldn’t be visible anyway— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 19, 2019September 19, 2019
Ultimately we'll need to wait for someone to get their hands on a device and plug it into Xcode to be 100% sure. Or for iFixit to take one of the new iPhones apart and count the RAM chips. But for now we might have an explanation as to why some people report at least some of the new flagship iPhones as having 6GB of RAM, while others believe it's 4GB.
Or we're just all overthinking it and it's been 4GB all along. At this point, who knows?
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Count the RAM chips? Seriously. When you open a laptop with 4G of RAM, do you see 4 RAM chips? I have a 32G machine. Wonder where they put the 32 chips?
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