No, the 32 GB iPhone isn't 'slow' (or, how storage works!)

There are a few stories going around, some grossly sensationalized, some genuinely curious, about the 32 GB iPhone 7 exhibiting slower storage speeds when compared to the 128 GB or 256 GB iPhone 7. Some of the stories, and many of the re-blogs, actually include at least a partial reason as to why that's to be expected, but they also bury it as far away from the attention-grabbing headline as possible. That's good for business but terrible for readers.

I do not think that means what you think it means

iPhone storage is solid state. There's no tiny hard drive inside, like on old-school iPods. There are NAND Flash chips, the same as what you'd find in an SSD drive. With NAND Flash ships, there are two ways to add capacity: Increase the amount of chips, or increase the density of the chips.

Apple doubled the density to go from iPhone 6s and 16/64/128 GB to iPhone 7 and 32/128/256 GB. To go from 32 GB to 128 GB, and from 128 GB to 256 GB, though, Apple used more chips.

When you add more chips, they don't work sequentially, they work in parallel. In other words, the more chips you add, the faster the performance becomes.

That's not just true of iPhone, of course. It's true of any device that uses direct storage. It's something that's so well known by anyone and everyone involved in storage architecture that it's a miracle we haven't seen this pop up, and get debunked, sooner. But, iPhone. So, headlines.

It's not my fault I'm the biggest and the strongest, I don't even exercise!

To make an incredibly crude analogy, if you have to transport 8 people, two 4-seater cars are "faster" than one 4-seater car because you can move all 8 people in a single trip, rather than having to make two trips. Likewise, if you can take two bites out of a cookie at one time, even though the speed of the bites don't change, the cookie will still be eaten twice as fast.

Now, there are a lot of other factors that can affect overall speed, including the type of NAND Flash used. Synthetic tests can also produce wacky results, depending on how, what, and when they draw their data.

When Apple sets performance targets for iPhone, though, they're set for all models of iPhone. That means every model, with every capacity, has to hit those targets.

That the higher capacities can exceed the targets by virtue of having more chips working in parallel is simply a benefit of how storage works. (And a good one, given higher capacities have more space to fill.)

Update: To the pain

I've asked several experts in the field and they all shook their heads that this "issue" has risen to this level of attention. To address some others concerns raised though, specifically around why some tests are showing what they're showing, here's my understanding:

Cache likely scales proportionally with the capacity, so 128 GB and 256 GB benefit from more SLC cache. Most benchmarks don't account for this, using a fixed sized load for testing. So, if that load fits in the bigger cache of the bigger capacity, but not the cache of the smaller capacity, they'll show a large degradation in performance.

Apple has also used different mixes of TLC and MLC (twin-layer and multi-layer) NANA in past versions of the iPhone, and the same could hold true here. Those would also show different characteristics in some situations.

These are all implementation details though. They can and will vary all the time. What won't vary is that every single SKU has to meet Apple's performance levels — including with the 32 GB.

The cliffs of insanity!

Bottom line, if you see or hear anyone stressing about their 32 GB iPhone 7 being slow, please put their mind at ease. Their 32 GB iPhone 7 is as fast as the technology Apple's currently using allows.

About the only thing that could improve it would be Apple bring that ultra-fast USB 3-speed storage controller from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to the rest of the iOS line. Here's hoping that happens in the near future.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • So they are indeed slower, as the subheadline says. It's just that no one should be surprised because Flash storage has always been that way.
  • Exactly. Another superb job of iMore spin journalism.
  • You should goto windows central if you want to see spin! make you dizzy with every article. 10 is in a tail spin itself....then the editors over there trying to make things rosey and awesome. YEAH!
  • Which has nothing to do with the basic fact that
    A) the article contradicts itself
    B) 32 GB indeed is slower, no matter how they slice it
  • How does the article contradict itself? Neither the headline nor the article say the 32GB iPhone isn't slower at storage than the larger storage iPhones. The headline says the 32GB isn't slow, and iMore is right, it's not. It's an incredibly fast phone beaten only by it's larger storage siblings which take advantage of parallel storage. Why does this confuse you and so many other readers?
  • "Widows 10 is in a tail spin itself" M'kay. You SERIOUSLY need to cut back on the (cr)Apple Kool-Aid. Like so many of their sheeple that blindly adore them, you're letting (cr)Apple distort your perception of reality with their propaganda. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • "Crapple"'s odd that you're on an Apple-centric website if you believe their products are crap. Hmmmm...
  • Dear Dennis, I Just recently switched from all windows 10 devices. Which were originally windows 8 devices. My 2 surface "all in one" computers, and 2 nokia 1020s worked, dare I say, amazingly. I actually did not like apple one bit while on windows 8. My devices were fast, smooth, stable, and actually had apps coming into the system. THENNNNNNN, windows 10 happened. My devices became slow, buggy, laggy, POS. App developers left running! Microsoft came into windows 10 with all this hoopla about porting apps "easily" to windows 10, and that ALL DEVICES on windows 8 would get windows 10. etc. They pulled the wool over their loyal customers eyes with windows 10. It was developed to data mine for users personal/business data so MS could sell it for profit. Hence giving it away for free unlike ANY other MS operating system in the past. They even let pirated copies be updated and validated. That tells you something right there. They are in it for the data profits. It's over a year into 10 now and its still SLOW, LAGGY, BUGGY, and more and more apps (there were not many to begin with), are leaving. Most are 3rd party crappy apps. SO, I did not drink the KOOL - AID and I am NOT a Sheep. I am a person who does not like to be lied to, have my devices rendered pretty much useless because of Crappy OS updates, and the overall Business model at MS now is Business first/Cubical First is not what I want to support. SOOOOOO maybe you should just mosey on back to WC, and enjoy loathing in your self pity because of windows 10. Thanks. I am going to enjoy my up to date, fast, stable, great performing apple devices now.!
  • windows 10 is NOT slow, laggy and buggy. Maybe something went wrong in you upgrade. A fresh install would have been better. And how the heck would apps "leave"? it's not as if developers were going back to the windows store and deleting their apps... It's really surprising how someone that used Microsoft product his whole life didn't switch when windows Vista came, but became a die hard Apple fan after windows 10...
  • Kojaokjku... What is the relevance of bringing windows 10 here??? nobody mentioned windows or made a comparison... Too much Windows hate... smh
  • Eh? IMore is debunking the spin- or are you too blinkered to notice?
  • Did you read the article. Rene said the 32GB model is slower than the other models. Thins is exactly what people mean when they say it is slow. Sent from the iMore App
  • Although rene does like to spin things around, in this case he is right. This shouldn't be a headline. I bet 16gb storage of iphone 6s was also slower than 64gb version. Did that make any headline? Nope. Sent from the iMore App
  • Wait, he made the headline, so is he right or isn't he? :)
  • He made the headline in response to other headlines
  • It explains why the spin of 32G iPhones being 'slow' isn't any different than any other manufacturers phones being 'slow'. Calling a product 'slow' without any qualification is spin. Pure and simple. One might be more accurate to say 'fast' and 'faster' instead of 'slow' and 'fast'. Hard drives–slow. Solid state drives–slow, also? DELIBERATELY mischaracterizing the 32G iPhone as slow by some imagined universal standard isn't even journalism. It's base blogging click-bait. In an intelligent discussion there is point, counterpoint. In the click-bait blogosphere it's spin, counter the spin. Or attack, counter the attack.
  • Basically what Rene said.. but he said it oddly.
  • The chips are all the same speed, but the more chips you have, the more you can do at once. To again abuse the analogy, you can move more people with several cars than you can with one, even if all the cars are the same speed. Why I put 'slow/er' in quotes.
  • The 32GB model is not as fast as the other models. Ergo, it is slow (relatively). Sent from the iMore App
  • Ergo, not as fast means the other models are fastER. Unless there's some universal speed/throughput standard that's yet to be published. It's obvious the various articles headlining the speed difference were not objective treatises meant to explain the nuances of NAND throughput vs speed. The tech has been around for awhile now, and bloggers are just now catching up? Bull.
  • I think the point, though, is that you're not going to notice. Even so called "Power Users" aren't going to notice performance differences.
  • Fixed "slower" to "slow". Better?
  • Yes, better, though it completely changes the message. It's not "slow", but it definitely IS "slower".
  • If it completely changes the message, how is it 'better'? It's not. Rene was right the first time. Just few actually understood that. Some bloggers were trying for more clicks by making a SpeedGate. The truth is this isn't an Apple 'problem'. Every manufacturer faces this. It's been the way of storage since the first SSDs. But now it's suddenly pitched as "the 32G iPhone 7 is slower! Run for your lives!"
  • For once I agree with you (Shocking huh !) I watched Lew on youtube who did a video on this and yes the 32gb model was slower but as alot of cementers where saying its slow because that the way storage works! So I believe if other phones where tested in the same manor again the lower storage devices would be slower.
    One thing I do know about the latest iphons is they pleny fast enough.
    If evidence is shown that this is not the case then fair enough and I will change my mind.
  • I guess the concept of faster or slower would appear (and that's what Renee too is saying) only when you compare 32 GB against 128 GB against 256 GB. For a person using the 32 GB as a standalone devices its just as good as a person using 128 GB. For those jumping from a 16 GB 6s/6s+ or 6/6+ it would definitely be plenty faster. Need to see how much of a difference I feel as I would be jumping from 6s+ 64 GB to 7+ 32 GB [don't want to spend on 128 GB this year, in anticipation for next year's anniversary model :-) ]
  • My guess is a 32 GB iPhone 7 will test the same as a 16 GB iPhone 6/s because Apple didn't double the chips to double the capacity, they doubled the density. So, no additional chips, no benefit from parallelism. (A10 could provide some benefits, as could the type of Flash used, but I'll defer to AnandTech for stuff like that.)
  • "alot of cementers where saying its slow because that the way..."
    Five spelling/grammar errors in eleven words. 50% wrong. Wow. Then five more errors in the rest of the comment. How can you expect people to understand what you're trying to say, let alone take you seriously? Must be frustrating. Maybe take some English classes or something? I'm not hating. I'm criticizing, which is different.
  • Sigh, yes there were a lot of errors in what I wrote. I am dyslexic, my brain is often going faster than I can swype. I have to check and double check what I have written. On this occasion I didn't until a lot later and by that time the imore app it was too late to edit what I had put down.
    Judge me on my points and a little less on the way I put it. Ta very much :-) Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Wow, you couldn't 'take him seriously or understand' his post because of a few errors? People dressed differently than you or who speak with an accent must really enrage you. Must be frustrating. At least here, you get to do something about perceived transgressions. In this case, hating or criticizing, you're being shallow, rude, and hating a little.
  • But they are the other stories are technically correct. They just didn't explain the fact that it isn't just the iPhone. So wouldn't this headline be incorrect? More appropriate would be "Yes, the 32 GB iPhone is slower but here's the real reason why" or something along those lines?
  • Agreed.
  • Slower to what ???? Are you using both 32 GB and 128 GB together that you should feel the difference ? The slower is due to technical or architectural limitations NOT coz Apple made it that way. If you were using a 16 GB iPhone earlier and jumping to 32 GB now, wouldn't that be faster for you now ? Why compare with something that you do not plan to buy. Still if you say 32 GB is slower (to something else...) go for the other one. I am a techincal person who knows why its being said and hence know. I was using a 16 GB 5s & 6+, then jumped to 64 GB 6s+. Now gonna jump to 7+ 32 GB but I never felt any radical difference to be complaining. As long as cameras and other external features and their quality is not compromised it really makes no difference what you are using.
  • You're talking the technical reasons which we can all agree on. But is the 32 GB now slower than the 128 GB iPhone 7? The reasons for this's a yes or no question. If the answer is yes, regardless of the reasons, it is still slower. I'm not blaming Apple for anything. To me it was common sense that it would be slower. But that doesn't negate the fact that it IS slower.
  • They could have used two 16 GB chips on the 32GB iPhone and had the same throughput as all the other iPhone 7 models. So, if the slower speed bothers you, then you really *should* blame Apple for the slower speed, because it's 100% a result of their design choices. Blaming SD technology doesn't make sense, since using two chips could have prevented the speed difference.
  • Just made a comment below stating this before I saw yours. You are right! It is slower and it was Apple's choice. There was an alternative!
  • Technically, I think it's more accurate to say the 128 GB and 256 GB models are "faster" (wider?) because 32 GB is the baseline. It's like a bonus due to how the chips scale. That might sound like a subtle difference, but no one should feel like they've gotten anything less from a 32 GB iPhone. A better gripe, and one specific to these products, would be lack of USB-3 speeds, like the 12-inch iPad Pro has.
  • @Rene : Wouldn't it be apt to say (for the sake of making some ppl feel better) that those coming in from 16 GB 6/6+/6s/6s+ would still get a faster iPhone 7/7+, if they want to save on some $$$$ buying the 32 GB ??
  • Um, no, it wouldn't be apt -- if the 16GB 6s used two 8GB NAND chips, and the 32GB 7 uses two 16GB NAND chips, the speeds should be similar (all other things being equal). Unless you're overly-generalizing; yes, the 7 is faster than the 6s -- the A10 alone saw to that -- but that's not what the article's about.
  • I'd agree with this statement. And had articles not come out saying things this is something nobody would realize. I highly doubt the differences in speed would be all that noticeable in real world usage so it's honestly a pointless discussion.
  • True.... Just coz its iPhone hence gaining all the attention. 90% of people in US who have been already using the 7/7+ over a month now, might not be even aware of these technical talks nor have ever felt any visible difference in speeds.
  • Like a commenter before said, it was Apple's choice to double the density instead of doubling the chip count. They could've easily used 2 16GB chips for the 32GB version, 2 64GB chips for the 128GB version and 2 128GB chips for the 256GB version. Then, all three versions would see the same storage performance. But they decided not to go that route. Just my 2 cents worth, but they should've used one chip for the 32GB version (which they did), 2 64GB chips for the 128GB version (which they did) and 4 64GB chips for the 256GB version (which they didn't). That would give people storage and speed options for their money and not just the storage. However, I chose the 256GB option solely because I wanted highest storage. The fact that it's some small percentage faster than the 32GB version is just a perk. Apple is usually on target with their marketing, but I think they could've used these facts to bump up sales for the higher storage sizes.
  • That would begin to get cost-prohibitive -- that level of density gets expensive quickly; one of the reasons they went 3D NAND for the 256GB version.
  • **** Rene. I don't get why Apple hasn't hired you yet. Any 'negative' news about Apple, you just have to rush in and explain it. The 32GB iPhone having 'slower' speed is not even of relevance. Those who are complaining about it are most likely not even iPhone users. My point is I don't get why you have to get all offensive all the time. You just love to dig on Samsung even for the fact that their ports are not symmetrical. Gosh Rene, grow up dude. I love Apple but i know they are not perfect as well.
  • All I want is for people to hate smarter. You can still be upset that a 32 GB iPhone doesn't have the parallelism of a 256 GB iPhone, but at least I've done my best to explain why. The idea that "you have to rush in and explain it" being bad is offensive though. EVERYONE should be doing that. It's the job. Being informed is a good thing. So, I'll take what you said as a huge compliment :)
  • Ignore him Rene. I am glad you explain it for us non-geeks. There are bunch of people out there that make these videos with sensationalist headlines because it's there business and Apple is the current target to go after. It takes one skewed article or video and tech sites swarm around it like bees presenting it as if Apple is lying or some other dumb crap. No one is perfect including Apple. But these guys are seem to get witch hunt crazy every year new Apple hardware comes out. Sent from the iMore App
  • "All I want is for people to hate smarter." That's apparently far too much to expect from a lot of people. So many substitute "this is bad" for "I like something else more" for whatever reason. If someone doesn't like a product based upon a personal prejudice, that's ok by me. Just be honest about it. But trying to mischaracterize any product, not just an Apple product *isn't* being honest. Because after it's all said and done, nobody is going to notice the difference in read/write speeds between the two sizes, in normal use. That just won't happen. It's a test measurement. Those blog hit-pieces are written in a Nelson Muntz spirit of "Har har! You got the slow one!" This isn't about whether or not Apple is perfect. It's about having enough journalistic integrity not bait people with spin. But making this an 'Apple problem' guarantees huge amounts of clicks they wouldn't get otherwise, and we the readers, aren't entitled to honest, accurate explanations? Is that about how you see it, Tom, dude?
  • Truth be told, i have no idea what you are yapping on about. So you trying to tell me Rene has just given honest, accurate explanations? So lets take a step back and understand what is meant by accurate explanations. That is done if you are expert on storage. By expert, i mean someone who actually studied about storage. DId Rene study about storage? I highly doubt that. Sure he said he talked to experts, but who are these "experts"? If you want to be accurate, you cite your sources, simple as that. My point is you are a tech reviewer, you have to have an open mind about all technologies, not dissing every other tech company other than Apple. Have you heard of Mr. Mobile (Michael Fisher)? Thats how a tech reviewer is supposed to be. Rene is a **** joke.
  • They probably went with a cheaper 32 GB set of chips to match the same price as the 16 GB. Basically so everyone who was ******** would get their 32 GB, and to prevent a price hike ******** spree.
  • Very well explained article, but at the end of the day the the 32gb version could have had speed parity with the larger capacity versions had Apple decided to invest in more expensive storage. However, I've been using a 32gb 7 for the past week, having swapped it with the wife for my 6S and I haven't noticed any difference in speed between the two, either faster or slower.
  • I have an iphone 6S 16 gb and thing is SLOWER THAN DEATH! Says storage full, not s how as I have nothing on it bu10songs and 8 ap's, checked "manage storage" and pictures deleted (14 total) this phone for what it costs should be ALOT FASTER and hold WAY MORE
  • Why don't you just say it is similar to RAID 0 with multiple hard drives on a desktop computer?
  • Sure, because EVERYbody knows what RAID means and how the various configurations work, and in particular RAID 0.
  • I'm sorry, but your article is misleading.
    The storage is in fact slower and the 32GB iPhone might be slower, if storage is a bottleneck (and it usually is). The facts you provided are true: more chips allow for parallelism and enhance speed.
    But bare in mind that it was also an Apple's choice to use less chips in the 32GB iPhone. They can use 8 4GB chips for the 32GB iPhone.
    They can use 8 32GB chips for the 256GB iPhone. The space was already there (or it wouldn't fit in the higher storage iPhone), so it was Apple's choice. Do 8 4GB chips cost more than 1 32GB chip? Yes it does.
    But still Apple's choice. They could have made both with the same speed using the same number of chips. So you should change your analogy with cars. Apple chose to use 4 cars to drive 8 people on one iPhone, and chose to use 8 cars to drive 8 people on the other iPhone.
    The difference isn't on the transport vehicle, it is about how fast people can get in and out of the car. 2 people on each car take longer. Remeber: Apple's choice.
  • Really? Who cares? I had a 128 gb 6s and used exactly 5 gb's of storage. A complete waste of money. So when I moved to the iPhone 7 it was an easy choice to go with the 32 gb model. I have 4 Apps (Google Mail, Google Calendar, Swiftkey and Dropbox) on the phone. I currently have 23 gb's free of 27.83. I highly doubt I will need more storage. I keep all my music on the cloud and rarely ever download songs to the phone... same with photos. As for the speed... the 32 gb iPhone 7 is as fast as the 128 6s was. I absolutely can't tell any marked difference. Now... its true that I'm not a "power user" with 60 Apps on my phone. If that were the case I suspect I would have opted for the 128 gb model. Maybe people that have many Apps on their phone and multi-task can tell the difference in speed. But for the average guy like myself... this is absolutely a non-issue that I could care less about!
  • The "who cares" argument doesn't work when there's a whole article devoted to this "issue".
  • And yet the argument should work given the fact that there really is no issue. It's a distinction without a difference, except on a test bench. As wezra say, most users won't care. For that matter, no user will notice the difference in regular use. Now if somebody wrote an article explaining that Samsung uses parallel chips to have the same speeds on all their phones, and Apple doesn't, that might be interesting. And probably nobody would notice the difference between both manufacturers' storage access speeds. Again, a distinction without a difference, in actual use.
  • I honestly don't think the average iPhone owner cares if their phone is one millionth of a nano-second slower than the next guys. I understand that Rene devoted a lot of time to the article.... and I appreciate the effort. But in general, this is an article for those who dive much deeper into these things than 99.9% of the iPhone owners out there. I am a big fan of iMore and am on the site several time a day catching up... so no issue for me. I just think sometimes the subject matter gets a bit silly.
    Just my opinion of course.
  • The write speeds to a 32GB iPhone 7 is 42MB/s compared to the 128GB's 341MB/S. In computing and scientific terms that's exactly "yonks".
  • So let's get out our stopwatches and see what that translates to in actual use. In computing and scientific *measurements* that's significant. In desktop and laptop storage, that's significant. In real world use on a phone, can anybody tell the difference in how fast their pic or text was stored? Apple could have made the 32G storage faster, possibly equal in speed to the 128G phone. Why? For bragging rights, on a phone? The overwhelming majority of users would NEVER know or see the difference. Why spend money on doing that. Just because that's what Samsung would do? Actually, I don't know if Sammy went that far. And if not, would they, to avoid AppleStorageSpeedGate? I don't think so.
  • Will this be explained on Oct 27th by Tim? :) just kidding! Sent from the iMore App
  • Dumbest article I've seen in about a month. The "why" doesn't matter. It's the "what". And for consumers, the "what" is that it is slower than the others. I don't even know why you bother writing these. Maybe the same reason we read them. We all love train wrecks.
  • "We all love train wrecks." Which is exactly why people write click-bait articles about Apple products. This throughput difference wouldn't be an article for all the tech bloggers, if it was just a Samsung situation. People who love train wrecks don't want to hear that there was no actual wreck, that no one was hurt, that wreck doesn't mean what you thought it meant. Because believing it's a 'thing' is more fun.
  • iMore writers are soooooo defensive of Apple that I can't trust them anymore and seriously thinking of stop reading them and listening to their podcasts.. This article proves my point.. It is slower, whichever way you spin it! And you know what? No one cares.. Apple made their choice to use 1 32gb chip! It is more honest to point that out (if anything needs to be said), rather than apologise for them..
  • Actually, it is only because of the many non-journalists that write only to get hits on their sites that create FUD and then people start asking iMore questions because they trust their professionalism...and sometimes they try to write before they get the questions. I happen to appreciate iMore because they tend to have more journalistic integrity than most. His point about speed is that the memory speed is insignificant when compared to the hard wire connection being limited to USB 2, where it could be USB 3.
  • So basically the rubbish speed of the memory is offset by the rubbish speed of the serial bus. You really don't get what you pay for.
  • please, what unrubbish phone do you use returnmyjedi?
  • I agree that a lot of people write things for the sake of writing (and hits).. But when Rene and iMore jump in and turn things around in Apple's favour the second something remotely negative is published and gains the tiniest of traction, is equally annoying.. and I've lost my trust in them to be honest..
  • Do you ever think that they jump in and turn things around because the articles that write negative things either overly-exaggerate the issue or badly convey their thoughts? These articles aren't provided as a knee-jerk reaction to negativity, they're just responding to, and in some ways defending, exaggerated claims
  • I don't think there was any exaggeration or badly-conveyed thoughts with this particular issue.. or with plenty of the 'never happened to me' instances we get from the majority of the iMore staff..
  • I'd like to see the speed difference between a 32GB iPhone 7 and a 256GB iPhone 7. My guess is that the difference is pretty trivial, plus with storage speed you're only really going to notice it in loading apps, not in general performance. That means that this isn't really an issue, and any articles mentioning it as one are already exaggerating. Also note how this information has only come out shortly after the iPhone 7 release despite the fact it existed with the iPhone 6 and 6S as well. If someone writes something negative about a new iPhone it gets people flocking to read it, it's clickbait essentially
  • Anyway, that's not my point! I don't care if it's slow(er).. and no one should, we should all have more important things to worry about.. but this article (and many others) are apologising for Apple using the 'we're trying to inform people' reasoning.. I'm still waiting for the article in iMore that will admit and explain things that are not perfect in the Apple world.. For example an article about Siri! or iCloud! or Maps! or the old Macs sold at original price 3 years later!
  • "I've lost my trust in them to be honest.." And yet it's their honesty that annoys you. Or is it that they take the time be honest? Or that their honesty gains traction. Do you think this article would have even been written if it weren't for the deliberate spin—to gain traction—of negative articles? Objective explanation is not the same as spin.
  • Title that tells you who the writer is.
  • Sorry Rene, you couldn't be more wrong about how flash storage works. The data bus (the cars in your flawed analogy) is the same width whether you have 32, 128, and 256 GB chips. Even if the flash chip they are using is dual die internally, the external bus width and speed (theoretical) is the same. You can see this in practice when you look at the difference in the read speeds and note that they are much closer (only 20% difference), where the write speed difference is more like 10x. The limiting factor here is not the databus or even the clock speed, it's the internal structure of the flash chip itself. In this case, Apple has chosen to cheap out on the volume model by choosing a chip with considerably slower write speeds (and possibly more variation in write speeds). This makes sense so as to maximize their profit where all their volume is. Perhaps you should brush up on your microprocessor design or systems engineering before deep diving into this topic. You're out of your depth.
  • My understanding is that when you factor in the cache sizes, which likely scale proportionately, and the load sizes of the test, along with the the potentially different mixes of TLC and MLC across different generations of product, and different manufacturers, and the inherent problems with the testing apps and their settings, you get no useful comparative information. I've spoken to several experts in NAND and all have them have shaken their head at this whole thing, so, while I appreciate your comment, I'll just politely say Apple didn't cheap out on the chip and suggest you look into other possibilities :)
  • Not nice is your condescension and "expert" tone, with snide asides. A real turn-off. Your inner snark is showing.
  • Oh wow. Rene how can you live with yourself. I mean that was a classic example of spin. You freaking suck, Rene. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm sure he thinks you suck too :)
  • I make up for it by leaving personal insults under anonymous user names on internet forums. No, wait. The opposite of that :)
  • "The cliffs of insanity!" I bet that itself would be a great tag-line for a movie.
  • This is the most ridiculous article written by Rene.
    "Its not slow it's just has less chips"
    No body care how many chips they have ?
    One simple question does Apple tell you that it doesn't have enough chips in 32 GB storage so it might little slower ?
    If the answer is NO then this whole article is just a spin crap.
  • I think you missed the point of the article. Give it a re-read and let me know if you have any questions!
  • I read the article for you I re-read again but still doesn't say where does Apple say that it could be slower.
    Just check the unboxtherapy video and let me know what you think.
  • You are the Apple PR for free !!!
  • And you are a troll !!!
  • Rene has what it takes to be a Trump surrogates.
  • That's exaggeration to a new level of stupid
  • I'm not worried about the speed but the weight. I have a 256 gig iPhone 7 Plus so mine weighs a lot more that a 32 gig model right? I mean all that memory, all the apps, photos and music I keep in on my phone adds up. I'm worried if I max out my memory I won't even be able to lift my phone any more!!!
  • lmao!!! wait... that was a joke right?
  • I don't get all the Rene hatters! He works hard and writes article for us all to read and inform us and he gets so much crap for it. If you don't like it don't read it!!! Stop being haters and say thank you now and then. Rene I say thank you for all the information you provide.
  • That's great recognition coming from someone who just said their phones gets heavier as they add apps and pictures. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Take a joke!!!
  • Why not say a 6000cc car is faster than 3000cc? It's not unfair you pay more for the bigger displacement. Is the 3000cc slow? Not really. Anyway I'm more interested in the comparison of 32gb NVME to 32gb NAND. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • With all this talking about chips...The bottom line is that these phones should all be running at the same speed since they all have Apples "A10 Fusion processor".
  • Different types of speed. Processor vs. storage :)
  • But the 32GB version is slower Sent from the iMore App
  • It's not that simple. In many cases the speed is the same.
  • the unbox therapy video is very reality tv type stuff, for entertainment. that's his approach to videos. he's not very analytical or insightful and rarely properly investigates anything. he just misled with the title and makes it seem like some scandal but that's how it works these days. nonetheless the 32gb model is slower and that is not true on competitors devices. people will wonder why. whether it matters or not, people will wonder and compare. it's just what people do and they have a right to. i don't really care but i'm curious why apple made the decision they did.
  • With respect, there's no way to tell given the state of cross-platform benchmarks. Most of the benchmark apps aren't useful even on their own platforms, much less when you try to compare them across platforms. We'd need Anandtech or the equivalent to do a comparison to really tell. I believe, so far, Apple's custom storage controller is still considered industry leading.
  • Seems straightforward to me. At the end of the day can the 32 GB memory module move as much data per unit time as the 128 or 256 GB units. No. So if an application needs a certain set of data to operate it is going to take longer load. This is true whether we are talking about a phone or a computer with an SSD (say 64 GB vs 256 or 512 vs 1TB). But, while that is a technical implementation reason, I have trouble saying the users are not understandably concerned when their new phone 32GB takes longer to load an app than friends 256 GB phone. It is measurably slower.
  • that's a good explanation
  • The people complaining that the 32 GB iPhone 7 is slow are probably the same people who tried to drill a hole into their new iPhone 7 for a headphone jack and then cried their iPhone stopped working....
  • Haha probably very true
  • Regardless of the reason, they ARE slower, that's a fact. Explain it away all you want, but that doesn't change it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Who cares? Who really needs to have that speed differential? Whoever does will then purchase the speedier version. I did appreciate the explanation, which I had not even considered, as I now have greater knowledge of the cause and some understanding of the processes involved. Thanks for this nice article.
  • It (32gb version) is still faster than most any other phone. Don't worry people. Its still AWESOME!
  • +1
  • Welcome, ladies and gentleman from the tech community to another episode of "imore comedy"! In this episode: fan favorite Rene Ritchie shows us his (or lack of) knowledge on how storage works! Have fun! Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • So if I want to give a summary of the article:
    128 and 256 GB variants are faster than 32GB because they have more chips (that work in parallel). But all the variants meet Apple's performance level. Well it mean that the 32GB isn't slow, but it's not as fast as (slower than) 128 and 256 GB versions...