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iPhone 4S still limited to just 512MB of RAM?

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon October 10, 2011

Apple still cagey on some 4S specs

The iPhone 4S still has just 512MB of RAM like the iPhone 4, multiple sources are claiming. Donald Mustard, the creative director for Infinity Blade developer Chair, casually mentioned the fact in a recent interview while discussing the 4S' potential for games. Today, however, AppVV -- home to an early hands-on with the 4S -- insists that the hardware is indeed limited to 512MB.

If true the claims raise some important issues. They would mean for instance that the iPhone is now lagging behind some high-end Android smartphones, which have already progressed to the 1GB threshold. There would also be no reason to limit the Siri voice command system to the 4S, since the iPad 2 is similarly equipped with 512MB of RAM and an A5 processor.

Apple has not announced whether Siri will ever migrate to earlier devices. It is so far being treated as a 4S exclusive, presumably to boost sales. Analysts have otherwise described the 4S as a "modest" upgrade, an incremental improvement over the iPhone 4 versus the leap that model made over the 3GS.

by MacNN Staff




  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    512 MB, 1 GB...

    Who cares? The new iPhone has the A5, an incredible 8 megapixel camera, a new antenna system, Siri, "4G" capabilities, iOS 5 and all of its features, Bluetooth 4.0, and more.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 512 MB, 1 GB...

    Who cares? The new iPhone has the A5, an incredible 8 megapixel camera,

    Yeah, but up until now, all we heard about the iPhone camera was justiifcation that megapixels mean nothing. So now it's important?

    a new antenna system,

    Wow! How exciting! I guess this is for the "non-existent" and "overblown" grip of death issues that we heard so much about but were told really didn't exist?


    Useless. Plus, part of it requires sending your command over the internet to have it converted and replied to. Or, who knows, maybe all of it. People already hated all those Nextel Push-to-Talk and Walkie-Talkie users. You think somehow we'll fall in love with idiots on the subway going "What's the weather in New York City?"

    "4G" capabilities,

    The iPhone 4 had 4G capabilities. This is just a little faster (if you're in the right area). And assuming you're on ATT. And assuming you do enough with data to care.

    iOS 5 and all of its features,

    Which the iPhone 4 gets as well.

    Bluetooth 4.0,

    And only 4 people probably have an idea what the big deal of this is. And it's still limited to the same ol' stuff in terms of just headsets, nothing else.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't matter...

    As long as it works the way it's supposed to.
    Only the geeks care about how much RAM it contains. The rest of us care about functionality, not hardware bragging rights.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Siri not so revolutionary

    Let's see... Apple sends up the recorded voice data (ala Shazam), they decode the speech to text (been doing speech recognition since 1992 @ Apple), they send the text to Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram determines whether the text can be decoded (via their inference engine) to actions for the phone and sends them back for execution. Otherwise, it punts and returns a standard Wolfram result. Doesn't seem that hard does it? Definitely shouldn't have cost them a delay of 3 or so months (and it will still be beta when it launches). The real fun is going to be when 1 million users hit it at once and it takes 1 minute to get your result back. Or, because of overload, you'll only be able to ask Siri things @ 2AM.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doing more with less

    Doing more with less is the hallmark of good engineering. 'Nuff said.

  1. bloodline

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More with less?

    That's what M$ are claiming with their lack of multicore support in Win7Phone... 1Gig would have been nice... but I'm still looking forward to my iPhone4S :)

  1. lvavila

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are you naive or just looking for high volume of c

    You say "the iPhone is now lagging behind some high-end Android smartphones..". Simply adding memory or hard disk into a unit does not assume success. Customers spending money purchasing the unit is the success of a product. Beside, why do you all continue to compare Android and iOS. It is so exhausting.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Investors

    have reason to be happy -- the phone will have a lower build cost, but just as many people will buy it. Presumably Siri needs CPU rather than RAM for its magic. If 1GB of RAM concurs a competitive advantage based on performance, then the many android phones with 1G of RAM will exercise that advantage & people will be able to tell the difference & act accordingly. My guess is that, once again, Apple will struggle through, somehow barely managing to sell all the millions of phones they can manufacture.

  1. Zwilnik

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Same as the 360

    512mb means it's got the same internal memory as the Xbox 360 and is rendering to a smaller screen most of the time (assuming you're not plugged into a HDTV), so it's actually got more spare memory in normal use than an Xbox 360 as both use main memory for video (bigger video screen resolution = more memory usage).

  1. marthill

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android needs 1GB of RAM

    You are confused. The reason many Android phones have 1GB of RAM is because they need it.

    Android is more RAM-constrained than iOS. The latter has a more efficient OS and far more optimised multi-tasking architecture.

    It's the same with processor power. In fact I understand that Android still doesn't implement hardware acceleration of even basic OS effects because of the wide variation in hardware from phone to phone even by the same manufacturer.

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