iPhone 15 Pro could have 6GB or 8GB RAM depending on version — here's why

iPhone 15 Pro Max renders by Alpha Tech
(Image credit: Alpha Tech)

We'd only just heard that the iPhone 15 Pro likely wasn't getting a RAM upgrade this year after all. But now Unknownz21, the source of the original claims, is saying that the truth could be trickier than that.

They're now alleging that Apple's been testing the new A17 Bionic chipset with both 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM in the iPhone 15 Pro models, and it's not clear which one is the final choice, if not both of them. This is different from their original claim that Apple would stick with 6GB RAM as we saw on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

This is not a question for the base iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, which it likely to be upgrading to the A16 chipset found in the iPhone 14 Pro. But 2GB RAM either way could mean big things for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max's performance against rivals like the mighty Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Greater storage capacity could be the reason

Unknownz21 speculates that Apple could offer both 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM iPhone 15 Pro models, with the RAM capacity being decided based on how much storage a specific iPhone 15 Pro model has. This isn't something we've seen on iPhones before, but many leading Android phones already pair their higher RAM versions with larger storage capacities. 

There's also one example within the wider Apple ecosystem already: the iPad Pro comes with 8GB RAM as default, but gets bumped to 16GB if the user specs 1TB or 2TB of storage. With the iPhone 15 Pro also tipped to get a 2TB storage option, more RAM may be required to handle the enhanced capacity.

It could purely come down to what's required to run the A17 Bionic chipset at its best too. This will be an all-new 3nm chip that could unlock much higher levels of power and efficiency than we've seen in previous smartphone chips. But as a first-gen product, perhaps Apple wants to play it safe and ensure the A17 has plenty of RAM for it to run smoothly.

It's about a month until the currently rumored date of the Apple September Event on 9/12 or 9/13, when we should see the iPhone 15 series debut. We'll be looking to see if rumored features like enlarged batteries, USB-C charging ports and the Pro models' Action button do get announced for the new iPhones, but also for other new Apple devices like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.