iPhone 8 Might Not Have As Much RAM As You Think

Bummed that the iPhone 8 might not ship until 2018? We have more bad news. Apple's flagship may also come with with less RAM than some have hoped.

iPhone 8 concept. Credit: Martin Hajek

(Image credit: iPhone 8 concept. Credit: Martin Hajek)

In a note to investors on Tuesday (May 2), researcher TrendForce said that Apple's iPhone 8 likely won't come with the 6GB of RAM some had hoped to see. Instead, Apple's slate of iPhone models this year will ship with, at most, 3GB of onboard RAM, the researcher said in its note.

What's more, Apple will only upgrade to 4GB of RAM in its 2018 models, according to the TrendForce note, which was obtained by BGR.

As smartphone innovation starts to slow, companies are trying to find ways to outdo their competitors. In 2016, it was all about cameras, with Apple announcing a dual-lens design in its iPhone 7 Plus and Google touting the "world's best smartphone camera" in the Google Pixel.

MORE: 10 Reasons Galaxy S8 Beats the iPhone 7

This year, however, the screen has become the center of attention, with phone makers minimizing unsightly bezels and removing physical home buttons to make room for more display. Both the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 have already done that; OnePlus is expected to do the same with its upcoming OnePlus 5, and Apple is rumored to be considering the design choice in this year's iPhone 8.

Under the hood, however, RAM has become an important consideration. Companies make the pitch to customers that the more RAM inside, the better the smartphone's performance, especially when it comes to multiasking.

For its part, Apple hasn't bundles much RAM in its devices. Last year's iPhone 7 Plus, for instance, comes with just 3GB of RAM (according to teardowns like this). Most other flagship models currently on store shelves come with 4GB of RAM. There's also talk of LG planning a 6GB RAM option in its G6.

Still, customers might prefer 6GB of RAM. The problem, according to TrendForce, is that RAM prices are going up and cutting into margins. Companies that would have otherwise bundled more memory in their handsets, then, are left to bundle less than they would have if prices were lower.

TrendForce said in its note that the average amount of memory in smartphones this year will jump by 33.4 percent to 3.2GB. However, that's down from the 3.7GB TrendForce expected the average handset to offer this year.

Apple, a company long focused on profits, will follow its Android competitors and similarly offer less RAM that customers might hope to see this year, TrendForce says.

Based on its own checks, TrendForce believes the high-end iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s Plus will ship with 3GB of RAM.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.