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23Jan

Details about specifications of Apple’s new iPhone 6S have recently been floating around the Internet. You might think it’s pretty early, but well, aren’t you curious?

iphone6The 6S is expected to contain 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Not only do the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus only have 1GB, they use the same LPDDR3 memory hardware that is used in most high-end Android smartphones, meaning the LDDR4 memory is twice as fast as LPDDR3, so this is a very significant advance in the 6S specs. The better RAM is going to come at a higher price, of course, so that leads to the immediate question of what Apple has in store for us in iOS9 that can take advantage of what is basically a quadrupling in performance with twice as much RAM that is twice as fast. Certainly it would seem to indicate that iOS9 will not involve just a minor tweak in the way of iOS8, but rather a major technological advance more in line with the iOS7 release.

A better way to multitask?

We’re limited to speculation about iOS9 at this point, and even the reports about the expected 6S hardware have to be considered more rumor than established fact. It’s obvious, though, that even though current iPhones are indeed already fast, there is no practical limit to how heavily a power-user may want to multitask more and more frequently among more and more apps of greater and greater size. So will iOS9 be taking a fresh look at the whole multitasking functionality of the smartphone, something that breaks outside the box of both iPhone and Android approaches on current devices? This seems likely. Of course there’s room to support bigger and bigger apps and to make them work faster while single-tasking. But many commentators have pointed out that iPhones are already pretty darned fast, and it’s not clear that RAM hardware that is 35% more expensive than current hardware would be warranted just to provide that marginal increase in single-app size and speed.

How much is this all going to cost?

But providing the ability to multitask efficiently — both in terms of hardware/software support and user experience — that would be worth the money to heavy smartphone users. Of course it’s not a foregone conclusion that Apple would pass on all or part of the 35% premium for the new RAM, but it’s pretty clear that they would if they could — and if what we think about the new iOS9 multitasking functionality is true, then there will be consumers who are willing to pay the price.

Since the entire Apple user community naturally expects iOS9 to be introduced at the WWDC this June in San Francisco, we can expect the rumor mills to grind with increasing intensity between now and then. We think that iOS9 is already in closed beta testing as we speak and has been for a while, so it comes as something of a surprise that they would be testing so far in advance of any expected launch, perhaps in Autumn 2015. That is one further indication that iOS9 will be a major advance at least in some areas, and not a routine OS update. It’s certainly going to be another interesting year for the iPhone community.

What do you expect to see in the new iPhone and OS? Let us know!