We're only just getting used to the iPhone 14 being out in the wild, but the rumors are already flying about what Apple might do with its successor – and a new iPhone 15 report suggests that the Pro models are set to get 8GB of RAM and a periscope camera.
This comes from the industry analysts at Trendforce (via SamMobile), who have a reasonable record when it comes to predicting what Apple's hardware department is going to produce. Apparently, "chances are high" for an 8GB RAM boost in the Pro and Pro Max and improvements to the camera technology, specifically for the Pro Max.
The current iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models have 6GB of RAM installed, though this isn't traditionally something Apple talks much about (RAM isn't listed in the iPhone tech specs page on the Apple website, for example).
The periscope camera rumor is interesting: it's a camera design we've seen on Android phones (including the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra), where thanks to some mirror trickery the camera extends down the length of a phone, allowing more room for zoom lenses.
It's something that we've been hearing might come to the iPhone for several years now, and if it does indeed arrive with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, then expect the 3x optical zoom on the current model to get a significant boost – assuming Apple can find enough room in the device to fit in the camera mechanisms.
The same research note also mentions the Pro and Pro Max models having a faster processor than the standard iPhone 15 handsets: that's something Apple has done this year and that it's expected to do next year too.
Analysis: what does RAM do anyway?
iPhones have tended to lag behind their Android competitors when it comes to the amount of RAM they pack in – the Samsung Galaxy S22 has already hit 8GB, for instance – and this may be one of the reasons that Apple doesn't refer to the spec when launching new handsets or indeed advertising them on its own website.
So is this RAM (Random Access Memory) important, or isn't it? As on a computer, RAM can be thought of as a phone's 'thinking space' – it's where it keeps data about the photo you're editing, or the webpage you're looking at, or the game you're playing. When your phone restarts, everything gets cleared out of the RAM and you start again.
More RAM therefore means more room for your phone to think. Switching quickly between multiple apps, or working on bigger images, or playing games with more detailed graphics should be faster. However, phone speed also depends on how well the RAM is optimized (as well as other factors, not least the chipset speed).
This is where Apple excels: with full control over the hardware and software on the iPhone, it can typically optimize RAM very well, quickly removing old information that's no longer needed to make room for new information. That ensures top-tier performance even with lower amounts of RAM, although an 8GB upgrade will still be very welcome.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.