Apple iPhone 16 series to introduce mandatory upgrade to all future iPhone generations

Apple is expected to increase the total RAM capacity for select iPhone 16 models to support its upcoming foray into artificial intelligence integration.

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Last month, Apple held its WWDC event, where it unveiled its highly anticipated iOS 18 update, which it will launch alongside its new line-up of iPhones.

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A massive part of iOS 18 is Apple integration with artificial intelligence, or as the Cupertino company is calling their version of AI, Apple Intelligence. This integration will come in the form of many features designed to improve the user experience and make communicating through voice much more natural.

These improvements in software functionality will require some extra oomph under the hood, as Apple outlines on its website that Apple Intelligence will be coming to M1-powered devices and above, along with the iPhone 15 Pro models. Not even the iPhone 15, a device that was only released last year.

At face value, it may appear Apple is attempting to do planned obsolescence of its devices to drive more sales of its coming generation, but the gatekeeping of Apple Intelligence to its high-end iPhones is a result of a RAM limitation - at least according to Apple.

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Apple explained during WWDC that Apple Intelligence requires a powerful NPU and substantial RAM capacity, which are only found in the Pro models of the iPhone 15 lineup. More specifically, the A16 Bionic chip found in the standard iPhone 15 models has an NPU that's twice as slow as the A17 Pro chip found in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

For these reasons, we can expect Apple to bump up the RAM capacity on the iPhone 16 from 6GB to 8GB so it meets the requirements for Apple Intelligence. On an even more technical level, when an AI prompt is being processed on-device, it is stored in the RAM, and if there isn't enough RAM headroom, the device will begin to reduce in overall performance. If this shakes out and we see the iPhone 16 upgraded to 8GB of RAM we can expect all future iPhone generations to adopt the same minimum requirement.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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