Whenever Apple announces a new iPhone, there are certain things the company keeps secret for one reason or another. RAM is one of those things — year after year, Apple simply refuses to officially comment on how much memory its phones have to work with. Thankfully, all it takes is an iPhone and a few tools to see exactly what changes Apple has made.
The first teardowns are in, and now we can see what little secrets lie within the iPhone 6S. Let's answer that RAM question first: as rumored, the 6S has 2GB of RAM, according to iFixit's teardown. That's twice as much as the iPhone 6, and this represents the first time that Apple has increased the iPhone's memory since the iPhone 5, which came out in 2012. The RAM is also faster than before — it conforms to the improved LPDDR4 standard, compared to LPDDR3 the last time around.
A spec change you should care about
Before you shrug this off a simple spec bump, you should keep in mind that doubling the RAM makes an appreciable difference during day-to-day use. As noted in our review, switching between apps and tabs is now noticeably faster than before. Even better, web pages won't have to reload nearly every time you switch tabs because the 6S has enough memory to keep tabs ready and waiting for you.
Now, you might be wondering: if the RAM bump makes using the iPhone better, why doesn't Apple advertise it as a new feature? Well, that's because 2GB of RAM isn't hugely impressive compared to the competition. The Galaxy S4 had 2GB of RAM back in 2013. This year's Galaxy S6 has 3GB of RAM. Simply put, Apple doesn't want to enter a spec war — especially one in which it comes out on the losing side. The company would rather focus on its better user experience and design, which are arguably more important than cold numbers and specifications anyways.
Beyond RAM, the teardown also confirms that the iPhone 6S indeed has a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone 6. It's down to 1,715 mAh, from 1,810 mAh. The change is most certainly due to space restraints. Apple wanted to keep the iPhone 6S about the same size as its predecessor, and since the new 3D Touch display and vibrating Taptic Engine are larger than before, something had to give. Fortunately, battery life seems to be about the same as before, thanks to a more efficient processor.
Those are the notable secrets uncovered by the teardowns, but that doesn't mean you can't head over to iFixit to ogle at the inside of your fancy new rose gold iPhone. And if you want to read about Apple's latest iPhone, check out our review and our in-depth camera comparison.
Verge Video Archives: iPhone 6S and 6S Plus video review.