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The iPhone 16 could come with extra RAM and storage – just for AI

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The iPhone 16 leaks are starting to pile up now, ahead of an expected launch in September, and the latest rumor to reach us suggests the phone is going to come with RAM and storage upgrades – specifically to accommodate the extra AI features on board.

This comes from a report out of South Korea (via well-known tipster @Tech_Reve), which states that the base level iPhone 16 could come with either 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, or both, to give the integrated AI extra room to think, store, and process commands.

For comparison, the cheapest iPhone 15 comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (though 256GB and 512GB versions are also available). The extra headroom is necessary for the additional work that generative AI tools need.

Only Google’s smallest AI model, Gemini Nano, is compact enough to fit on a smartphone – specifically, the Pixel 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S24 handsets. That might change going forward, but a lot of AI calculations are currently offloaded to the cloud.

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Apple prides itself on doing as much computing work as possible locally, without transferring streams of data to and from servers on the web. It means more of your info is stored solely on your phone or laptop, where it’s secure and private.

If that’s going to happen with the AI features that Apple has been promising, then the iPhone 16 may well need some extra grunt. As this tipster acknowledges though, nothing is confirmed yet, and Apple’s plans could still change. It also raises the question of how much of this AI functionality might trickle down to older, less powerful handsets.

We don’t know exactly what these AI features from Apple are going to be, but all the signs are that iOS 18 will feature a bunch of generative AI tools similar to those we’ve seen in other phones (and oddly enough, Google might be helping out).

Apple is likely to tell us much more at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), which usually happens every year in June. After that, we’ll get public betas for iOS 18, and then eventually the new iPhone 16 handsets in September.

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