The iPhone has never been accused of offering a lot of battery life as compared to the competition. Even with year-by-year improvements adding to the iPhone’s battery life per charge or its batteries’ mAh ratings, Apple still lags far behind in terms of the latter category. Then again, Apple isn’t much of a fan of quantifiable ratings like mAh for the batteries and megapixels for the cameras – the latest proof of that is a new report that claims Apple will be introducing new tech to improve battery life on the so-called iPhone 6s this year.
Apple tends to release major iPhone upgrades every two years, with the minor upgrade in between coming with an “s” after the iteration number – two years ago, it was the iPhone 5s, which is why most people call Apple’s 2015 flagship phone the iPhone 6s, rather than the iPhone 7. We can expect Apple to stick with the same basic design, meaning the same ultra-slim, rakish iPhone 6/6 Plus design with curved edges, or something similar to that. But since adding a larger battery could make the next iPhone a bit chubbier, it seems that the best way to improve battery longevity is to leverage new technology. That’s what Apple will supposedly do, according to a report from the Korea Times.
The publication cites “industry insiders” in saying that Apple will be using a different type of memory on the iPhone 6s, one that is much more power efficient than the unit found underneath the iPhone 6. Last year, it was Micron that supplied the new LPDDR4 RAM that can be found on the iPhone 6, but this time around, it seems that Samsung will be supplying the RAM on the iPhone 6s. Once again, it’s a case of “strange bedfellows,” given Apple and Samsung’s fierce, often contentious rivalry in the smartphone space, but Samsung has supplied memory for many a handset maker, including bitter foes like Apple. Further, the report adds something interesting – aside from the iPhone 6s, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 may also come with Samsung’s LPDDR4 RAM.
Samsung had originally introduced the new RAM product in January, and according to its official press release, “the new LPDDR4 interface will provide 50 percent higher performance than the fastest LPDDR3 or DDR3 memory.” In addition, the RAM “consumes approximately 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.” But in slightly simpler terms, what does this mean? “The memory device alone can consume up to 30 percent of the system power in standby mode,” explained Micron’s Reynette Au. “In active mode, memory bandwidth is a significant contributor to thermal power consumption as well, contributing 20−25 percent of the total power used in a typical smartphone using LPDDR3 when heavily utilized.” She added that voltage is reduced to 1.1 volts in LPDDR4 RAM as a way to reduce power consumption.
Talking about the possibility of a thicker iPhone 6s, The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims offered his own perspective on the issue, positing that if the iPhone 6, for instance, was as thick as the iPhone 4, or 2.4 millimeters thicker, that could allow the newer device to have twice the battery juice it currently has. However, well-connected iMore editor Rene Ritchie offered a counterpoint to Mims, saying that a thicker iPhone 6s would be more difficult to hold and to use extensively, as batteries take in heat and affect connectivity adversely when they get too hot.