As users argue about thinner phones versus longer battery life a new report outlines a major jump that could deliver better battery life with the iPhone 6s release in late 2015.
The secret to an iPhone 6s release that fixes complaints about iPhone 6 battery life could come from a major Apple rival and a breakthrough in the technology that powers the iPhone.
This is incredibly important because Apple normally keeps the same iPhone design for two years, which rules out any major change to add a huge battery in the iPhone 6s, not that a huge battery would solve all the problems anyway.
The iPhone 6s will use a new type of memory that is significantly more power efficient than that found in the iPhone 6 according to industry insiders who shared the details with the Korea Times.
Even if you don’t care about the iPhone 6s specs or who makes the parts inside the phone, anyone who complains about iPhone battery life will want to know how this could deliver better performance.
A report from 2014 suggested Apple would add this new LPDDR4 RAM to the iPhone 6 to deliver better performance, with the part coming from Micron. The latest iPhone 6s rumors outline this upgrade, but suggest Samsung will supply the memory. Even though Samsung and Apple are major rivals in the mobile industry, Samsung’s memory division supplies the memory for many smartphones.
iPhone 6s Battery Life Improvements
How exactly will this Samsung memory deliver better iPhone 6s battery life? When Samsung first announced the RAM the company boasted, “Overall, the new LPDDR4 interface will provide 50 percent higher performance than the fastest LPDDR3 or DDR3 memory. Also, it consumes approximately 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.”
Reynette Au, of Micron Technology explains exactly why this new type memory can deliver better battery life. In short, the type of memory can impact active battery life and standby battery life.
“The memory device alone can consume up to 30% of the system power in standby mode. In active mode, memory bandwidth is a significant contributor to thermal power consumption as well, contributing 20−25% of the total power used in a typical smartphone using LPDDR3 when heavily utilized.”
The new memory can also help with issues relating to heat inside the closed smartphone system, Au writes, “The LPDDR4 core and I/O supply voltages are decreased to 1.1V (from 1.2V in LPDDR3) to help reduce power consumption”
This is the second time we’ve heard about iPhone 6s memory upgrades, with a focus on the new LPDDR4 memory. The smallest size that Samsung offers is 2GB, so if this is rumor is correct the iPhone 6s will gain a boost from 1GB of memory that is in the iPhone 6.
Features and upgrades also impact battery life, so even if Apple uses the new type of memory other factors will likely prohibit a 40% boost in battery life.
What About a Thicker iPhone 6s?
Couldn’t Apple solve all the iPhone 6 battery life complaints by just making the iPhone 6s thicker and putting a bigger battery inside it? In The Wall Street Journal Christopher Mims outlines how he thinks Apple could double the iPhone 6 battery life.
“Take the latest iPhone. Let’s do a thought experiment, starting with what has changed between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 6. In four years, Apple’s engineers made the iPhone 2.4 millimeters (0.094 inches) thinner, or about the thickness of three credit cards. Despite giving it a much larger screen, they also shaved off eight grams, or about the weight of a packet of ketchup.
Given the size of its current battery, a little back-of-the-envelope math reveals it’s more than reasonable that if the iPhone 6 were as thick as the iPhone 4, the iPhone 6 could have double its current battery life.”
There are some problems with this assumption according to iMore’s Rene Ritchie who outlines the drawback to a thicker heavier phone. A thicker iPhone 6s with a bigger battery would make it harder to hold the phone and use it for long periods of time. Batteries also hold in het and impact the connectivity of a phone according to Ritchie who makes the case for a thin phone that users can add bulk to when they need longer battery life.