All three of Apple's rumored 2017 iPhone models will likely have 3GB of RAM, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri.
An excerpt from Arcuri's late March research note, obtained by MacRumors:
In terms of memory/storage configuration, all three models will likely adopt 3GB RAM; the 4.7”/5.5” will likely have the same storage options as the current iPhone 7/7+ in 32/128/256GB while the 5.8” model looks to be only offered in two memory configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Finally, the 5.8” model will likely have extended battery life with two packs of batteries.
Arcuri's research contradicts Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which recently said that only the next 5.5-inch iPhone and Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will have 3GB of RAM. TrendForce said the next 4.7-inch iPhone will continue to have 2GB of RAM like the iPhone 7.
Apple already includes 3GB of RAM in the iPhone 7 Plus, so the 4.7-inch iPhone would be the only model with increased RAM.
If the prediction is accurate, it's welcomed news for customers that plan on purchasing the next 4.7-inch iPhone, rather than spending upwards of $200 more on the so-called "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display.
Increased RAM means an iPhone can store more data in memory. If you have dozens of tabs open in Safari on an older iPhone, for example, you may notice that some of the tabs refresh when you revisit them. But with increased RAM, the likelihood of Safari reloading a website you previously loaded is lower.
Arcuri also corroborated KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in saying that all three 2017 iPhone models will continue to have Lightning connectors with USB Type-C Power Delivery for faster charging.
Cowen's research is based on his own checks of Apple's supply chain, so his prediction lends credence to the already-reliable Kuo.
The Wall Street Journal previously said the "iPhone 8" will have "a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector." But the report did not provide any additional details, and it appears the Lightning connector will live on.