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Apple A4 processor in iPhone prototype has 256MB RAM

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
The markings on the processor inside the latest photographed next-generation iPhone prototype reveal the system-on-a-chip includes the Apple A4 and 256MB of Samsung DRAM on two dies.

The information was revealed to iFixit through the marking seen on the device, which was photographed in Vietnam. The markings "APL0398 339S0084" indicate the hardware includes the A4 microprocessor, while "K4X2G643GE" reveals the 256MB of system RAM from Samsung. Both were also found in the processor inside the iPad.

"Our engineers are not surprised by this finding," the solutions provider said. "We were very impressed by the extraordinarily low power consumption of the iPad, and remarked at the time that its power consumption and board design was much more in line with handheld devices than laptop computers."

The markings mean that the prototype iPhone has the exact same processor and RAM found in the iPad, which featured custom silicon designed by Apple. Apple's A4 is packaged just like previous iPhone processors, with three layers of circuitry that include the microprocessor in one package, and two memory modules in the other.

iFixit got an extremely close look at the A4 soon after the iPad launched in April, when they, along with Chipworks, X-rayed and dismantled the chip based on the ARM architecture. Inside the iPad, the A4's low power consumption offers the device an advertised 10 hours of battery life.



Though the 1GHz processor speed is faster, the next-generation iPhone prototype has the same amount of RAM found in last year's iPhone 3GS. Last year's model had a 600MHz processor, while the iPhone 3G had a 400MHz processor and 128MB of RAM.

The 1GHz clock speed of the iPad processor is largely credited to Intrinsity. The Austin, Tex., firm has developed a suite of design tools called "Fast14" that can accelerate clock speeds greater than is possible with static designs. Apple's purchase of Intrinsity was confirmed in late April.



post #2 of 87
I wonder if Steve Jobs will even make a keynote at this point. It will all be much ado about everything we already know thanks to AI.
Maybe he'll delegate it to Schiller.
post #3 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The markings mean that the iPad has the exact same processor and RAM found in the iPad, which featured custom silicon designed by Apple. Apple's A4 is packaged just like previous iPhone processors, with three layers of circuitry that include the microprocessor in one package, and two memory modules in the other.


Wow what a surprise

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #4 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Wow what a surprise

oh you beat me to it.
post #5 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The markings mean that the iPad has the exact same processor and RAM found in the iPad,

Well, I'll be! Mystery solved!



Edit:

Too slow!
post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesiCan View Post

I wonder if Steve Jobs will even make a keynote at this point. It will all be much ado about everything we already know thanks to AI.
Maybe he'll delegate it to Schiller.

As if any phone is merely its parts. Get real. There's still plenty for Steve to demonstrate and brag about.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #7 of 87
256MB again?

Resource management better be good or else it's gonna hamstring the phone.
lmao internet
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lmao internet
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post #8 of 87
oh, no! More Apple hardware fragmentation... not.

Android makers had better grunt out another half dozen models to compete with this.
post #9 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The markings mean that the prototype iPad has the exact same processor and RAM found in the iPad

Did not see that one coming.
post #10 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

As if any phone is merely its parts. Get real. There's still plenty for Steve to demonstrate and brag about.

Yup, like how the thing will actually works, the new iChat features, higher res screen (though we have little info on that), the overall speed-up compared to the 3GS, camera at the back, the flash, and who knows what else they have got up their sleeves.
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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post #11 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesiCan View Post

I wonder if Steve Jobs will even make a keynote at this point. It will all be much ado about everything we already know thanks to AI.

Hardly. Both prototypes have been dead or nonfunctional, not exactly showcasing what the devices can do. Apple is likely to reveal new features for iPhone OS 4.0, as well, some of which might only be available on the new hardware.
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous guy View Post

256MB again?

Resource management better be good or else it's gonna hamstring the phone.

Suspect you don't have an iPad...don't get lost in the pseudo feature set race.
post #13 of 87
Anyone find an RFID tag in there?
post #14 of 87
I wouldn't be surprised if Apple now put together a decoy that looks just a little bit different and planted it through one of the fan sites. At this point, everyone is talking about this HD iPhone and most stories are rather consistent. It would provide enough of a confusion to re-start the rumour mill until the actual announcement.
post #15 of 87
Really, People, sarcastic remarks about the internals? We all suspected but this is confirmation. That shouldn't be issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous guy View Post

256MB again?
Resource management better be good or else it's gonna hamstring the phone.

For the current iPhone 256MB is enough for backgrounding. For the iPad, I show very little extra RAM, which is sore spot for my needs. Based on the rumoured display resolution the iPhone HD should be between the 3GS and iPad in RAM usage. More would be better but I think this iPhone will have sufficient RAM. It was also quite expected with the iPad only having 256MB.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #16 of 87
I'm sure it will be more than sufficient for multitasking but more RAM is always for the better. It will be interesting to see how the 4G will compare to the Nexus One, and other newer Android handsets with 512 RAM, since hearing whispers that 2.2 has dramatically increased speeds.
post #17 of 87
These rumors are so iffy. The latest updates to the Touch included a "basic" model and then two superior models for more money (including better graphics and storage).

Apple also has been getting in the habit of releasing product in a newer design but keeping the old specs the same with a few tweaks, (look at the Macbook).

I believe that this is just (speculation) a remake of the 3GS in the newer form. This way they can continue to offer a "basic" model like the Touch and then have more "superior" models to those that whine about everything. Why manufacture the older model and keep it in production when you have a newer form design and a new processor (A4) for all models. Transfer it all to one uniform design and keep one "basic".

I am looking forward to the official release of the new iPhone in less than a month away. Rumors like this spoil some of the fun I think.
post #18 of 87
Forgive my ignorance, but two dies is a change from the 3gs, no?

With how utterly packed the chip is, I doubt Apple would sacrifice that much real estate for financial reasons. My first reaction is that this may indicate a more efficient way to address the ram, which makes me optimistic about a bump in efficiency, even without an increase in actual space.

Anyone care to corroborate or debunk this idea?
post #19 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I'm sure it will be more than sufficient for multitasking but more RAM is always for the better. It will be interesting to see how the 4G will compare to the Nexus One, and other newer Android handsets with 512 RAM, since hearing whispers that 2.2 has dramatically increased speeds.

Should be damn good. The Nexus One with v2.1 was compared to the 600MHz 3GS and it still trounced it many areas because of the more efficient codebase and better tying to the HW. I'm sure Android will get better at this but Apple will have a much easier time of this than all the vendors using Android.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #20 of 87
If the iPhone 4G does indeed have a 960x640 display, it's going to have the same Safari refreshing problems as the iPad. The iPhone 3GS can have 6+ tabs open in Safari with no page refreshing -- try two or pages with the iPad and the damn thing will refresh like crazy going from page to page.

iPhone 3GS -- 480x320, 256MB
iPhone 4G -- 960x640, 256MB
iPad -- 1024x768, 256MB

There are just two many pixels to deal with for 256MB to be enough for the iPad and the iPhone 4G in Safari. 512MB would probably be the sweet spot.
post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHKOsta View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but two dies is a change from the 3gs, no?

With how utterly packed the chip is, I doubt Apple would sacrifice that much real estate for financial reasons. My first reaction is that this may indicate a more efficient way to address the ram, which makes me optimistic about a bump in efficiency, even without an increase in actual space.

Anyone care to corroborate or debunk this idea?

It's only one chip! Like the article says:
Quote:
Apple's A4 is packaged just like previous iPhone processors, with three layers of circuitry that include the microprocessor in one package, and two memory modules in the other.

These three layers are stacked on top of each other (SoC cores + 128MB RAM + 128MB RAM). Absolutely nothing unusual about it, that's how most modern SoCs are built. But the memory bandwidth doubled either way, because of the A4's new 64-bit memory bus (most likely to help with the 4-5 times number of pixels in the iPad and iPhone HD).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

If the iPhone 4G does indeed have a 960x640 display, it's going to have the same Safari refreshing problems as the iPad. The iPhone 3GS can have 6+ tabs open in Safari with no page refreshing -- try two or pages with the iPad and the damn thing will refresh like crazy going from page to page.

iPhone 3GS -- 480x320, 256MB
iPhone 4G -- 960x640, 256MB
iPad -- 1024x768, 256MB

There are just two many pixels to deal with for 256MB to be enough for the iPad and the iPhone 4G in Safari. 512MB would probably be the sweet spot.

True, but Safari's tabs seem to be the only RAM problem that directly affects the user. IMHO a clever caching mechanism could really help here.
post #22 of 87
Very cool. The reuse of existing silicon only makes each unit that much cheaper across the product line. Good job, Apple.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Really, People, sarcastic remarks about the internals? We all suspected but this is confirmation. That shouldn't be issue.




For the current iPhone 256MB is enough for backgrounding. For the iPad, I show very little extra RAM, which is sore spot for my needs. Based on the rumoured display resolution the iPhone HD should be between the 3GS and iPad in RAM usage. More would be better but I think this iPhone will have sufficient RAM. It was also quite expected with the iPad only having 256MB.

I guess you've JBen your iPad! Any probs? Got a link?

.
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post #24 of 87
Along with that Android phones are using generic ARM chips that contain unnecessary components that the phone will never use. A4 is fully optimized only for the iPhone OS. The iPhone OS will be optimized for the chip. That will make both OS and chip lean and fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Should be damn good. The Nexus One with v2.1 was compared to the 600MHz 3GS and it still trounced it many areas because of the more efficient codebase and better tying to the HW. I'm sure Android will get better at this but Apple will have a much easier time of this than all the vendors using Android.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurchon View Post

I believe that this is just (speculation) a remake of the 3GS in the newer form. This way they can continue to offer a "basic" model like the Touch and then have more "superior" models to those that whine about everything. Why manufacture the older model and keep it in production when you have a newer form design and a new processor (A4) for all models. Transfer it all to one uniform design and keep one "basic".

I'm not sure that is viable. The difference between the devices isn't just a snap on case different CPU/GPU. The entire engineering has been changed. it's considerably thinner and double-stacks the chips onto one silicon wafer. To make a 3GS in the new form that has the same performance specs would still be making an entirely new phone.

Compare the 3GS logic board with the iPhone HD's LB » image


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Very cool. The reuse of existing silicon only makes each unit that much cheaper across the product line. Good job, Apple.

These internals look much more complex to build over the previous models. I have to assume this process does cost more and far outweighs the cost of silicon, but with so many million being sold between the iPhone and Touch that it may be like the milled aluminium MBP cases in that no other vendor can feasibly compete with Apple on this scale due to their relatively low sales for their higher-end items.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike11 View Post

True, but Safari's tabs seem to be the only RAM problem that directly affects the user. IMHO a clever caching mechanism could really help here.

And since the iPad is an internet tablet, anything that hampers one of the centerpieces of the device -- Safari -- is a serious misstep IMHO.
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike11 View Post

It's only one chip! Like the article says:

These three layers are stacked on top of each other (SoC cores + 128MB RAM + 128MB RAM). Absolutely nothing unusual about it, that's how most modern SoCs are built. But the memory bandwidth doubled either way, because of the A4's new 64-bit memory bus (most likely to help with the 4-5 times number of pixels in the iPad and iPhone HD).



True, but Safari's tabs seem to be the only RAM problem that directly affects the user. IMHO a clever caching mechanism could really help here.

Now I understand. Thanks!
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I guess you've JBen your iPad! Any probs? Got a link?

.

No jailbreak needed. I used iStat to compare RAM used at startup and across multiple apps against the 3GS. The display in the iPad needs more RAM for obvious reasons.

The reason I returned it was the inability to open up multiple pages in Safari without having the pages refresh, even when switching between the pages within Safari. I can open up 8 on the 3GS and not have it refresh even when going to other apps.

Hopefully it's just a bug in the iPad causing that in Safari.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

If the iPhone 4G does indeed have a 960x640 display, it's going to have the same Safari refreshing problems as the iPad. The iPhone 3GS can have 6+ tabs open in Safari with no page refreshing -- try two or pages with the iPad and the damn thing will refresh like crazy going from page to page.

iPhone 3GS -- 480x320, 256MB
iPhone 4G -- 960x640, 256MB
iPad -- 1024x768, 256MB

There are just two many pixels to deal with for 256MB to be enough for the iPad and the iPhone 4G in Safari. 512MB would probably be the sweet spot.

So you are saying that the 4G ratio is too much for 256mb? Not one person here knows that the ratio is, but that being said, have you used an iPad, higher ratio, more hardware and it's butter smooth....sorry but you're comment makes no sense at all.
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesiCan View Post

I wonder if Steve Jobs will even make a keynote at this point. It will all be much ado about everything we already know thanks to AI.
Maybe he'll delegate it to Schiller.

There are still things we don't really know, especially about the display. And for me, that's a huge deal. I'd like more pixels, but I'd love OLED. Imagine the extra battery life!

OLED is still in the running, right?
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

No jailbreak needed. I used iStat to compare RAM used at startup and across multiple apps against the 3GS. The display in the iPad needs more RAM for obvious reasons.

The reason I returned it was the inability to open up multiple pages in Safari without having the pages refresh, even when switching between the pages within Safari. I can open up 8 on the 3GS and not have it refresh even when going to other apps.

Hopefully it's just a bug in the iPad causing that in Safari.

Hmmm... I kinda' like that it does a refresh. On my Mac I have a forums bookmark folder that creates one browser window with about 12 tabs for all the Apple info sites. I ripple thru them every few minutes. I must manually reload each tab or manually reload them all (if it's been a while).

On the iPad, I use the same bookmark folder and ripple thru the sites in a single browser window... I always get the latest info.

Maybe Apple should provide an option for refresh behavior!

My biggest gripe is because of my old eyes.

I would like an option, say a triple tap, that would allow enlarging the content of an area, like a web page, without enlarging the page, itself... Reflow the enlarged content within a fixed page width!

Sent from my iPad, from the iLibrary, while sitting on the iThro... Oops, too moch information!
.
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post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Hmmm... I kinda' like that it does a refresh. On my Mac I have a forums bookmark folder that creates one browser window with about 12 tabs for all the Apple info sites. I ripple thru them every few minutes. I must manually reload each tab or manually reload them all (if it's been a while).

On the iPad, I use the same bookmark folder and ripple thru the sites in a single browser window... I always get the latest info.

Scenerio: You're on the iPad, in these very forums, typing a reply to someone explaining some intricate technical detail about whatever. But you have forgotten a key part of it or want to get some very specific info or even just some links to supply for them to read up on the topic. So you switch to a new page, Google the info, copy it and then go back to the original page to finish your reply. But when you go back you see what you have typed for a second (since it's just a snapshot at this point) and the page reloads losing everything you just typed.

That was a deal breaker for me.

Quote:
Sent from my iPad, from the iLibrary, while sitting on the iThro... Oops, too moch information!

I won't lie and say my iPad wasn't ever used in the bathroom.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

So you are saying that the 4G ratio is too much for 256mb? Not one person here knows that the ratio is, but that being said, have you used an iPad, higher ratio, more hardware and it's butter smooth....sorry but you're comment makes no sense at all.

Of course the iPad is butter smooth in speed operations, but I'm talking about memory caching problems that are already presenting themself on the iPad and will likely as well on the iPhone 4G if it only has 256MB.

Here, Gruber explains it better than I ever could:


Quote:
Theres one severe problem in Safari for iPad, though: memory crapping out. MobileSafari for iPhone has always allowed you to open up to eight pages at a time. It tries to keep them all truly open, in RAM, so that you can quickly switch between them. But when it runs out of memory it starts flushing some of the pages. It doesnt forget the URLs for those pages, and, in recent versions, it saves a static thumbnail image of the rendered page, but when you switch back to those purged pages, MobileSafari must reload the page thus, you must wait both for the contents of the page to download and for the page to actually render (which the rendering often takes longer than the downloading). Its very noticeable. Switching between unpurged Safari pages is instantaneous. Switching to a purged page takes as long as opening it from scratch.

This purging problem got a lot better with the iPhone 3GS. The original iPhone and iPhone 3G only had 128 MB of RAM. The 3GS has 256. MobileSafaris ability to keep more pages in memory is probably my single favorite aspect of the 3GS.

The iPad also has 256 MB of RAM. But, in my use, iPads Safari isnt able to keep nearly as many pages open as I can on my 3GS. In fact, sometimes it seems I can only have one, and every page I switch to gets completely reloaded. This is more than just annoying it can lead to data loss if you have unsubmitted form data sitting in an open iPad Safari page. Ive run into this posting items to DF from the iPad my posting interface is a web page form. When I want to link to the current page, I invoke a bookmarklet which opens a new page with the title and URL fields of the posting form set to the title and URL of the page from which I invoked the bookmarklet. Often, though, I want to switch back to the page Im linking to copy another URL or a bit of text to quote. Twice so far, when going back to the posting form, its been purged and must reload from scratch in which case I lose anything Ive already written. I never run into this problem on my iPhone 3GS when switching between just two open Safari pages.

The problem is also severe for AJAX web apps, which tend not to be designed with full page refreshes in mind.

I hope this can be improved significantly in an iPad software update, but I worry that its endemic that because the iPad screen is so much larger than the iPhones, that MobileSafari must allocate significantly more memory per page for the framebuffers. 256 MB of RAM simply may not be enough for MobileSafari to keep more than two or three pages in memory. If so, Apple really needs to consider some sort of caching or serialization scheme rather than completely flushing away purged pages.

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/the_ipad
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Scenerio: You're on the iPad, in these very forums, typing a reply to someone explaining some intricate technical detail about whatever. But you have forgotten a key part of it or want to get some very specific info or even just some links to supply for them to read up on the topic. So you switch to a new page, Google the info, copy it and then go back to the original page to finish your reply. But when you go back you see what you have typed for a second (since it's just a snapshot at this point) and the page reloads losing everything you just typed.

That was a deal breaker for me.

I typed this

Opened a different browser window, and copied this from TUAW

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tuaw.com/...oundtheset.jpg

Returned to the prior window (this one), and pasted the link.

The old window opened without refresh... The cursor was in the exact location in the open "reply" text area.

Just for drill, I did like above, left the reply area open, closed the page, went to email and copied. Closed email opened Safari. The last closed window came up with the reply area as above.

I pasted this:



.Hey Everyone!

*

I know it's been ages, but I have been traveling like a maniac recently * I am finally back and can't wait to tell you all about my last few weeks




I didn't even know you could do that!

.
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post #35 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I typed this

Opened a different browser window, and copied this from TUAW

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tuaw.com/...oundtheset.jpg

Returned to the prior window (this one), and pasted the link.

The old window opened without refresh... The cursor was in the exact location in the open "reply" text area.

Just for drill, I did like above, left the reply area open, closed the page, went to email and copied. Closed email opened Safari. The last closed window came up with the reply area as above.

No one is saying it's not possible, but it's not consistent. I can have 8 Safari pages on the 3GS open and this has never happened. I can have a 2nd page on the iPad and this happens. Try opening up the 9 pages to rich sites, like NYTimes et al. and see if you can switch between them and leave Safari to use other apps without Safari pages reloading when you go back in. I couldn't.

You can see from Mazda 3s' comment that I am not the only one who has experienced this.

Now jump ahead a few months to iPhone OS v4.0 for the iPad with multitasking in full effect. Unless they alter the software to cache and/or be more RAM efficient this problem will be increase over the next year.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I won't lie and say my iPad wasn't ever used in the bathroom.

I once saw a t-shirt that said something to the effect of "the iPhone changed the way I poop."

We've all done it.
post #37 of 87
1) Entered text

2) copy pasted from another web site that I opened in a new browser window: The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video. Hands down.

Watch the iPad video
All of the built-in apps on iPad were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen and advanced capabilities of iPad. And they work in any orientation. So you can do things with these apps that you cant do on any other device.

3) copy pasted from a non-resident, unopened email:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 552 552 EXCEEDED STORAGE ALLOCATION (state 18).

**----- Original message -----

Received: by 10.140.143.13 with SMTP id q13mr407065rvd.242.1244576834332;
*******Tue, 09 Jun 2009 12:47:14 -0700 (PDT)



This works just fine!

.
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post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

1) Entered text

[...]

This works just fine!

.

Your anecdotal usage patterns are not indicative of everyone's usage patterns and experiences. This was an issue! This was why i returned it! This is well stated among many iPad users, blog sites, etc.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #39 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous guy View Post

256MB again?

Resource management better be good or else it's gonna hamstring the phone.

You better call Apple and let em know, I'm sure they haven't thought of that.
post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

No jailbreak needed. I used iStat to compare RAM used at startup and across multiple apps against the 3GS. The display in the iPad needs more RAM for obvious reasons.

The reason I returned it was the inability to open up multiple pages in Safari without having the pages refresh, even when switching between the pages within Safari. I can open up 8 on the 3GS and not have it refresh even when going to other apps.

Hopefully it's just a bug in the iPad causing that in Safari.

Wait, you mean there's no actual tabs feature on the iPad? That is such a deal breaker for me. I literally have twelve tabs open right now.
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