Apple NVMe Vs UFS 4.0 Storage

Do you know that you can now say that Android is faster than iPhone? Well, that's because storage matters a lot. In this article, we will explore the Practical Differences Between Apple NVMe Vs the new UFS 4.0 Storage

samsung ufs 40 storage

As smartphones become more advanced, one of the key areas of competition between manufacturers is the storage technology used in their devices. Two of the most commonly used storage technologies in high-end smartphones are NVMe and UFS. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the practical differences between Apple's NVMe and UFS 4.0 storage and what they mean for users.

Understanding NVMe and UFS 4.0

Before we dive into the differences between NVMe and UFS 4.0, it's important to understand what these terms mean.

What is NVMe Storage

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, which is a storage protocol designed specifically for solid-state drives (SSDs). It was developed to take advantage of the faster speeds and lower latency of SSDs compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). NVMe is widely used in desktop and laptop computers, as well as in high-end smartphones like iPhones.

NVMe Versions

NVMe storage has several versions that have been released since its introduction. The following is a brief overview of the different versions of NVMe:

1.0: The first version of NVMe was released in 2011. It offered significantly faster performance than the older SATA storage protocol and allowed for smaller form factors.

1.1: This version was released in 2012 and included support for enhanced power management and improved error handling.

1.2: Released in 2014, this version added support for multiple queues, which allows for better performance with multiple cores.

1.3: Released in 2017, this version included support for namespace sharing, which allows multiple hosts to access the same storage devices.

1.4: This is the latest version of NVMe, released in 2019.

Why does Apple use NVMe Storage

Apple uses NVMe storage in its devices because it offers several advantages over other storage protocols. NVMe storage is faster and more efficient than other storage protocols, making it a great choice for high-performance devices like Apple's iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The use of NVMe storage in Apple's devices has allowed the company to provide high-performance, energy-efficient storage solutions that improve the user experience for its customers.

What is UFS Storage

UFS stands for Universal Flash Storage, it is a type of storage technology that is specifically designed for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices. Compared to other storage technologies, UFS offers several unique features and advantages that make it a popular choice in the mobile device market.

UFS Versions

There have been several versions of UFS since its introduction, each offering new and improved features. This includes:

1.0: The first version of UFS was released in 2011.

2.0: Released in 2013, UFS 2.0 introduced even faster transfer speeds, supporting data rates of up to 5.8 Gbps.

2.1: This version of UFS was released in 2014 and introduced support for HS-Gear3, which allowed for even faster data transfer speeds of up to 11.6 Gbps.

3.0: Released in 2016, UFS 3.0 offered even faster transfer speeds, supporting data rates of up to 23.2 Gbps.

4.0: The latest version of UFS, UFS 4.0, was released in 2019. It offers even faster transfer speeds, supporting data rates of up to 44 Gbps.

UFS 4.0

UFS 4.0, Is a newer storage technology that was introduced in 2019 and is designed specifically for mobile chipsets. UFS 4.0 is designed to be faster and more power-efficient than previous versions of UFS, and it's used in a variety of high-end smartphones.

Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 4.0 is a storage technology that is uniquely designed for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. UFS 4.0 storage offers several advantages over other storage protocols in this context.

Differences between UFS 4.0 and Apple NVMe

let's look at some of the practical differences, which include:

Performance Differences

When it comes to performance, NVMe is generally considered to be faster than UFS storage. But the latest UFS 4.0 takes the challenge to another level as it offers faster read/write speed compared to the NVMe storage in Apple smartphones as seen in the real-life test below.

However, the result will be different in the case of NVMe SSD used in PC as it is going to have better thermal efficiency which will result in more power to reach a higher read and write speed.

Speed of NVMe

The fastest NVMe drives read 3500MB/s and write at 1000MB/s. The same drives deliver 300,000+ random read IOPs and 40,000-50,000 write IOPs. 

Speed of UFS 4.0

UFS 4.0 reads up to 4,200MB/s and writes 2,800MB/s.

Storage Capacity Differences

Another key difference between NVMe and UFS 4.0 is the maximum storage capacity they support. NVMe can support much larger storage capacities than UFS 4.0, which is limited to 2 terabytes. This is because NVMe is designed for use in desktop and laptop computers, which often require much larger storage capacities than smartphones.

Additionally, a 2 terabyte limit for most users for UFS 4.0 is more than enough. The average user will likely never come close to filling up 2 terabytes of storage on their smartphone, and the limitations of UFS 4.0 are unlikely to be a significant practical issue.

Compatibility Differences

Compatibility is another important consideration when it comes to storage technology. While NVMe is a widely used standard, it's not universally supported. Some devices, particularly older ones, may not support NVMe storage.

NVM is built on almost all servers. The decision is whether to purchase NVMe-compatible SSD memory, which is in different varieties for installation into servers and other hardware, including M.2 and some new NVMe-only sizes.

UFS 4.0, on the other hand, is specifically designed for mobile devices and is widely supported in high-end smartphones. This means that if you're looking to upgrade to a newer smartphone, you're more likely to find one that supports UFS 4.0 than NVMe.

Power Consumption Differences

Power consumption is an important consideration for any mobile device, and the type of storage technology used can have an impact on battery life. NVMe is generally considered to be less power-efficient than UFS 4.0, as it requires more power to operate.

UFS 4.0’s claimed that performance puts it ahead of other storage technologies. It also boasts much better efficiency, pushing 6.0MB/s per milliampere (mA) or 46% less power consumption.

NVMe will usually be below 4W maximum power consumption, with lower-end NVMe usually around 3.5W and higher-end up to 8.5W or more.

NVMe power and PCIe link states. Source: NVM Express

Moreover, the practical differences in power consumption may not be noticeable in everyday use. Both NVMe and UFS 4.0 are designed to be power-efficient, and the difference in power consumption may only be noticeable in extreme use cases, such as when transferring large files.


Apple's NVMe and UFS 4.0 storage technologies have advantages and limitations. Regardless of which technology your smartphone is shipped with, both NVMe and UFS 4.0 are fast, reliable, and widely used storage technologies that are sure to provide a great user experience.


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