5GB Is the New 16GB ➝

Stephen Hackett:

I’m no data center expert, but bumping everyone to even 10 GB would be a huge increase in disk space needed at Apple’s data centers. I don’t know what that sort of change would cost, but I can imagine it’d be huge based on Apple’s sheer number of customers. Whatever slice of profit off of iPhone hardware goes to paying for iCloud storage would certainly take a hit.

I’m sure this is why a change hasn’t been made.

However, I think it’s something the company should consider biting the bullet on. I hope that something is underway to increase the space Apple provides for free.

The problem, for Apple, is that they aren’t a company built on server infrastructure. They’re incredible at building hardware and writing software, but implementing giant data centers isn’t a part of their DNA like it is for Google.

The offer of unlimited photo storage is a brilliant way for Google to play to their strengths. They can’t compete with Apple from a hardware materials standpoint — at least, not yet — so they’ve decided to change the conversation. Now, everyone’s talking about the service associated with the Pixel instead of the Pixel itself.

Given the current narrative, I think it would be wise for Apple to offer more storage in the free tier. This would certainly decrease the number of unpleasant interactions iPhone owners have with their devices and it would lessen the competitive edge that Google has on this front.

I don’t think we’ll see “unlimited photo storage” from Apple anytime soon, though. My immediate hunch is 25GB for free. But at this point, that might not be enough.