200 GB iCloud Storage for Students; What About the Rest of Us?

In Apple’s educational event yesterday, the company said that students would get 200 GB iCloud storage for free. I own – let’s see… – seven iOS devices and Macs, and I only get 5 GB.

Only students whose accounts are set up via schools will get this expanded storage, but it really is a kick in the teeth to all those users who have multiple devices and have to pay for extra storage just to back them up. Apple constantly touts how great the cloud is, but what would it cost them to increase the free tier to, say, 50 GB? And how much easier would it be for users? Lots of people don’t back up their devices rather than deal with the hassle of paying for extra storage. (I know, it’s only a buck a month, but still, this is friction for many people.)

And 200 GB is a lot of data. The only way students will use that much is if they may scads of videos. You couldn’t fill up 200 GB with photos very easily; that would be about 40,000 raw images at 50 MB each, or nearly one million images shot with an iPhone in HEIC format.

I’ve written about this countless times. That 5 GB was huge when it was first introduced back in 2011, but we stored much less data in the cloud back then, and bandwidth was such that retrieving it – at least on mobile devices – was expensive. But now that people have years of photos, and many people have multiple devices – say, a Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad – it just makes Apple look stingy.

6 thoughts on “200 GB iCloud Storage for Students; What About the Rest of Us?

  1. I’m paying $10/mo. for 2TB. I only really need 1TB, or actually could likely make do with 500gigs.

    I wish one of these levels was avail. for $5 or $6. Something between $10/2TB and $3/200 gig. This is my main criticism of the current pricing structure.

  2. I’m paying $10/mo. for 2TB. I only really need 1TB, or actually could likely make do with 500gigs.

    I wish one of these levels was avail. for $5 or $6. Something between $10/2TB and $3/200 gig. This is my main criticism of the current pricing structure.

  3. Worse, Kirk, Apple gives that 5GB out for FREE to anyone who wants to sign up for an Apple ID at iCloud.com. So… you’re really not getting much by actually buying the new Apple device.
    But yes! you are PAYING for it, 7x over. Because Apple defers revenue from new device purchases (Macs, iPhones, and iPads, at least) to the Services silo. On the iPhone, they defer over 2 years, quarter at a time, per GAAP accounting. I’m not sure about how long the Mac deferments last. So, you’re paying 7x for the 5GB “service” that Apple gives out for free. But let’s be honest, in the cloud game, storage is mostly a sunk cost. If $1 = 50GB per month, and a 8TB hard drive can be had for <$250 retail, this is all pure profit. Apple is accounting for services they are never actually delivering (and doing so knowingly, esp given the repeat customer sales numbers).

    And yet Wall Street wonders how Apple keeps posting 18% year-over-year gains in the Services sector. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  4. Worse, Kirk, Apple gives that 5GB out for FREE to anyone who wants to sign up for an Apple ID at iCloud.com. So… you’re really not getting much by actually buying the new Apple device.
    But yes! you are PAYING for it, 7x over. Because Apple defers revenue from new device purchases (Macs, iPhones, and iPads, at least) to the Services silo. On the iPhone, they defer over 2 years, quarter at a time, per GAAP accounting. I’m not sure about how long the Mac deferments last. So, you’re paying 7x for the 5GB “service” that Apple gives out for free. But let’s be honest, in the cloud game, storage is mostly a sunk cost. If $1 = 50GB per month, and a 8TB hard drive can be had for <$250 retail, this is all pure profit. Apple is accounting for services they are never actually delivering (and doing so knowingly, esp given the repeat customer sales numbers).

    And yet Wall Street wonders how Apple keeps posting 18% year-over-year gains in the Services sector. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  5. I thought the same thing Kirk when I read the free storage they were offering students.
    I have 1 question about Apple’s iCloud features. 1. If one opts for the family storage plan does it mean the others on the plan CAN access each other’s files? How does that work. I simply do not understand.

  6. I thought the same thing Kirk when I read the free storage they were offering students.
    I have 1 question about Apple’s iCloud features. 1. If one opts for the family storage plan does it mean the others on the plan CAN access each other’s files? How does that work. I simply do not understand.

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