Built-in storage is always something that can make, or break, a pretty strong bullet point list of features. A lot of companies out there are still focusing on offering microSD card support for expandable storage, so even devices that launch with a limited 16GB, or even 8GB, of onboard storage can get away with the small number because owners can buy more if they want.
I’m one that will admit that, even if I don’t use expandable storage myself (and haven’t for years), I can understand why it’s something someone wants to have access to. More often than not, buying a phone with more built-in storage means forking over even more money, sometimes up to $100 more per memory increase, so paying less up-front and still having the option to get more later is pretty nice.
Plus, you get to keep whatever’s stored on that card as you switch to another device down the line.
Apple, for all its strengths, is a company that seems determined to just ignore the storage needs of its customer base, or even potential switchers, in favor of still offering new, flagship devices with limited amounts of storage. The fact that 16GB iOS-based devices still exist is something that perplexes me, as it does a lot of people, especially when newer devices are able to record even more high-definition video, apps are bigger than ever before, and even the software updates we need are bigger, too.
All of that came back into the spotlight with rumors of the new 4-inch “iPhone SE,” which is expected to be unveiled next week. The new phone will have a lot going for it, including the ability to record 4K video with a 12-megapixel camera, but a huge drawback will reportedly be its reliance on 16GB of built-in storage for one of its variants. (The other is said to be 64GB.)
This seems crazy. 4K video takes up a lot of room, and with a great camera people want to take more photos and videos. Yes, Apple has a reliance on cloud storage thanks to iCloud, but that only fixes part of the problem. It looks to me like Apple is launching a product with a great set of features, but immediately limiting the usefulness of those features at the very same time.
It’s not like this is a new strategy from the Cupertino-based company, but by now I think it’s safe to say that enough’s enough. It doesn’t help that there are now reports surfacing that outline the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro launching at a $599 price tag for its 32GB model, which is the same price you can buy an iPad Air 2 for 64GB of built-in storage. (Yes, new features coming to the new, smaller iPad Pro are there, but worth $100 more for less storage? And you have to buy accessories to access those new features!) We should probably just be happy the first iPad Pro didn't come in a 16GB option, right?
Ultimately, one has to come to the realization that getting upset about this kind of stuff, about how Apple prices its products, is an empty endeavor, because it doesn’t look like the strategy is going to change anytime soon. Still, if anything were to change, I’d like to see Apple drop the 16GB option altogether for its new/flagship models, and start at 32GB variants.
What do you think?