Why a 32GB iPhone 6 could cost just $199

Storage_Phones_lead

Ever since the iPhone 3GS was first released back in 2009, new iPhones have shipped in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavors, priced $199, $299, and $399, respectively.

But 16GB doesn’t get you very far these days, and although iOS 8 will help users out with cheaper iCloud storage, smartphones like the Amazon Fire are shipping with 32GB of storage these days, minimum.

Could Apple follow suit? According to industry experts, it’s very, very possible.

In a great article over at Laptop Magazine called Why 16GB Smartphones Are The Biggest Rip-Off In Tech, editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer spoke to Michael Yang, a senior principal analyst for market research firm IHS, who said that he expects the next wave of smartphones to ship with 32GB minimum.

The HTC One M8, LG G3 and Amazon Fire phone are just three flagships that sport 32GB of storage standard. The LG also features a microSD card slot, letting you add up to an additional 128GB of storage ($114). Amazon, for its part, lets you store an unlimited number of photos in the cloud, too.

“That baseline density is going to go up,” Yang predicted. “We expect the next wave of smartphones to see at least one step up, and shoppers are going to look for 32GB or skip to 64GB.” The same wireless executive I spoke to agrees that the baseline storage will increase for premium smartphones.

According to Spoonauer, 32GB of flash storage costs Apple only $16, even though they charge a $100 premium for it over the 16GB iPhone (which has only $8 of storage within it).

With iOS — both the apps and the operating system proper — getting bigger, and Android smartphones starting to offer more storage than Apple by default, could the iPhone 6 be the first iPhone to cost $199 for a 32GB model? Fingers crossed!

  • sigzero

    It would be nice but “follow suit” is not one of Apple’s selling points.

  • Adrayven

    There have been a few reports the 5.5″ would get to goto 128GB.. and another that there would be no 16 GB 4.7″..

    I suspect they are trimming the lines down to 2 sizes per line..
    Here are my predictions.. cuz.. well if Analysts can do it, so can I!

    I think there will be a 6C or “Classic”.. no reports to the contrary. Also, if history is a pre-cursor to the future.. They are now only charging $50 per bump in storage sizes for the iPods.. I think we’ll see the same for the iPhones and iPads at some point..

    So here it is w/my prediction of on contract pricing and storage sizes

    4″ iPhone Classic – 16 & 32 GB ($99 / $149)
    4.7″ iPhone Air 32 & 64 GB ($199 / $ $249)
    5.5″ iPhone Pro 64 & 128 GB ($299 / $349)

    Naming is all me.. but I think they should drop the 5/6 numbering scheme at this point.. it’s getting silly.. Follow the Macbook, and now the iPad conventions.. both have dropped the numbering; would prefer to keep that trend. Just refer to the year and the model type (classic/air/pro)

    Also, the storage sizes are not based on what I want.. just the past rumors and the fact they will want to limit variations because of the crazy mass numbers they need produce.. Tim Cook is a supply guy first and for most after all.

  • bobthenob

    I bought a 64GB 4s and only fill about 1/2 of it. I take lots of pictures, some video, but iTunes Match all my music. So I’m going to get a 32GB iPhone6 but it would be nice to save $100. C’mon, Apple!

  • acslater017

    They might not increase storage on the entry level model – plenty of people don’t even use the 16 GB. But I could see them following the iPod and lowering the steps to $249 and $299 for 32 and 64 gigs.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    16 GB limitation for such advanced technology is laughable at this point.

  • Sean McCabe

    16 gb in this day and age is a joke. Try filming video on your phone in 1080p for 5 minutes and you phone is full from that alone. Get with the times Apple and stop ripping us off for 64 gb of storage!!!!

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    16Gb is a joke, I want 128GB already to store all my music!

  • Drawmer

    The oversight here is that there’s an enormous impact on cost of goods when the manufactured cost goes up. That *only* $16 32GB chip is subject to the same markup required to make the product viable. Typically, at least from my experience at the company I work for, there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a 5x cost/sale markup to cover marketing/retail margin/support & service etc.

    It’s not reasonable to assume that increasing the cost of the manufacturing would somehow be passed onto the customer 1:1. That goes for any company, not just Apple.

  • PMB01

    16GB is just fine on my 5S.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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