Why a 32GB iPhone 6 could cost just $199

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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!

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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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