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.
Last year, Apple made an important change to 80 percent of their Mac line-up, including the new iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Air, and Mac Pro, that changed the type of flash storage of each of those systems to incorporate a PCI Express (or PCIe)-based storage system. It’s a much faster technology than the Serial ATA based storage Apple was using before, but there’s a rub: it also uses a non-standard connector, making upgrading any of these Mac’s flash storage impossible up until now.
At CES this year, however, it looks like Other World Computing (OWC) has made important strides to cracking the problem. They showed off flash storage prototypes that should enable users to upgrade their newer Mac’s SSDs.
Apple just released a new firmware update for mid-2012 MacBook Air owners. The release notes say that Apple recently discovered that a small percentage of flash storage drives in these models may have an issue that could cause data loss.
The update, available here, tests your drive and should, if there’s a problem, install new firmware to prevent the issue from happening to you.
If your drive can’t be updated, Apple will replace it free of charge. That’s big news.
If your Mac doesn’t already have one of these, now’s a good time to make the upgrade.
Forget RAM, forget a faster CPU, forget a beefier graphics card. If you are still running a Mac with a spinning, physical hard drive, the best upgrade you can possibly make is to drop a solid-state flash drive into the machine. The immediate effect on perceived performance is stunning: it’s the difference between seeing a spinning beach ball every hour and not seeing one for months at a time.
Unfortunately, for a long time, what has kept most people from making this update to their older Macs has been price. SSDs are more expensive than physical HDDs. That’s still true, by the way, but it’s less so now than it ever has been, making this a perfect time to finally take the plunge.
Apple has confirmed its rumored $500 million acquisition of Israeli flash memory firm Anobit. Reports started circulating last month that the Cupertino company was interested in purchasing Anobit for its flash storage prowess. It was concluded that Apple was looking to become a major player in the flash storage industry.
Despite its new dual-core A5 processor, its much-improved 8-megapixel camera, and a wireless chip that allows the device to use both CDMA and GSM networks, Apple’s new iPhone 4S only costs the Cupertino company around $0.49 more than the iPhone 4.