1TB iCloud storage plan would be a win for both Apple and users


1TB iCloud storage plan would be a win for both Apple and users
Adding a 1TB iCloud storage plan makes so much sense.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple offers iCloud plans for iPhone and Mac users who need a bit of extra storage capacity, and other plans for those who want a huge amount. But there’s a noticeable gap in the middle the company should really fill.

The lack of a 1TB iCloud+ storage plan is painfully evident. Adding it would be a boon to many users, and to Apple, too.

Today is World Backup Day — a fine opportunity to lobby for the additional tier.

iCloud storage capacity keeps growing

For those who need to attend iCloud 101, it’s Apple’s online storage offering. Users place photos, videos, documents, etc., in the service and access them from all their devices. It’s also available for iPhone, Mac and iPad over-the-air backups.

For most of us, the size of our file collections in iCloud keeps growing. And it’s not only because we have more and more pictures. Actual file sizes became bigger — years ago, a typical image taken with an iPhone 5s clocked in at 2MB to 3.5MB while today an iPhone 15 image ranges from 5MB to 10MB … or even larger.

Apple’s online storage system has kept up. A decade ago, its largest capacity plan offered a mere 50GB. Starting in September 2023, the upper limit is 12TB. But there aren’t quite enough options.

Mind the gap

Breaking out those options, iCloud+ is available 50GB and 200GB capacities. The monthly prices for these are 99 cents and $2.99 respectively. (There’s also a free 5GB option.)

For those needing more storage — especially families — there are 2TB, 6TB and 12TB options. These cost $9.99, $29.99 or $59.99 per month.

Those paying attention will notice quite a big jump between the 200GB and 2TB tiers, both in how much storage is available and in the prices.

Really, what truly matters is the cost differential — one option is $36 a year and the other is $120. Psychologically speaking, that’s the difference between “Sure, whatever” on one side and “I can buy my own SSD for that” on the other.

1TB of iCloud+ storage for $6: A win for everyone

A 1TB iCloud+ option added in the gap makes so much sense. Let’s say it’s $5.99.

At that price, a user upgrading from the 200MB option gets five times the storage capacity for two times the money. And the yearly total is $72 — not cheap, but not too bad either.

As it is now, Mac and iPhone users who outgrow the 200MB tier must pay more than 3X times as much. That raises the real possibility that they’ll decide instead to save themselves almost $100 a year even if it means going through the hassle of cutting down on their storage needs or switching to a non-iCloud storage option.

There are ways several ways to lower your storage requirements. Start by deleting unused apps and cleaning out old file folders, etc. Removing duplicate images is a snap, or you can go whole hog with CleanMyMac and CleanMyPhone. Together they cost less than $100 a year.

But to many of us, the preferred option would be to pay slightly more each month for 1TB of iCloud+ storage. And Apple would win, too — it gets that additional revenue from us every month. It gains nothing from people who won’t take the big cost jump that comes with moving from 200MB to 2TB.

In short, a win-win for users and Apple.


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