Among the thousands of bloggers around the world covering the Apple beat, John Gruber is likely the most beloved and respected by Apple fans. His analyses are often sharp and insightful, and we always enjoy his frank style — even when he’s launching attacks aimed at us. So, when Gruber takes to his blog Daring Fireball and reviews Apple’s brand new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it’s safe to assume that his is one of the few reviews out there that is actually worth reading. And an equally safe assumption is that we should take note when he shares his thoughts on “the single-most disappointing aspect of the new phones.”
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In a late addition to his review that came in the form of an update, Gruber briefly shared his thoughts on the new storage sizes for Apple’s 2014 iPhone lineup. He wrote that he’s happy that Apple increased the available storage while maintaining the current price points, but one aspect of Apple’s move puzzled him.
“I’m glad to see Apple double the middle and high storage tiers, from 32/64 to 64/128,” Gruber wrote in his post. “I like to store my entire music library on my iPhone, but with “only” 64 GB of total storage, that meant I kept running out of space as I shot videos and took photos. (I love panoramic photos, but they’re very large.)”
He continued, “But I don’t understand why the entry level storage tier remained at a meager 16 GB. That seems downright punitive given how big panoramic photos and slo-mo HD videos are, and it sticks out like a sore thumb when you look at the three storage tiers together: 32/64/128 looks natural; 16/64/128 looks like a mistake. The original iPhone, seven years and eight product generations ago, had an 8 GB storage tier. The entry-level iPhones 6 are 85 times faster than that original iPhone, but have only twice the storage capacity. That’s just wrong. This is the single-most disappointing aspect of the new phones.”
From where we’re sitting, the logic seems fairly clear: 16GB memory modules are cheaper than 32GB modules and, far more importantly, the $100 jump from 16GB to 64GB will encourage more buyers to opt for the mid-tier model, driving up iPhone ASPs (average selling prices) in the process.
Apple’s decision can certainly be considered by consumers to be disappointing though, but if it is indeed the “most disappointing aspect” of the new iPhones, Apple fans don’t have much to complain about.