While browsing Reddit early last month, I came across an interesting thread in the Apple subreddit. In the thread, Reddit user “kidha” stated quite frankly that the 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are “useless.” The terms useless is obviously hyperbole, but the Redditor made some great points. Some people — including kidha — think they can get away with 16GB by using cloud services from companies like Google, Dropbox and Box to back up photos, and apps like Spotify and YouTube to stream music and videos instead of storing these large files locally.
But as we’ve seen from the painfully slow iOS 8 adoption numbers, which are lagging in part because iPhone and iPad owners simply don’t have enough free storage to download and install the update, 16GB just isn’t enough storage these days.
With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple made a brilliant move for its bottom line. Instead of releasing 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions of both new iPhones, Apple jumped from 16GB in the base models to 64GB in the middle tier.
So, for just $100 more, iPhone buyers can quadruple their storage instead of just doubling it.
The difference in cost between a 16GB memory module and a 64GB module is far less than $100 for Apple. So, the company can increase the iPhone’s average selling price (ASP) — and, more importantly, Apple’s iPhone margins — by encouraging more people to buy the mid-priced model. And of course, Apple does this by dangling that 64GB carrot in front of buyers.
But did Apple — a company that prides itself on offering the best possible user experiences — do its customers a disservice by keeping the entry-level iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at a “useless” 16GB?
It will be interesting to see if Apple keeps the same storage options in next year’s iPhone models, or if it bumps the bottom version up to 32GB. In the meantime, take a moment to vote in our one-question poll below: