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How tablet vendors are ripping users off for extra storage

Tablet Storage Pricing Study

Does it seem a little ridiculous to you that it costs a full $100 more to buy a 32GB tablet than it does to buy a 16GB tablet? The team at Which? found it ridiculous as well and decided to do some research into just how much it costs tablet vendors to add more storage to their devices. The verdict: High-storage tablets are an enormous ripoff. 

The latest numbers from DRAMeXchange, for example, show that a 16GB block of storage costs tablet vendors around $9.61 to add to their devices. Despite this low price, Apple, Samsung and other vendors get away with charging around $100 more for tablets with extra memory blocks, good for a markup of more than 1000%.

“16GB of Flash memory is mind-numbingly cheap now,” explained Ben Miles of U.K. PC manufacturer Chillblast. “As a general rule, for manufacturers like ourselves, Flash costs less than 40p per GB, so for companies to charge so much for an extra 16GB seems scandalous.”

Which? recommends that prospective tablet buyers pick up cheaper 16GB models and then supplement their storage needs by keeping more of their data on cloud storage services such as SkyDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive. Alternatively, users could buy a tablet that has an SD or microSD card slot that will let them add more storage to their device for a much lower price.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.