Apple’s new iPhone 5s is everything that the company’s users look for before choosing to upgrade. Its faster processor makes opening apps and switching between apps a breeze. Its new TouchID finger print reader makes it the most secure iPhone Apple — or any other smartphone — has made. Unfortunately, the company didn’t include the one feature that users have clamored for in growing numbers: more storage space.
iPhone 5S users will once again get only 16GB of storage for a base model iPhone 5s at $199 retail price. Users who want to get their hands on an iPhone 5s with 32GB of storage will have to fork over $299. Holding out the top, the 64GB iPhone 5s will cost users $399 when it goes on sale. All of those prices are regardless of color and all include two-year service agreements. Without a contract, the new iPhone 5s with 16GB of on-board storage costs users $649.99
By comparison many, if not all the Android flagships that the iPhone 5s will compete with this fall and winter, feature 32GB of storage by default For example, the HTC One ships with 32GB of storage at a cost of $604.99 on T-Mobile. That’s $45 less than what a 16GB iPhone 5s costs with double the storage.
To be fair, Apple isn’t the only one who is charging smartphone users a premium for storage space, the Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 smartphone costs users $603.99 without a two-year service agreement on T-Mobile and $99.99 up front. While it only comes with 16GB of storage, users can easily add more with the built-in SD card slot.
Effectively, what the comparison shows is that Apple is continuing some of the same pricing habits that plagued its iPod line of portable media players. Yes, its smartphones are innovative, and they do define where the smartphone industry goes next. However, Apple is also demonstrating that it really doesn’t care about creating value for its customers when it comes to something as simple as storage space. Streaming services can certainly help bridge the storage gap, but they aren’t always accessible and in some cases, they can get users into trouble with bandwidth restrictions.
Maybe I’m nitpicking, but Apple should want to be the brand that users can count on to deliver future proof devices. Charging $299 for a device with just 16GB of storage and an advanced camera that could capture storage-hogging photos just doesn’t scream “future proof” to me.
Apple’s iPhone 5s goes on sale along the iPhone 5c on September 20th. Users won’t be able to pre-order the iPhone 5s before it goes on sale.