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Will the iPhone 5 be the first 128GB iPhone?



Since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has pushed the storage capacity higher with almost every release.

In 2009, Apple announced the 32GB iPhone 3GS, and in 2011 the 64GB iPhone 4S hit the market.

As the iPhone 5 release date approaches, and my 64GB iPhone 4S warns me that I don’t have enough storage space to update my apps, I have to wonder if Apple will bump the storage sizes of the iPhone 5 up this fall.

Read: iPhone 5 Release Date & Rumors

Running out of Space

No Storage iPhoneIn the past 6 months I’ve used the iPhone as my go to phone, and last night I found out that I didn’t have enough storage space to update the apps already on my phone.

I had just over 5GB of storage space left. In order to download these updates, I had to delete several apps including Modern Combat 3 and Almost DLSR, which was loaded up with video files.

After cleaning house I have 11GB of breathing room, but this has taught me that the iPhone needs at least 5GB of storage free to function.

iPhone Storage use

My iPhone has a lot of photos and videos, which take up about half of the space, with Apps occupying another 16GB. I may be in the minority here, but I know I’m not alone.

Cost of a 128GB iPhone

Cost is the biggest factor that could prevent Apple from introducing a 128GB iPhone 5. According to iSuppli, Flash storage is responsible for most of the cost difference to Apple.

The price of 64GB Flash memory is $76.80, 32GB Flash memory is $38.40 and 16GB Flash memory is $19.20.

Even if advances bring the price of Flash memory down, Apple would need to charge a premium for a 128GB iPhone 5 or eat a larger portion of the cost if it retailed for $399.

Smaller 128GB Flash Chips

This February Samsung, a manufacturer Apple works with for parts of the iPhone, announced the smallest 128GB NAND Flash memory chip. These chips are smaller than a penny, and are already ramping up into high production.

Silver Lining in the Cloud?

The cloud could help alleviate some of the storage woes without the need for a 128GB iPhone 5. PhotoStream currently stores the last 1,000 photos taken, but if it stored more photos and included videos, users could rely on the cloud more.

4g LTE speeds will also help users call up photos and videos on the go, even with 4G LTE data caps.

Apps currently can’t benefit from the cloud, but if Apple would allow OnLive for the iPad and other services that stream games instead of storing the assets and processing locally, the iPhone and iPad could be used to play higher quality games without the need for massive amounts of storage.

Do you need a larger iPhone? Would you pay more than $399 for a 128GB iPhone 5?



  1. Camilla

    05/16/2012 at 5:08 pm

    I would totally pay more for 128gb of storage that would be amazing!!

    • james braselton

      09/11/2012 at 9:05 pm

      hi there yeah 128 gb i have 240 apps 200 songs 5 movies on 32 gb cloud storage is 5 gb my my stuff is bigger then cloud cap

  2. wiredfx

    06/07/2012 at 9:10 am

    I think the only thing holding everybody back from being able to use iCloud as a primary means of storage is that most carriers no longer allow unlimited data. Just streaming all your music all month would blow way past any data plan. So until carriers give up on the tiered data plans (not gonna happen) increased hard drive space is the only way to go.

    • Sulu600

      06/28/2012 at 5:36 pm

      Or as the rest of the world does, add removable storage, i.e. TF/Micro SD

    • james braselton

      09/11/2012 at 9:42 pm

      hi there not exactly you can buy 1 terabyte 10,000 rpm veloci-raptor hard drives with 400 mb/s read write speeds or 15,000 rpm cheeta hard drives at 600 mb/s read write speeds there a lot of very fast spinning hard drives wich every one over looks exept for realy hard hard hard hard core gamers

  3. fjtb2000

    07/01/2012 at 12:17 am

    As technology advances – prices drop. Just saw a 32GB SD memory card at FRYs Electronics for $10. Bought one 9mths ago at FRYs for $29, considered very cheap at the time. 6mths before that it was $65, 6mths before that $100+?… I would not want to pay more than $400 128GB iPhone. With all the awesome new features the new iPhone will supposedly have, I’m thinking storage has advanced enough to not impact the price at all. Keeping fingers crossed.

  4. Luke

    07/15/2012 at 4:59 am

    LOL $399 ?! Are you kidding me? I would pay up to $899-949 without asking why. I already payed $939 for my iPhone 4S, unlocked “Worldphone”.

  5. Dmitri

    07/23/2012 at 10:16 am

    You write about new memory chip with 128Gb, mentioning Samsung as the manufacturer, but the link directs us to the site of SanDisk, saying all the same about their chip the size of a penny.

  6. Dmitri

    07/23/2012 at 10:34 am

    besides, the news about 128Gb (gigabits) chip have nothing to with all those speculations about 128 GB (gigabytes) in new iPhone, as long as the mentioned chip is mere 16GB. At least, no explanation given of why it was so hard to put all those 8 chips with total of 128GB in previous models. So don’t fool yourself and others.

  7. Ubber Nerd

    08/11/2012 at 2:19 pm

    What I want to see is the a Cell phone that is a compleat replacement of mobile computer. A real O/S such as Windows 7 or Leaperd iOS X depending on the form factor. These phones would be real smart phone not just dumbed down drones of what they are now.

    and the memory bank should be upgradeble on them allowing you to not have to buy a new phone anytime they get backed up with apps. Batteries are another thing iPhones are bad for… There are days I need to charge my Iphone SIX (6) times! Why cant we have upgradeble Battery Packs for people that burn through lots of power?!!

  8. Ryan

    08/26/2012 at 10:24 pm


    • james braselton

      09/11/2012 at 9:45 pm

      hi there ryan me too want 128 gb iphone

  9. Andrew

    08/28/2012 at 10:03 am

    With tierd data plans how the heck would you be able to “stream high quality games?” I’m sorry, but higher memory is a less pricey option, especially with those new family share plans… Way over priced. I think they should put 2 chips in it and have a 64, 128, and 256 Gigs as a option.

  10. Erik Johansson

    09/04/2012 at 8:47 am

    You all said what I want too. But I would be willing to pay a premium to get 128 or 256GB!

  11. PST

    02/24/2013 at 2:05 pm

    Yes…,a minimum of 128g…,but the real one whill be the the 256 for the price of 999 us,I am talking about now for this price…,if by the end of 2013 max 699 us

  12. Nurserg

    09/09/2013 at 8:56 pm

    I totally agree! More space is needed. I currently have 1700 apps on my iphone 4G! Not to count the pictures,6500 phone numbers, etc…I NEED MORE SPACE! I also own 2 Classic 160GB i pods,, 2 VERY NICE lap tops, 1 PC (gamer) with six 3TB hard drives, an I phone 3G, 4, 4G, an I pad 64 GB, so as you see….I’m NOT easily impressed!

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