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iphone 6 stock 1

Seriously, Apple should just kill the 16GB iPhone dead

It’s 2015. Storage has become a commodity, and 16GB is certainly not enough in a world obsessed with terabytes and even petabytes.

To make matters worse, the new iPhone 6S comes preloaded with apps such as iBooks, iTunes. One must acknowledge that even iOS takes a significant amount of storage and at the end of the day you will be lucky to see 12GB of accessible storage capacity.

With that said, the 16GB iPhone has become a modern relic. The iPhone 6S is transitioning into a symbol of corporate greed taking priority over the user experience.

To put things into perspective, the 2010 iPhone 4 offered 16GB of storage. That was five years ago, and debates were sparked whether 16GB was enough to justify a premium device. At the close of 2015, this is not only debatable, but unacceptable. This is especially profound since arch-rival Samsung has scrapped the 16GB variants of its premium phones in favour of 32GB for the Galaxy S and Note line of devices, and oh boy, they must be laughing.

samsung galaxy note 5 lead

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a great example here — no 16GB version in sight.

In 2015, apps are limitless and provide richer experiences. With that said, Apple increased the app size limit to 4GB meaning that phone storage may reach full capacity by a handful of apps. Furthermore, this does not take into account your music, videos and photos.

Speaking of which, the previous iPhone stored 8MP photos at around 3MB each. The 12MP camera in the latest iteration will significantly increase the size of such photos. Newly introduced Live photos further exasperates storage by adding animation and sound, and that’s not all.

To deepen the trench, Apple introduced 4K video recording, and one must come to terms that even in a parallel universe, 16GB is nowhere near enough considering a single minute may take up close 300MB in 4K.

So why doesn’t Apple scrap the 16GB iPhone entirely?

It’s simple. Profit margins.

iPhone 6

According to IHS, the bump in storage would cost Apple an additional US$10 extra to manufacture and build a 32GB iPhone. This does not even take into account the additional research and development costs.

Additionally, Apple wants you to fork out extra for the 64GB and 128GB variants because economies of scale ensure higher profit margins on those particular models compared to a 16GB variant.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the 16GB iPhone?

Apple offers a further 5GB iCloud storage to sync additional photos, apps and files.

iCloud storage plans

That’s nearly the monthly price of an iPhone 6S.

Granted, one can upgrade to a maximum of 1TB cloud storage but that is hidden behind a US$249 a month paywall. With that said, the 16GB iPhone will ultimately lead to an unsatisfactory user experience a few months down the line, especially if you are a power user.

Low to moderate users may be able to get away with 16GB but quite frankly, it isn’t worth price of admission. However, if one is looking for the epitome iPhone experience, I suggest you better off investing in a 64GB version and upwards.

Author Bio

Jatin Channa
Jatin Channa is dedicated Masters Student in the field of Information Technology from the University Of Cape Town. He is passionate about all things tech and aspiring to make a difference in this ever-changing industry. With that said, he will be presenting the Future Of Telecommunications: A Paradigm Shift... More
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  • jeffsters

    You are viewing the 16GB through a use case that doesn’t hold true for everyone. In the enterprise we purchase 16GB iPhones for use with our limited apps and web based solutions under strict MDM. If 16GB allows Apple to reach the price point needed to be competitive with Android devices (margin wise) we’re good with that! We barely get over 9GB of installed software the rest being accessed through the browser. If going to 32GB means another $100 we’ll have to seriously look at alternatives and weigh the overall cost. Not that we’d for sure leave iOS as our preferred OS, it more complicated than $100 price increase, but it will put pressure on us when we are asked to justify that decision.

  • Bill Smells

    I have to agree that the 16GB iPhone is extremely attractive to enterprise. The lack of storage prevents data leakage and also keeps costs down. Different target audience, but still very effective.

  • jeffsters

    Oh…BTW: This is the SAME response I gar to the 16GB iPod Touch which serves as our base for mobile access to enterprise software and tools. I can’t say much more without giving away clues but BOTH these products serve a great enterprise purpose.

    One might argue that Apple should sell them to only education/enterprise customers but that too adds cost to Apple to administer etc., so may be a non-starter for them.