Why Apple doesn’t offer unlimited cloud storage

I didn’t see any of Google I/O, but during the keynote they announced a new product called Google Photos. There are many things I could talk about related to this, but I wanted to focus on cloud storage.

Google is offering unlimited storage as part of this new product offering.

That’s right. Without having to pay a penny, you can keep all your photos in Google’s cloud servers.

Too good to be true?

Perhaps. The small print is that the offering is only unlimited if you accept Google keep ‘high quality’ rather than original, uncompressed versions. If you do want to upload your originals, you get 15GB free and then need to pay either $1.99 per month for 100GB or $9.99 for 1TB.

Either way, there’s no doubt that Google Photos looks like a great product with good storage options.

One theme that has emerged from this new Google offering though, is how much more generous it is than Apple who offer a mere 5GB for free and charge $3.99 for 200GB and $19.99 for 1TB.

Though I’ve written before about Apple’s crappy storage limits, and there’s no doubting that 5GB free storage is much too stingy, I don’t think it’s a case of simply comparing like for like when looking at what Google (and indeed Amazon, Dropbox, and others) offer in comparison.

Because Apple’s storage is pretty much baked into the operating system, the number of Apple users who will make the most of Apple’s iCloud offerings is going to be high. Half a billion people would very easily start to quickly make the most of any amazing cloud storage option from Apple.

Google and Amazon can make their grand announcements, but how many users will actually start utilising their unlimited offerings? I don’t see it being nearly as high.

If Apple was to suddenly offer unlimited storage, there would be a huge rush on their servers unlike anything Google or Amazon would ever likely experience.

It is because of this that I suspect Apple is more cautious and conservative in their storage options.

That said, 5GB is not enough. It strikes me that something like 25GB of free storage for all iCloud users would be much more reasonable.

It’ll be interesting to see if Apple announce any changes in both storage options and pricing at WWDC next week.