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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.
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.
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.
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.