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The iPhone 15 offers "lots of storage for lots of photos," or at least that's what Apple boasts in its latest ad. Whether that rings true for you depends on what you do with your iPhone, and which storage option you choose. But before you open your wallet, here are some things to consider.

iPhone-12-128GB-Feature.png

The entry-level storage tier for the iPhone 15 is 128GB. That's a notable increase from the 64GB baseline that persisted until the iPhone 13 in 2021. When you consider that 2018's iPhone X came with as little as 64GB, the base storage option for Apple's latest device might even begin to sound generous.

However, this generational upward shift simply reflects the growing demand for more storage space as our digital habits broaden to encompass everything from high-resolution photography and multi-gigabyte triple-A games to extensive app libraries.

With the iPhone 15's camera capabilities now including 48-megapixel photos and 4K video recording, the space required for these high-resolution files is substantial. These advancements undoubtedly enhance the quality of content captured, but they also eat up local storage capacity, rendering what once seemed like ample space insufficient for the needs of many users.

iCloud to the Rescue?

icloud-plus-storage-tiers.jpg


Apple's iCloud service presents a solution to device storage limitations, offering a range of plans that extend beyond the meager 5GB of free storage – which, frankly, is insufficient for most users. Apple's paid ‌iCloud‌+ storage subscription plans offer 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB. All ‌the plans include additional features like ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay, Hide My Email, and Custom Email Domains. Currently, subscribers pay $0.99 per month for 50GB of cloud storage, $2.99 per month for 200GB, and $9.99 per month for 2 TB.

Recently, Apple also added options for 6TB and 12TB of storage, addressing the needs of users with extensive storage requirements. However, these come at a cost, both financially and in terms of the reliance on an internet connection for access to your files. The 6TB ‌iCloud‌+ plan is priced at $29.99 per month and the 12TB plan costs $59.99 per month. (For comparison, Google's 5TB and 10TB cloud storage plans cost $24.99 and $49.99 per month.)

iPhone Storage vs. iCloud

While the standard iPhone 15 models and the iPhone 15 Pro models start with 128GB of storage, Apple offers 256GB and 512GB upgrade options, with an additional 1TB option for the iPhone 15 Pro. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max models start with double the storage at 256GB, with 512GB and 1TB available when upgrading.)

By offering a maximum capacity of 1TB for the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is catering to users who prioritize having vast amounts of storage directly on their device. However, this option costs $1,499, which is $700 more expensive than the base model. Therefore it's worth thinking about whether opting for a lower capacity model and supplementing it with additional iCloud storage might be a more economical and practical choice. For example, five years of 2TB iCloud storage would cost $500 – that's $200 cheaper than a 1TB iPhone 15, and could well outlast the lifetime of your device.

Whatever your decision, it will depend on your usage patterns and the value you place on having immediate, offline access to your files versus the flexibility and potential cost savings of cloud storage.



The Future of iPhone Storage

Given the current trajectory, it seems only reasonable that Apple increases the starting capacity of all its iPhone models to 256GB in future generations. Hopefully it also reassesses the paltry 5GB of free iCloud storage it offers – a more generous allocation that reflects the reality of modern digital consumption patterns is surely overdue.

Article Link: Is 128GB Enough iPhone Storage?
 

krspkbl

macrumors 68020
Jul 20, 2012
2,096
5,128
For me it is. I'm only using 48GB on my iPhone so I have ~463GB left lol. At a push if I'm traveling I might download some music or a couple movies/tv episodes. That's only going to add maybe another 10GB.

I went with 512GB because I like to always go for as much storage as I can reasonably afford. It's there if I ever need it so there is no worrying and when it comes time to trade it in then it gets me a little bit extra value.

My MacBook Air is also 512GB and I'm only using 43GB on it.

I stream my music/movies/tv and iCloud deals with everything else. I'm paying for 50GB plan but I'm only using 700-800MB so the 5GB free tier would be enough but it's only 99p/month for 50GB and I get Hide My Email/Private Relay.
 

coffeemilktea

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2022
821
3,331
128 GB is great IF you hardly use your phone. But add a good music collection, some of the most popular games (Genshin Impact alone will eat up dozens of GB 😵‍💫), and suddenly 128 feels awfully constraining.

Or just be like me and insist on taking 4K 60-frames-per-second videos of your cat so you can capture all of your little kitty's majestic adorableness... 128 GB will vanish in no time. 🙀
 

krspkbl

macrumors 68020
Jul 20, 2012
2,096
5,128
128 GB is great IF you hardly use your phone. But add a good music collection, some of the most popular games (Genshin Impact alone will eat up dozens of GB 😵‍💫), and suddenly 128 feels awfully constraining.

Or just be like me and insist on taking 4K 60-frames-per-second videos of your cat so you can capture all of your little kitty's majestic adorableness... 128 GB will vanish in no time. 🙀
That makes no sense. I use my phone every single day and it's essential for doing so many things and I'd be completely lost without it. It's HOW you use it. As I said in my post above I'm currently only using 48GB. That doesn't mean I hardly use it lol.

I don't take a lot of photos/videos. If I do it's just of my cats which are saved to iCloud (currently using only 700MB iCloud storage). I keep all the photos on iCloud but even though I have plenty of storage I regularly download the videos and save them to my PC for storage. I stream music, movies, tv through Spotify, Netflix, AppleTV. Spotify might have a few GB of cached songs. I don't download games on my phone because I hate playing games on a touch screen. I might sometimes download a movie or some audiobooks but that's not going to add much.

I just looked at what's using my storage and Instagram is taking up 11GB of space :eek: so if I deleted that then I'd only be using 37GB lol but yeah I hardly use my phone... :p
 

PotentPeas

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2023
15
51
I feel like 128GB is good for "most people". I'm glad we're finally out of the storage crunch. I still vividly remember trying to help people with 8GB or 16GB phones figure out things to delete so that it could update the OS or even just so it wouldn't be yelling all of the time. 128GB is enough for a decent photo/music collection and plenty of apps, and an iCloud storage plan removes the need to worry about running out of space for photos.

Power users can buy more space. I, for example, have found 512GB really nice to have when I want to store a lot of videos on my phone to have something to watch offline while traveling.

I rather wish they'd bump up storage on the MacBook Pro. That's where I want to keep my bulk stuff, and 8TB is a lot, but I still feel the crunch, have to rely on NAS storage, and I wish they'd double it again. They've been stuck there since 2019, so I keep thinking the next generation is when they will finally upgrade it......
 

krspkbl

macrumors 68020
Jul 20, 2012
2,096
5,128
I feel like 128GB is good for "most people". I'm glad we're finally out of the storage crunch. I still vividly remember trying to help people with 8GB or 16GB phones figure out things to delete so that it could update the OS or even just so it wouldn't be yelling all of the time. 128GB is enough for a decent photo/music collection and plenty of apps, and an iCloud storage plan removes the need to worry about running out of space for photos.

Power users can buy more space. I, for example, have found 512GB really nice to have when I want to store a lot of videos on my phone to have something to watch offline while traveling.

I rather wish they'd bump up storage on the MacBook Pro. That's where I want to keep my bulk stuff, and 8TB is a lot, but I still feel the crunch and wish they'd double it again. They've been stuck there since 2019, so I keep thinking the next generation is when they will finally upgrade it......
We have an iPad and it's only got 32GB. It's quite old now but I've started having to delete stuff to install updates. Really need to upgrade it soon.
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2015
1,911
4,184
Depends on what you do…. If you just use it as a phone.. for WhatsApp and emails it’s more than enough. 64 is enough for that.

If you use it for a lot of media, video and photos… maybe go for 256… especially if recording in 4k etc

It really depends on how you use it.
 

rumorphobe

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2022
10
41
I’m very interested to see how Apple starts moving to a cloud centric model. It makes sense now that they finally have true encryption for your account. I’d prefer cheaper options for cloud storage and definitely cheaper options for device storage, but a shared $10 a month plan for 2 TB is still fairly competitive if you consider bandwidth. Ultimately the golden rule of saving all your stuff with reliable automatic backup and not having to throw away memories should be their guiding principle. It just makes the user experience so much better.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,184
7,712
Weekend flamewar time once again, I see!

128 for the base model iPad is fine. Maybe base model iPhone. Nothing else.

The real joke is iCloud storage. Giving someone 5GB of iCloud is like giving them one potato chip. Either give enough to be more than a tease, or don't bother giving any at all.
 

truthsteve

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2023
672
1,669
if not, apple can just double the storage and increase the base price.

but why would you reduce consumer choice just because you don't like seeing 128GB in a phone? many consumers can live off of 128GB. maybe you don't like it, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't exist.

by that logic, Apple should only sell 1TB tier phones. I bought a 1TB, I should take away your 256GB/512GB phone. oh? but you don't like that huh?

these complaints make no sense.
 

Chet-NYC

macrumors member
Aug 21, 2017
85
275
New York USA
Depends on what you do…. If you just use it as a phone.. for WhatsApp and emails it’s more than enough. 64 is enough for that.

If you use it for a lot of media, video and photos… maybe go for 256… especially if recording in 4k etc

It really depends on how you use it.
Not necessarily. The key here is WhatsApp. People use it for EVERYTHING. It is their phone, text, etc. app. And then they want to save it all.

Whatsapp doesn't use iCloud, but iCloud Drive. It backs up separately and it needs to keep a copy of the back up on the phone and in iCloud Drive. If someone has a 5gb WhatsApp file (and that is a small one, I've seen 30 and 40 gigs when videos are included), you need almost double the space on the phone to make the initial backup file.

So, someone has a 64gb phone, and they have 10gb of free space. They have 7gb of WhatsApp data... boom.. they do have enough space on their phone to back all that up. They need to start deleting stuff to make room.

I remember a customer in that situation, except that WhatsApp wants an insane 30GB of space for a backup. They had less than 5gb available. We started looking at the app. They had conversations that started AND ended 10 years prior! The customer goes off to another table and her and her husband start cleaning out the app. They come back, WhatsApp now needed just 1gb of space. They deleted almost everything.

128gb is good for a large number of people, but 256gb is really becoming more of a standard as people have more and more apps on their phones and the size of photo and video files become larger. (Yes, they do go to the cloud, but you need the space, especially for video, while you're shooting.)
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,184
7,712
128 GB is great IF you hardly use your phone. But add a good music collection, some of the most popular games (Genshin Impact alone will eat up dozens of GB 😵‍💫), and suddenly 128 feels awfully constraining.

Or just be like me and insist on taking 4K 60-frames-per-second videos of your cat so you can capture all of your little kitty's majestic adorableness... 128 GB will vanish in no time. 🙀

And don't forget about shooting in RAW to make sure to get all the details. I've started switching to RAW for pictures I want to be good and they are both noticeably better and noticeably larger.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
The game here is yet another incarnation of rent (space) vs. own. If you opt to:
  • pay for iCloud storage, you can offload much of the stuff that hogs up internal space. However, you are then on an endless rent train to store your "stuff" in space owned by someone else: complete strangers with for-profit motivations.
  • avoid cloud forever rent, you need to "own" your own storage space, which will be the amount you have inside the iDevice and/or perhaps some external storage you also carry with you.
So, space renter could easily get by with very little local storage and they forever pay for using somebody else's storage space. Space owner could load up their device with owned data & media and as a bonus, have no dependency on a consistent connection to the cloud too. For example, a synched music collection will keep playing even in places with no signal.

The answer to the thread question: BOTH, depending on how you choose to rent or own space... or even some combination of the two.

In my case, I'm mostly anti-cloud, so I buy plenty of storage and synch media & files to put such stuff on device. I have NO dependency on iCloud at all and thus no ongoing rent. I regularly do like most of us did in the pre-iCloud days: regularly synch iDevice to Mac: new photos & videos get backed up to Mac via simple sync, etc. This approach means I also don't need to burn much cellular data to stream my "stuff" (NOT stored in any cloud). This combination facilitates me paying very little for 5G and no cloud rent. Spread that savings over many years and it adds up.

Someone else may not own much of their preferred music, movies, etc... and are perfectly happy to scratch such itches for a relatively low monthly (forever) rent + other subscriptions. That person could pinch internal storage while still enjoying the core experience I enjoy as long as they have a consistent connection to their cloud/services... and never stops paying the rent. They can spend less on the hardware purchase but then more on that cloud storage + other subscriptions. Someone like me will spend more on the hardware purchase but then as little as NOTHING on cloud & subscriptions.

Which way is better? That's completely "wallet of the beholder." The cloud + subscription renter would argue about the added- potentially hefty- cost of buying a library of songs, a library of video, the trouble in converting both to be able to sync into space on iDevices, etc. "Their" library (which is actually owned by someone(s) else) is millions of songs deep, countless videos, etc.

The "owner" typically already owns a big collection and thus those sunk costs are not applied to their consideration equation. Their collection(s) is MUCH smaller and thus, they don't have access to just about every song, just about every video, etc. but only the subset they've chosen to buy in the past.
 
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Siliconguy

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2022
242
342
Apple's iCloud service presents a solution to device storage limitations,
Not really. Most of my pictures are taken out of cell phone range. The real solution is an SD card, or some sort of portable storage I can power off the camper while recharging. The latter option wouldn't have been available in my backpacking days, somewhat sadly those days are over.
 
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