No upgrade in base storage after ~6 years? Okay Apple.

motrek

macrumors 68020
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Sep 14, 2012
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I have a 2014 MacBook Air (11"), base model, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD.

It has gotten to the point where I'm frequently running out of RAM. It's a shame. For 4+ years I was able to run Safari and XCode at the same time comfortably but I guess software just gets bigger. Annoying, but here we are.

So now I'm looking at a 2019 MacBook Air and see that the base model has 8GB RAM (probably enough for a while) but still only 128GB of storage.

WTF? No upgrade to the base model after 5-6 years? I have to pay $200 extra to get some more storage? I know Apple's MO is to cheap out on storage space but this seems ridiculous.

People complain about how much storage the base models of iPhones had (16GB was ridiculous towards the end) but the longest it took between doubling their storage was 4 years (iPhone 5 to iPhone 7).

You'd think that after waiting 5-6 years to buy a new laptop I could expect some more storage. The new MBA has a bigger screen, twice the screen resolution, twice the RAM, a processor that's 30% faster (well, okay, that's not that impressive)... and exactly the same storage. Great.

I know this is an old-man-yells-at-clouds post, thanks for humoring me.
 
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ptimickey59

macrumors member
Jul 10, 2019
42
5
France, Valenciennes
HI

I'm also disappointed to have only 128. In less than 6 months, I drove out of space. But the problem as usually told everywhere (ou ou apple!) is that the prices are crazy if you would have a normal space. I mean, ok for 8gb ram, but space should be mini 256! (512 will be the base in 2020 I think)

that's apple method in 2019, it run as is. They will no change the method as there are still fools like us to buy unfortunately.
 

AntikerlabKenya

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2019
23
14
Mombasa, Kenya
a MacBook Air is a laptop for students and university its not meant for a lot of coding in non school environment. most students have 128gb enough storage. so don't blame apple rather go for a higher space option or buy a MacBook Pro
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
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a MacBook Air is a laptop for students and university its not meant for a lot of coding in non school environment. most students have 128gb enough storage. so don't blame apple rather go for a higher space option or buy a MacBook Pro
What, the MacBook Pro that also starts at 128GB for $200 more? 😂 If they'd dropped the 2019 model to $999 to fully replace the 2015 model, I think 128GB starting could be forgiven. At $1,099 it's pretty difficult to defend, particularly as Apple aren't using the same expensive ultra fast SSDs as in the MacBook Pro.
 

AntikerlabKenya

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2019
23
14
Mombasa, Kenya
What, the MacBook Pro that also starts at 128GB for $200 more? 😂 If they'd dropped the 2019 model to $999 to fully replace the 2015 model, I think 128GB starting could be forgiven. At $1,099 it's pretty difficult to defend, particularly as Apple aren't using the same expensive ultra fast SSDs as in the MacBook Pro.
Most Pro user Like Me are Video Editors and that only store the software on the ssd and all projects on external hdd so 128 is also defendable
 

AntikerlabKenya

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2019
23
14
Mombasa, Kenya
first of all apple maschines are more expensive the the windows machines since they are premium products.
and as I said MacBook Air targets students and Pipo who don't need to much power. so its quite good for research Documents and general office work / business work and some mobiles game type gaming
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
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Most Pro user Like Me are Video Editors and that only store the software on the ssd and all projects on external hdd so 128 is also defendable
I'm going to have to inspect your data before I can give any claim starting with 'most' a pass ;)
 

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
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I do agree that the $200 higher pricing for 256GB is definitely an up-sale strategy to squeeze consumers, and that sucks. Of course, Apple didn't invent the up-sale. Microsoft charges $300 for the same upgrade for the Surface Pro, which is a MBA competitor.

Also, I think the MBA is more than just a web browsing machine. The base model is sufficient for me. At this time, I have about 70GB available on my 128GB hard drive. I am a pretty typical user; Mail, Messages, Notes, Calendar, Reminders, Photos (including some editing), Safari, Streaming Movies, Productivity Apps (iWork and MS Office), and occasional iMovie. I have about 6,000 photos and optimized local storage space using iCloud (50GB for 99 cents per month).
 
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IowaLynn

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2015
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Apple should take a page out of Microsoft playbook. The Surface Laptop 3 has user upgradeable SSD.

I have 2015 MacBook 12" - Mostly plugged into Anker USB-C dock. That way I've got full size Apple BT k/b and touchpad 2 along with 5-button mouse with ext. monitor.

As for as storage, Sandisk A2 SDXC 400GB (170MB/sec) with adapter along with a Samsung T5 500GB drive (powered thru dock).
 

tfdelorey

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2019
3
2
Lynchburg
I've also been trying to wrap my head around this. Where I ended up was to have a (windows) desktop with tons of storage, upload a portion of it to an online service (OneDrive for me, as I already had 1TB as part of Office 365).... and use the Macbook Pro to access the files.

I try not to store anything on the MBP. *The downside is that I can only access the files when I have an internet connection - which is not always the case. *

alternatives could be to carry around one or more external drives... which just becomes a pain

The absurdity of it all hit me when I saw that the $5999 Mac Pro came with 256GB of storage - same as my phone.
 

motrek

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Original poster
Sep 14, 2012
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as I said the Air is for students and just small browsing some documents writing etc.
if u buy the air with that small storage its ur own fault
Nothing about "student" means they need a small amount of storage space. In fact, I would expect the average student to need MORE storage space than most people because they're probably taking a lot of different classes that require different kinds of software and many different sorts of documents. Maybe you think students are all English majors who just spend all their time writing text documents? In which case they might be better off with a Chromebook.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 14, 2012
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...
Also, I think the MBA is more than just a web browsing machine. The base model is sufficient for me. At this time, I have about 70GB available on my 128GB hard drive. I am a pretty typical user; Mail, Messages, Notes, Calendar, Reminders, Photos (including some editing), Safari, Streaming Movies, Productivity Apps (iWork and MS Office), and occasional iMovie. I have about 6,000 photos and optimized local storage space using iCloud (50GB for 99 cents per month).
Maybe I need to reinstall all my software and see where that gets me. I feel like I have pretty modest storage requirements for my laptop and I've been running out of space with 128GB lately. I do need XCode, which is 20-30 GB after all is said and done (and it also annoyingly tends to expand over time, necessitating regular uninstalls and reinstalls). That's really my only storage "extravagance." The vast majority of my documents are kept on an external hard drive.

I also use my laptop to back up my phone, so that takes another 15-20 GB or so. I guess Apple would tell me to use iCloud, but there are privacy issues with that, and I'd have to start paying Apple for extra iCloud space if I went that route anyway.

We gave my mom a Mac Mini with 128GB a few years ago and she ran out of space after a short amount of time and it's not like she has any unusual requirements... just some photos, emails, messages, small documents from over the years, all this stuff adds up. Had to switch her to a bigger external SSD.

It's also a question of the state of technology. 128GB is such a small amount these days that several storage companies don't even make drives that size in their current product lineups. If you really want a 128GB SSD, a lot of your options are new-old stock, i.e., drives from a few years ago that were never sold and often cost as much, or more, than larger and faster modern drives. So, again, WTF Apple. I get that your s**t's expensive but there's such a thing as progress too.
 

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
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Maybe I need to reinstall all my software and see where that gets me. I feel like I have pretty modest storage requirements for my laptop and I've been running out of space with 128GB lately. I do need XCode, which is 20-30 GB after all is said and done (and it also annoyingly tends to expand over time, necessitating regular uninstalls and reinstalls). That's really my only storage "extravagance." The vast majority of my documents are kept on an external hard drive.

I also use my laptop to back up my phone, so that takes another 15-20 GB or so. I guess Apple would tell me to use iCloud, but there are privacy issues with that, and I'd have to start paying Apple for extra iCloud space if I went that route anyway.

We gave my mom a Mac Mini with 128GB a few years ago and she ran out of space after a short amount of time and it's not like she has any unusual requirements... just some photos, emails, messages, small documents from over the years, all this stuff adds up. Had to switch her to a bigger external SSD.

It's also a question of the state of technology. 128GB is such a small amount these days that several storage companies don't even make drives that size in their current product lineups. If you really want a 128GB SSD, a lot of your options are new-old stock, i.e., drives from a few years ago that were never sold and often cost as much, or more, than larger and faster modern drives. So, again, WTF Apple. I get that your s**t's expensive but there's such a thing as progress too.
I agree with much of what you have said. Apple is clearly selling the base model with 128GB so they can up-sale additional storage. Nothing new here. As for my situation, I don't need Xcode, which is 20-30GB, and I backup my phone to iCloud. So, my local storage needs are probably 30-40GB less than yours. Anyway, I have almost 70GB available, so I am ok. But, you are right. I would guess the marginal cost of providing 256GB as standard storage would be relatively small compared to the $200 premium Apple is charging. Again, Apple is not alone. Microsoft charges $300 for the same upgraded storage. So, not an uncommon pricing strategy. A bummer none the less.
 
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motrek

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I agree with much of what you have said. Apple is clearly selling the base model with 128GB so they can up-sale additional storage. Nothing new here. As for my situation, I don't need Xcode, which is 20-30GB, and I backup my phone to iCloud. So, my local storage needs are probably 30-40GB less than yours. Anyway, I have almost 70GB available, so I am ok. But, you are right. I would guess the marginal cost of providing 256GB as standard storage would be relatively small compared to the $200 premium Apple is charging. Again, Apple is not alone. Microsoft charges $300 for the same upgraded storage. So, not an uncommon pricing strategy. A bummer none the less.
Thanks for pointing out the Microsoft price. That does make me feel better for some reason. It's annoying but I guess if that's what things cost now, that's what they cost. I just did a quick check of Samsung's laptop line (regular laptops, not Chromebooks or netbooks) and they all come with at least 250+ GB of SSD. Ugh.
 

motrek

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Sep 14, 2012
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Base storage is for people who don't need and don't want to pay any more for more.
It's hard to figure out how much it might cost Apple to change the base model's SSD from 128GB to 256GB. Of course the actual prices that Apple pays for these flash chips are going to be a closely-guarded secret.

But to get an idea of dollars-per-gigabyte for top-quality flash chips, we can look at the prices of Samsung's high-end SSDs.

Check out the 970 EVO on Amazon. You can get the 500GB model for $90 and the 1TB model for $170. So we're talking about a cost of $0.16 per gigabyte.

(We have to look at 500GB and 1TB models because the 250GB model is so cheap and small that Amazon doesn't even bother to stock it, and Samsung doesn't even make a 120GB model because that amount of storage is so completely worthless. Except I guess Apple and Microsoft think it's somehow suitable to put in laptops that cost over $1000.)

So we're looking at a retail cost difference of $20.48 to upgrade from 128GB to 256GB, assuming $0.16 per gigabyte. Remember, that's the retail price for top-quality flash at cutting-edge densities. Who knows what the wholesale prices are, or the prices for lower-density chips, or what kind of discount Apple can get given their enormous bargaining power.

So I'd be surprised if the BOM for the 256GB MacBook Air is more than $10 over the BOM for the 128GB MacBook Air. But it costs customers $200 to upgrade. So that's great. That's a profit margin of 2000%. That you have to pay to get yourself up to an amount of storage that SSD vendors even bother to sell.
 

Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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It's hard to figure out how much it might cost Apple to change the base model's SSD from 128GB to 256GB. Of course the actual prices that Apple pays for these flash chips are going to be a closely-guarded secret.

But to get an idea of dollars-per-gigabyte for top-quality flash chips, we can look at the prices of Samsung's high-end SSDs.

Check out the 970 EVO on Amazon. You can get the 500GB model for $90 and the 1TB model for $170. So we're talking about a cost of $0.16 per gigabyte.

(We have to look at 500GB and 1TB models because the 250GB model is so cheap and small that Amazon doesn't even bother to stock it, and Samsung doesn't even make a 120GB model because that amount of storage is so completely worthless. Except I guess Apple and Microsoft think it's somehow suitable to put in laptops that cost over $1000.)

So we're looking at a retail cost difference of $20.48 to upgrade from 128GB to 256GB, assuming $0.16 per gigabyte. Remember, that's the retail price for top-quality flash at cutting-edge densities. Who knows what the wholesale prices are, or the prices for lower-density chips, or what kind of discount Apple can get given their enormous bargaining power.

So I'd be surprised if the BOM for the 256GB MacBook Air is more than $10 over the BOM for the 128GB MacBook Air. But it costs customers $200 to upgrade. So that's great. That's a profit margin of 2000%. That you have to pay to get yourself up to an amount of storage that SSD vendors even bother to sell.
Cost and price are not the same. Neither should price be directly related to price, typically. Apple charges their absurd upgrade prices because they believe people will pay them. The cost is irrelevant.
 

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
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I was going to say that I've had 128GB laptops for years and they're enough for the majority of people and you're bitching for no reason etc.

Then I went on Dell.com and pretty much all of their $600+ laptops have AT LEAST a 512GB SSD (one or two have 256GB).

So I agree with you. However, Apple laptops are not known for their performance per dollar.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
Pay the Apple tax or switch brands. What you are complaining about has been Apple’s modus operandi for years. This isn’t a surprise to you. And the fact that you are still looking at the new model Apple brand tells me it isn’t as big a deal as your thread suggests.