What's so special about the storage on the iPad?

onebitrocket

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2009
33
0
I've been thinking about this for a few days?

The storage in the is pad is either a 16, 32 or 64 gb flash drive.

So flash drive, essentially isn't that just the same as a USB stick?

If that's the case, when you can purchase a 64 gb USB flash drive from some vendor such as amazon, why are apple charging such a premium for storage that is readily available at very reasonable cost per gb as a USB stick. What makes the flash drive built-in to the iPad so special?

Are apple trying pass off the flash drive as a solid state drive similar to what you have in the macbook air?

Is there a difference between the iPad's storage device and any of the other apple products such as the ipod, iphone etc?
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
It is the same as the ipod touch and iphone.

They charge so much because they can. People put a premium on having more memory on a device like this, so they will pay more for it.

The fact that part costs x is not relevant when lots of people will play x+30 to have it in a specific device.

This is why Apple is a successful company. People might grouse about the idea of overpaying for memory in such devices, but they are not really over paying , because that memory has a unique and special value in that particular device that makes it worth much more than the cost of the part itself.
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,749
0
Kansas City
I've been thinking about this for a few days?

The storage in the is pad is either a 16, 32 or 64 gb flash drive.

So flash drive, essentially isn't that just the same as a USB stick?

If that's the case, when you can purchase a 64 gb USB flash drive from some vendor such as amazon, why are apple charging such a premium for storage that is readily available at very reasonable cost per gb as a USB stick. What makes the flash drive built-in to the iPad so special?

Are apple trying pass off the flash drive as a solid state drive similar to what you have in the macbook air?

Is there a difference between the iPad's storage device and any of the other apple products such as the ipod, iphone etc?
The fact it's soldered into the device. If you want higher capacity, you pay the price they set. Not much to figure out here.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,140
3,826
Atlanta
Apple is putting the 16GB $500 in an almost loss leader position as bait (and to preemptively under cut future competition) and making real money off the 32GB/64GB models.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
Apple is putting the 16GB $500 in an almost loss leader position as bait (and to preemptively under cut future competition) and making real money off the 32GB/64GB models.
Yeah this is one thing people need to realize. Apple likely will lose money on every $499 unit they sell for a while. So they have to make that up in other ways. Given just the cost of parts it is highly unlikely with marketing, administrative costs, assembly and development makes the $499 device anything but a money loser for apple.

However they felt that entry point was critical for their strategy and making the device as available as possible. A lot of people will go in wanting to buy the $499 model and then will upgrade because they figure the extra memory will be worth while to them.
 

colmaclean

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,644
181
Berlin
If you're going for a higher memory model, Apple are saying to you: why pay $100 for an extra 16Gb when you can pay $200 and get 48Gb extra?

They're messing with your mind! :)
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2009
412
154
So what exactly does the size difference equal in terms of content? I mean I know the difference between 16 GB and 32 GB but what exactly does that mean in terms of content? How much would 16 GB hold and would anything higher actually be a waste of money because most people would never use it? This is something I would like to know. Just saying 16 GB or 32 GB doesn't really tell people how much of a certain thing that will hold.

It is also my understanding that I can swap stuff to and from the Ipad from Itunes so if I don't really need 16 GB of content at any given time it shouldn't be a huge problem, correct?
 

aforty

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2007
1,350
331
Brooklyn, NY
Yeah this is one thing people need to realize. Apple likely will lose money on every $499 unit they sell for a while. So they have to make that up in other ways. Given just the cost of parts it is highly unlikely with marketing, administrative costs, assembly and development makes the $499 device anything but a money loser for apple.

However they felt that entry point was critical for their strategy and making the device as available as possible. A lot of people will go in wanting to buy the $499 model and then will upgrade because they figure the extra memory will be worth while to them.
Well, actually...
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,329
7
forlod bygningen
So what exactly does the size difference equal in terms of content? I mean I know the difference between 16 GB and 32 GB but what exactly does that mean in terms of content? How much would 16 GB hold and would anything higher actually be a waste of money because most people would never use it? This is something I would like to know. Just saying 16 GB or 32 GB doesn't really tell people how much of a certain thing that will hold.

It is also my understanding that I can swap stuff to and from the Ipad from Itunes so if I don't really need 16 GB of content at any given time it shouldn't be a huge problem, correct?
Look here for content specifics, but it is not on the iPad technical specs page though:
http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/specs.html

From there you can extrapolate.


Also most USB Flash storage devices and even memory cards use low speed (low read and write speeds) memory, thus the cheaper price. But if you want faster flash memory, you have to pay more, have a look at the different classes of SDHC cards.

The iPad will most obviously use better and more expensive flash memory.

Have a look at the following USB stick, it costs 50USD for 16GB and has abysmal write speeds (3-7MB/s), to low for a decent performing iPad.
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Flash-Voyager-Drive-CMFUSB2-0-16GB/dp/B000LXTUT8
 

admanimal

macrumors 68040
Apr 22, 2005
3,530
2
yes 16 gigs is 10 $
His point, which you obviously missed, is that you don't know the exact brand and model of flash they are using, therefore you can't say how much it costs. This is not to say that your numbers are that far off in all likelihood.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,329
7
forlod bygningen
yes 16 gigs is 10 $
It is obviously very good flash memory I suppose, which is able to run an OS and such, or isn't it?

Come on, do you really want write/read speeds to be about 5MB/s?

That would result in 50 minutes to fill 16GB with music and video.
In our slow and relaxed times it might be the best thing though.
 

mtnDewFTW

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2009
875
66
San Francisco, CA
Well, yes. And no at the same time.
I'm not sure if Apple are paying that premium price for every single HDD they purchase.
And there is a difference between their HDD and the one you get on Amazon.
One being, Apple's HDD actually comes in a device, which is what you're really paying for.
And more memory on that device, means there are more things you can do with it.
They're really charging you for the space only, it's what comes with the space, and all the things you can do.

And for once simple reason, THEY CAN.
Who's gonna stop them? Or who will boycott iPads or iPhones?
As long as Apple are making good money off this stuff, they'll keep doing it.
 

dissdnt

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,488
1
You are right the price is way over what it costs them but they do this for a reason.

Apple subsidizes the lower memory device with the higher price point on the higher memory device. That way they don't lose money on the lower end devices.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
I've been wondering the same thing on iPod touch models. The pricing used to make you think that an extra 8GB cost the same as an extra 16GB, which we know isn't true.