Why is iPhone base model still 16 GB?

ineel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 8, 2010
212
11
Looking back to the iPhone 3Gs days, the base model of the iPhone has constantly been 16GB and hasn't been changed since then. Of course they added higher capacity 64GB iPhones, but why haven't they up gauged the base model to 32GB after all these years? Is this because of greed and apple knows that people need more memory as apps take more and more space, picture libraries ever expanding, etc. I have a 16GB iPhone 5 and I'm constantly deleting old texts, transferring pics to computer, and deleting unnecessary apps.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,086
2,055
Oregon
why haven't they up gauged the base model to 32GB after all these years?
I think the 16GB model is fairly popular, so if people keep buying it, they'll keep building it. I do wish they'd bump the base storage up to 32GB on all devices, but I need more than that anyway, so I end up buying the 64GB model.

On the other hand, the 32GB Nexus 5 is only $50 more than the 16GB model, as opposed to Apples $100 charge for the same bump in capacity. Maybe Apple is just being greedy.
 

cnotes2019

Suspended
Aug 17, 2013
1,514
56
Looking back to the iPhone 3Gs days, the base model of the iPhone has constantly been 16GB and hasn't been changed since then. Of course they added higher capacity 64GB iPhones, but why haven't they up gauged the base model to 32GB after all these years? Is this because of greed and apple knows that people need more memory as apps take more and more space, picture libraries ever expanding, etc. I have a 16GB iPhone 5 and I'm constantly deleting old texts, transferring pics to computer, and deleting unnecessary apps.

I agree that 16gb shouldn't exists any more but why not just purchase the 32gb or 64gb iphone 5/5s and use the cloud as well if 16gb is too small for your needs? :) I have a 64gb 5s and I fill that up nicely and I hope the iphone 6 gets a 128gb version!
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,373
31
16GB is still more than adequate for a majority of users. Now 8GB as a base model is a different story factoring in the OS taking over 1GB and the actual memory capacity being in the ballpark of 6.3GB. *COUGH* iPhone 4S *COUGH*
 

carjakester

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2013
2,226
55
Midwest
16 is more than enough for most people, i got the 16 and i didn't think i would make it but i now have 4gb free.
 

gaanee

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2011
1,219
170
If Apple makes 32 GB the base model then assuming that they stick with the same pricing structure, it would sell for $199 instead of $299.. less profit. By having 16 GB model they can sell 32 GB for higher price and also compete with cheaper android phones.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,987
192
There is a new question like this every week.

Apple wants you to use the CLOUD, extra revenue. The industry seems to be moving toward the "rent" model. Why limit you with 16, 32 whatever, so when you fill up, you stop buying "stuff?" No-no-no-no, they sell you unlimited CLOUD space, steady income and you keep buying and buying and buying. Big win for the corporation.
 

dave420

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,404
96
One day I am sure they will increase the storage. Hopefully the next model. Even using the available cloud services it is still easy to fill any of the phone sizes.

I wish Apple could come up with something other than storage to justify the higher prices. Storage just shouldn't cost as much as it does to upgrade. That extra cash could go to a larger screen and not a few extra GB.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
5,967
6,756
I'm fine with 16 GB. I don't see a point in keeping a lot of content on my phone when I have a tablet, laptop, and desktop computer.

Also, the reason for 8 GB models is for people like my mother, who only even have a smartphone because it came free on contract, but will never fill it with content.
 

Mackan

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,366
48
NAND flash prices have gone down significantly, more than halved during 2012 according to iSupply.

For iPhone 5, iSupply did this cost calculation of the NAND flash in 2012:

16GB $10.40
32GB $20.80
64GB $41.60.

Apple charge $100 for each upgrade... so, they are ripping you off. Probably the NAND flash prices went down even further for the iPhone 5s during 2013.

The actual phone itself costs around $200 to make. How this can translate to prices in the $700-$900 range for the end consumer is mind boggling. The product is also obsolete in 2 years, and will lack certain software features in already 1 year.

The RAM itself costs around $7-10 per for 1 GB. Apple could easily have upped the RAM on the iPhone 5S to 2 GB to make it more futureproof, and no need to have Safari reload the webpages which leads to a subpar web browsing experience.

All in all, it's just greed. I personally stay away from last years iDevices, because they should have had 2 GB of RAM.
 

cyks

macrumors 68020
Jul 24, 2002
2,089
7
Westchester County, NY
The actual phone itself costs around $200 to make. How this can translate to prices in the $700-$900 range for the end consumer is mind boggling.
The $200 cost is strictly for parts. That doesn't include assembly, shipping, any and all custom fees and taxes, advertising, or, most importantly, the necessary R&D to design, test, and create the phone, it's iOS, and future iOS support.
 

eastercat

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
7
PDX
I figure they might bump the base to 32 GB if they can get 128 GB at a price they want. They seem to be big on offering three capacities. Then again, I was surprised they added 128 GB to the iPad and didn't drop the 16 GB.
 

Mackan

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,366
48
The $200 cost is strictly for parts. That doesn't include assembly, shipping, any and all custom fees and taxes, advertising, or, most importantly, the necessary R&D to design, test, and create the phone, it's iOS, and future iOS support.
I understand that, but looking at the huge profits Apple make every year, one can only conclude that the prices they set are well above what they need to charge in order to handle the costs you mention above.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,112
7,507
UK
Every top phone (except for the iPhone) either comes with more than 16GB base or allows for sd cards.
My S4 only came with 16GB and only 9 GB was available to the user. I had an SD card in there but it didn't really solve the problem. Some apps couldn't be saved to the SD card and even those that could part of the app remains on the phone. I couldn't store any movies or TV shows purchased from the play store on it. I also couldn't store podcasts, or many games on there. It became frustrating because I always had to delete things and clear out the cache as it kept saying it had low memory. The same thing happened on my original galaxy note which also had 16 GB of internal memory and a 32 GB SD card inside. SD cards are great but they didn't really solve my memory issues. Also maybe I've had bad luck but I've had a few fail on me.


At least with my iPhone 5S I had the choice of how much storage I wanted. Yes I had to pay extra to get the 64GB but at least I had a choice. I never had the choice of getting 64GB with my S4, galaxy note, in fact most android phones don't offer 64GB of internal storage. Some android phones like the HTC one and nexus also come with 16GB at the base level and can't even be expanded with an SD card. A lot of android tablets don't offer more than 32GB internal storage and they also cannot be expanded. At least with iPads you get a range of choices. Yes it's expensive to get the next model up but I'd rather have the choice, because I'd take 64GB of internal storage over 16 GB plus an SD card.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,311
1,696
Apple also enjoys having 3 different price points. When 128GB chips become possible within their price range, expect them to drop the 16GB.

128 gb iPads have been out for quite a while now. iPad 4 was the first...

----------


I don't know if I'd call the Nexus 5 a top level phone at 1/2 the price of the iPhone. And if you want the 32gb model it's 50 dollars vs Apples 100 dollars.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,893
842
Because for most people, 16GB is plenty. I've had a 16GB iPod, 16GB iPhone, and a 16GB iPad and I never used up more than half,

HOWEVER, the same was true when I had an 8GB iPod, but over time I used that up completely.


In the next year or two, I can see Apple dropping the 16GB option from the S models and iPads and relegating 16GB to only iPods and the iPhone C models.

NAND flash prices have gone down significantly, more than halved during 2012 according to iSupply.

For iPhone 5, iSupply did this cost calculation of the NAND flash in 2012:

16GB $10.40
32GB $20.80
64GB $41.60.

Apple charge $100 for each upgrade... so, they are ripping you off. Probably the NAND flash prices went down even further for the iPhone 5s during 2013.

The actual phone itself costs around $200 to make. How this can translate to prices in the $700-$900 range for the end consumer is mind boggling. The product is also obsolete in 2 years, and will lack certain software features in already 1 year.

The RAM itself costs around $7-10 per for 1 GB. Apple could easily have upped the RAM on the iPhone 5S to 2 GB to make it more futureproof, and no need to have Safari reload the webpages which leads to a subpar web browsing experience.

All in all, it's just greed. I personally stay away from last years iDevices, because they should have had 2 GB of RAM.
You say all this as if it's only Apple who does this. For example, The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One all cost around $230 to make, yet they sell for $700 as well. This is nothing new, but if you were to understand how business and economics and manufacturing worked, the price of a manufactured good is ALWAYS higher because of loads of other factors that come into play.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,311
1,696
Because for most people, 16GB is plenty. I've had a 16GB iPod, 16GB iPhone, and a 16GB iPad and I never used up more than half,



HOWEVER, the same was true when I had an 8GB iPod, but over time I used that up completely.





In the next year or two, I can see Apple dropping the 16GB option from the S models and iPads and relegating 16GB to only iPods and the iPhone C models.







You say all this as if it's only Apple who does this. For example, The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One all cost around $230 to make, yet they sell for $700 as well. This is nothing new, but if you were to understand how business and economics and manufacturing worked, the price of a manufactured good is ALWAYS higher because of loads of other factors that come into play.

I agree. Apple and any business will charge as much as they can make for a product. It would be dumb of them otherwise. I wouldn't call that greed, just doing business, those can be synonyms at times. Lol

Cost vs material you get isn't a very good comparison either since there is an Eco system behind these products so a premium can be tacked on for that.