There's a new story doing the rounds that Apple will launch an iPhone 13 Pro with 1TB of storage, apparently in the third week of September. I'm fine with the September part — that makes sense. But 1TB of storage? That, right there, is insanity.
Let me tell you why.
Before I go any further, I'll remind you that this isn't the first time I've written about my perhaps controversial thoughts on iPhone storage. Almost two years have passed since I wrote about why 64GB is plenty fo storage and my thoughts have barely changed. Right now I have a 128GB iPhone 12 Pro and use just 63.1GB of it. I could just end this little editorial there, but I'm told these things need to be more than three paragraphs in length. So let's continue, shall we?
Ignoring for a moment the fact that I have a 4GB game on there, as well as a couple of 2GB games and a whole 2.02GB of my soring — SnoreLab, inc ase you wondered — I just have a lot of apps installed. I use a lot of apps and I test even more, as you might imagine. But just because I can live inside 64GB of storage doesn't necessarily mean everyone can, so again, let's continue.
The real reason people don't need 1TB of storage in an iPhone is Apple's software smarts. Like, say, iCloud Photos and the way it can download low-resolution versions of everything until you need it. My photo library has 22,000 photos and almost a thousand videos in it. And it takes up 5.9GB on my iPhone. It's voodoo, and it's voodoo that works.
Next, we have Apple's upcoming iOS 15 feature that will let you install them with almost no storage available. And there's more — Apple Music can also do something similar to iCloud Photos and manage saved songs so things don't get out of hand. The Optomize Storage feature really is pretty sweet if you ask me. And you're reading this so, really, you kind of did.
Next, we have 5G. It's really quick, see. And with iPhone 13 it's going to get quicker for a ton of people when mmWave makes its way beyond the United States. That'll make streaming everything easier and we'll be able to re-download apps, movies, photos, home videos, and everything else in a jiffy. Does it all really need to be on our devices all of the time? I don't think it does.
There is, however, a caveat to add to the mix — iPhone 13 Pro and ProRes video. It's a rumor that's relatively new and suggests that Apple is set to add ProRes support to at least some of its iPhone 13 lineup. That's a big deal for iPhone videographers and it could mean ballooning file sizes. I'd expect that to be managed by iCloud Photos pretty easily, but those using third-party apps and data stores might not have the benefit of that. They might need the space given to them by a 1TB iPhone, but they're outliers. People living on the bleeding edge, doing things 99% of people won't be doing. Don't expect TikTok influencers to be recording in ProRes, for example.
So I still stand by my assertion that 1TB in an iPhone is insane. Unless you're part of the 1%, that is. Maybe. I'm sure that iPhone 13 will be the best iPhone ever, even if it has just 128GB of storage.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
I might be one of those 1% people. I have nearly obliterated my 256GB. I have 112GB of Podcasts alone and 7GB of Photos. Then again, I’m always in the car and I’m also a filmmaker besides being a PC tech. So, perhaps 1TB isn’t insane for a guy like me.
I managed a 64 gb iPhone 6s Plus for 5 years. Wasn't that difficult. On my 128 gb 12 Pro Max, I have 69.12 gb available, with 263 apps and over 1,000 photos. I see many users who pay for 256 gb or 512 gb, but never even get close. Seems a waste of money to me. These are people who can't stand it, if they don't have the latest greatest with the mostest.
Speak for yourself. With lossless being available on Apple Music, the more storage the better.
I have 256GB and only use about 1/2 of that, so 1TB won't be for me. But remember a 1TB option could drive down costs of the lower storage sizes. Such that you could get 512GB for the 256GB price etc.
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