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One of the subtler things Apple announced during its Wonderlust iPhone 15 event last week was the addition of two new iCloud+ storage tiers for those who need to store even more in the cloud.
Following his unveiling of the iPhone 15 Pro lineup, Apple Senior VP Greg “Joz” Joswiak mentioned that Apple would be adding new 6 TB and 12 TB plans “for even more room to keep your photos and videos safe.”
Sadly, those who may have been hoping that Apple would use this opportunity to cut its storage prices will be disappointed. Since Joz didn’t share what the new plans would cost, it’s not surprising that these are entirely new storage plans, and Apple hasn’t adjusted its iCloud+ storage pricing in any meaningful way.
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Apple hasn’t even used this opportunity to boost the meager 5 GB of free storage that it offers. That’s the same amount it’s been giving away since iCloud was introduced in 2011, no matter how many Apple devices you own.
If you want more storage, you’ve always had to pay. However, to put that in perspective, twelve years ago, Apple charged $0.99/month for 20 GB, $3.99/month for 200 GB, $9.99/month for 500 GB, and $19.99 for 1 TB.
Although the 200 GB plan has remained over the life of iCloud, in 2015, Apple dropped its price to $2.99 and increased the other paid storage tiers to 50 GB for $0.99 and 1 TB for $9.99. The $19.99 plan disappeared for a while, only to return a year later with 2 TB of storage. Then, Apple again doubled the storage for its $9.99/month customers in 2017 by moving the 2 TB plan down to that tier and eliminating the $19.99 level once and for all.
|$0.99||20 GB||50 GB||50 GB||50 GB||50 GB|
|$2.99||200 GB||200 GB||200 GB||200 GB|
|$9.99||500 GB||1 TB||1 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
|$19.99||1 TB||2 TB|
Since then, the price for iCloud storage has remained consistent, and not only is Apple maintaining this pricing for its existing plans, but it’s extending those prices to the new 6 TB and 12 TB plans, which are priced at $29.99/month and $59.99/month, respectively.
This means you’re not getting a price break by opting for more storage beyond 2 TB, as it’s the same per-terabyte cost. The new plans are just three and six times the price for three and six times the storage. That’s a contrast to the lower tiers, where the price-per-gigabyte goes down as you move up to the 1 TB plan.
Although customers can get a bit of a break by subscribing to an Apple One bundle, the highest of these still only offers 2 TB of storage, which is wrapped in with Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple News+ for a single $32.95/month subscription. That’s a $25.99 discount compared to subscribing to each of the services individually, but it’s a matter of perspective as to which of those you’re actually getting for “free.”
Apple One still allows you to get up to 4 TB of storage since you can “stack” a standalone iCloud+ plan on top of your Apple One. That will cost you $42.94/month, but it’s arguably still a better deal than Apple’s $29.99 6 TB plan.
You’ll also be able to add the new higher-capacity storage plans to an Apple One bundle to get 8 TB or 14 TB of storage. However, those will ultimately set you back $62.94/month or $92.94/month, respectively.