A 2TB iPhone? Apple May Increase Storage for the iPhone 14 Next Year

Apple iPhone 14 Concept Render 2022 Credit: Renders By Ian / Jon Prosser
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Those who feel like this year’s pricey 1TB iPhone 13 Pro still doesn’t offer enough storage will be happy to hear that Apple could be doubling that once again for the 2022 iPhone 14, with a massive 2TB option reportedly under consideration.

To be fair, it’s a rather sketchy rumour at this point, coming from Chinese site MyDrivers, but it does line up with another recent claim by DigiTimes that Apple is looking to adopt new storage technologies for next year’s iPhones.

According to the DigiTimes report, Apple is working with suppliers of NAND flash chips to “develop cost-effective QLC (quad-level cell) NAND flash solutions” that could come to the iPhone “as early as 2022.”

DigiTimes doesn’t speculate on what that could mean for iPhone storage capacities, but since QLC NAND technology adds an extra bit layer to each memory cell, it allows companies to increase the amount of storage in each chip at lower costs. They’re basically cramming more bits into the same amount of space.

This means that a move to QLC NAND would definitely open the door to higher-capacity iPhones, but it’s still an open question whether Apple would take advantage of this to double the storage capacities on the iPhone 14, as opposed to, say, simply reducing the prices of the current capacities.

After all, Apple actually surprised us this year, simultaneously offering four iPhone storage tiers for the first time ever. Unlike the standard iPhone 13 models, which doubled the storage of the base models from 64GB to 128GB while keeping the same prices as last year, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max maintained the prior storage capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, slapping the new 1TB model on top.

We’re guessing this is not what Apple would have preferred. The company has never sold four different iPhone storage capacities at the same time. However, the cost of memory chips — which is also rising in the current climate — likely prohibited Apple from following its typical “storage-doubling” strategy.

More often than not, Apple has kept its iPhone capacities and prices the same from year to year, but in the past when it has bumped the storage capacity for a new model, it’s always doubled it across the entire lineup, while usually keeping the pricing the same.

The addition of a fourth 1TB model was a particularly odd move this year, but it’s likely that Apple felt some pressure to release the higher capacity — especially with the addition of ProRes video recording — even if it meant that it had to charge a premium for it.

In reality, however, the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro actually provides the best value of the entire lineup, since the increase over the 512GB model is half the price-per-GB of the other jumps.

Over the past few years, Apple has clearly priced its storage tiers at $50 for each 64GB jump. This is why there was only a $50 price difference between last year’s 64GB and 128GB iPhone 12 models, and yet this year’s 256GB iPhone 13 carries a $100 premium over the entry-level 128GB version, and the 512GB version sells for $200 more.

The same trend can be seen in the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, which follow the same pricing as last year’s models, except that the jump from 512GB to the massive 1TB iPhone 13 Pro is only $200 more — or $25 per 64GB.

Perhaps Apple simply felt that charging an extra $400 for the 1TB iPhone was too much to ask, but it also seems like it sharpened its pencil and did everything it could to keep the highest-capacity model as affordable as possible.

In the end, we’re highly skeptical that Apple will release a 2TB iPhone next year, since as you can see from the chart above, such jumps are exceedingly rare in iPhone history. More likely, the switch to QLC NAND will allow Apple more flexibility in flash memory prices such that we’ll see the iPhone 14 Pro lineup come in at 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB as the standard models, at the same prices that the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB iPhone 13 Pro lineup is selling for today.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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