In June 2011, Steve Jobs had made a public appearance to reveal iCloud in WWDC That year, Apple’s new strategy was to back up and sync the entire hardware ecosystem.
Apple wanted to get rid of the embarrassment of MobileMe and prepare itself for the future, where customers host all their data in the cloud.
iCloud has come a long way since its launch for iOS 5. But one thing that has stayed the same is the free iCloud capacity of 5GB.
Prior to iCloud, Apple’s cloud offering was MobileMe which was only available as a paid service at $99 per year for 20GB storage. Additional storage capacity of up to 40 GB can be purchased.
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And unlike MobileMe, Apple’s announcement that it was starting to give 5GB for free was a big deal at the time to its users.
Other ad-supported services like Google included much more storage space at no cost, and some even offered unlimited storage deals.
Nowadays, 5GB of free space is hardly enough to store user photos and videos taken in a single trip.
Over the past 10 years, people have speculated about how iCloud’s base storage plan might change over time, such as adding an extra gigabyte with purchases of new Apple devices, or increasing base storage in line with base iPhone storage increases.
But what happened is that Apple never did anything.
Apple realized the demand for more and more storage by adjusting the cost and increasing the capacity of the paid iCloud levels on several occasions. But the basic 5GB free plan remains the same.
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Free iCloud Capacity does not change:
When iCloud was launched, customers could purchase a paid plan starting at 10 GB and maxing out at 50 GB at a cost of up to $100 per year.
In 2014, Apple moved to monthly iCloud pricing. It offered 20GB for $0.99 per month and up to 1TB for $19.99 per month.
Those levels changed again in 2015. You can get 50 GB for $0.99 a month, 200 GB for $2.99 a month, and the price for a 1 TB plan has dropped to $9.99 a month.
In 2017, Apple added a 2TB plan for $19.99 per month. Less than a year later, Apple removed the 1TB plan and reduced the price of the 2TB plan to $9.99 a month.
It also allowed users to share 200GB and 2TB plans with up to six family members.
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No change in price:
Last year, Apple introduced a new development in the paid iCloud service by launching the Apple One package. The package combined cloud storage and a variety of Apple content services.
And now you can get iCloud with a capacity of 4 TB for the first time. By subscribing to both Apple One Premier and iCloud plan with a capacity of 2 TB.
And Apple adjusts the paid tiers fairly frequently. But it stayed constant at only 5GB for the free plan the whole time.
And with Apple’s recent focus on services for revenue growth, it seems that they will never have an incentive to increase them.
Competing service offerings from other companies are usually more generous when it comes to their free options.
For example, Google gives each of its accounts 15GB free to store photos, email, and files.
5 GB is not enough for users. And if the free plan’s capacity instead matches Google’s 15GB plan, that lets Apple users experience some of the benefits of cloud sync. They are then persuaded to stick to a paid plan.
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