Apple, Google, Amazon criticized for inflating tablet storage costs

“Apple and Google have been branded as ‘outrageous’ for charging more than a 1,000 per cent markup for extra storage on tablet PCs,” Sophie Curtis reports for The Telegraph. “Tablet manufacturers can buy Flash storage at a market price of £5.95 for 16GB, according to a Which? investigation.”

“However, consumers who purchase a 32GB iPad Air will have to pay £80 more than they would for the 16GB version,” Curtis reports. “Meanwhile, Google charges an extra £70 to increase the memory on its Nexus 10 from 16GB to 32GB, and Amazon charges £40 for the same storage increase on its Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.”

Curtis reports, “Which? described the markups as ‘outrageous’ and advised potential customers to buy a tablet with an SD or microSD slot and add a memory card for a fraction of the cost.”

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, screw yourself by not getting an iPad. Go get some POS iPad also-ran that runs blown-up phone apps that are themselves, if they exist at all, inferior to their iPhone versions. Great advice!

Curtis reports, “Apple and Google declined to comment on the report, but Samsung told Which?: ‘It is Samsung policy to provide the most reasonable market price to customers.'”

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, Apple and even Google thought it best to say nothing, rather than blatantly lie. Of course, convicted patent infringer Samsung felt no such compulsion.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Does Apple charge too much for storage? Yes. Should that preclude you from buying and using the world’s best personal computing products? Absolutely not.

If you choose otherwise, Apple products are simply not for you.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


    1. Besides, external storage, where available in smartphones, is increasingly painful as it is super slow, comparing to internal one. Fast external SD flash cards are really expensive, so there is no much savings there anyway. Besides, on Android phones, you can write only data/multimedia on external storage, not software.

    1. Except that the ONLY difference between a 32 GB iPad and a 64 GB iPad is 32 GB. That’s the ONLY difference. The article is correct: they all gouge us for getting more memory because they can. Maybe (just maybe) if EVERYONE only bought the 32 GB iPad, they might consider lowering the price of the 64 GB iPad. But I doubt it.

      I have to admit that it would be great if Apple did allow for consumer expansion. We could all save a LOT of money that way… Oh well.

      1. No. That is not the only difference.

        Ask yourself what is the markup on perfumes, drugs….in fact anything that takes a lot of effort to develop.

        You are paying for hidden costs such as development and research.

        The FACT is that the WHOLE product is just 34% markup.

      2. Personally paying $100 for extra onboard storage means little to me. I can pay for 2.5 years of iCloud storage and have 57GB of storage and then get a new iPad every other year. I just had my iPad lost/stolen (left it at the airport go figure) and I don’t have to worry about the crap on the physical drive. I was actually more upset that I lost my brief with all my all my paperwork representing months worth of work.
        The writer just wants to bitch. Sophia, you sound like you’re so much fun to be around. Why dont’ you go invent your own damn tablet instead of just bitching like a bitch.

      3. EXCEPT that these writers act like the only costs involved to Apple, Google, etc. is paying a little more for extra memory. The costs are different depending on when you buy, from whom, in what quantity, etc. The system has to be configured, different packaging produced, inventory management, etc. It’s never as simple as some whiny journalist/blogger wants to make it seem.

        It would be far simpler for Apple to just offer 1 iPad at either 32GB or 64GB. It could also offer 1 model with both WiFi and cellular radios installed. But obviously there is a big difference in price structure, marketability, etc. which makes more sense for Apple to have different models at different price points, which also increases costs in the entire iPad production and sales system.

  1. Tablets are not a commodity. Unless the only reason you are buying a tablet is to watch video, in other words a modern version of a portable DVD player, then you need an iPad. It’s the only tablet with decent tablet software.

    iPads cost money because they are actually worth something.

  2. Yes they charge to much, but the market decides. So I’m willing to pay over the odds for memory on my iphone, which stores a big chunk of music and lots of photos. But my new iPad Air will be the smallest, because I need working memory and most of the stuff that I work with on it will be stored in the cloud. Maybe if Apple made the memory cheaper I’d buy a bigger one, but maybe not. We pays our monet, we makes our choices…

    1. What has always interested me with respect to Apple’s pricing structure is that the cost differential from 16GB to 32GB to 64GB to 128GB is the same $100 for each step, but the increase in memory doubles at each step. so you pay $6.25 per GB to go from 16GB to 32GB, but you only pay $1.56 per GB to go from 64GB to 128GB.

  3. I think the price of extra storage goes to subsidize for the rest of the platform. All this is factored in. If they don’t charge as much for storage, the price in other areas will have to be raised. Perhaps you have to pay an extra $200 for a faster state of the art processor

  4. This is how it always has been in consumer electronics, autos and other hard goods.

    Now, is it right? Who knows?

    Fundamentally, the problem is that a manufacturer finds this an easier process to boost GROSS profit, because other methods of explaining value added options to a consumer are usually met with skepticism.

    So, complain all you want. But that’s just the way it is.

  5. I have to agree with the article.

    Unfortunately at this point in time the high-end “power-users” are subsidizing the low end (16MB) users; my only beef with the iOS (and “modern” MacBook) buying experience.

    1. Incorrect. It is the mid-range memory users who are subsidizing both the low end and the high end. The total markup per GB for the high-end iOS machines is more reasonable than for the mid-range mem capacities

  6. It’s not that simple, the input cost of a part on a bill of materials will have a much higher cost by the time it reaches the customer as it will be marked up for at each stage production, distribution, retail and in the EU VAT added. The iPad only has one Flash storage chip so the price will be higher for a single 32GB, 64GB or 128GB chip you can’t just compare it to a 16GB chip as a measure of cost per GB. The profit margin will be much higher on the larger capacity iPads and lower on the smallest so all the rich people are helping subsidise the entry level price.

    1. The last I knew, there are two flash storage chips in the iPad. So, extra storage doesn’t really cost that much extra.

      Also, isn’t VAT in the EU added at the time of purchase, not before, just like sales tax in the US?

  7. I think the reason Apple overcharges for memory upgrades is probably to deter people from wanting more storage space. This way, Apple won’t have to make iOS devices with very large amounts of storage like. If Apple kept increasing the storage of iOS devices, it wouldn’t be long before you could get one with 512 gigabytes of storage, which would potentially cannibalize some Macs. Some people would buy iOS devices instead of Macs because they wouldn’t need Macs for the storage capabilities. Or even imagine a 1 terabyte iPad! Most people might just get that iPad instead of a MacBook Pro, especially if they go camping a lot and don’t want to use up their limited recharging capabilities(battery packs or car/marine batteries with power inverters) on a power hungry item like a laptop which requires at least 60 watts(a MacBook Pro due to the ability to upgrade the hard drive to 1.5 terabytes) when they can use an iPad which only uses 10 watts and has almost the very same amount of storage.

  8. the author also fails to mention that microSD cards have variable capabilities functioning as outrigger memory, compared to onboard flash; I seem to recall that Android devices with microSD slots can only store music / documents, not apps – will some expert chime in?

  9. The author’s missing the real problem: it’s not that these companies gouge on the memory prices. That’s a known thing you see on the price sticker before you buy. Don’t like it, don’t buy it. Simple.

    The real problem is when you don’t actually get what you pay for. I hate that a 16GB iPad doesn’t have 16GB of free space on it when you open the box. It’s more like 14GB. I’ve heard other tablets are even worse (especially the Surface units which have half the space used by the OS). The advertised space should be what you actually get!

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