Warning: Apple wants to get you hooked on iCloud

“Photos, iCloud Drive, iCloud Backup, Mail, iWork documents, iOS backups, Apple offers to host all of these items safe and sound in the iCloud, but there’s a big problem,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “Apple gives you just 5GB of space for free. Use more than that and you need to pay.”

“I don’t want to wrestle daily with my storage space sapping digital detritus just to stay inside iCloud’s low free storage limitations. I’m quite prepared to manage my usage, but I insist on being given reasonable capacity to get me started,” Evans writes. “As the service integration expands, 5GB quite clearly isn’t enough.”

“Please understand. I’m not moaning on my own behalf – I know I’m a heavy Apple user and I already pay for additional iCloud storage. It’s not about me,” Evans writes. “What concerns me is that as Apple integrates increasing number of services within iCloud customers are in danger of being forced to cough up cash for services they didn’t know they needed. All those iPhone backups, documents, pictures and other digital things will quickly consume that 5GB of space. Perhaps that’s Apple’s plan, but it’s a poor plan if you compare it to the more generous allowances offered by competitors in the online services sector.”

Read more in the full article here.

42 Comments

    1. Apple should not just kick the can down the road, by increasing iCloud storage every time enough customers complain about it. This is a solvable problem, which Apple can and should settle once and for all.

      The cost of data storage gets cheaper over time – that’s been proven, and can be accurately predicted with statistical models. People’s data storage needs increase over time – that’s been proven, and statistically predictable too. Apple should simply do the math, then schedule no-cost regular iCloud storage increases, that correspond with the price of storage falling and the average customer’s storage needs increasing over time.

      Example: Apple announces it will add 1GB of storage every year for all customers, from now on, so you can expect 55GB of iCloud storage by 2065. Problem solved.

      Expecting every Apple customer to manage and delete their own photos and data to stay under 5GB is the old, PC way of doing things. There’s a better, post-PC way to manage storage, if Apple is bright and bold enough to deliver it to its customers.

  1. To be fair, other companies offer more because they pretty much have to. If Apple ended up losing customers because of the limitations of 5GB and people not being willing to pay for more I’m pretty sure they’d bump it up. At the moment they probably feel they don’t have to. Ultimately, as much as they want to make people happy and make great products, they are a business not a charity.

    1. MDN says that Apple is now a small country.

      With the cash flow Apple has, it will (and should) always be under consumer pressure to reduce its high prices. There is no question that Apple margins are by far higher than they need to be. Yes, we all understand that the goal of capitalism is to charge as much as you can but we all know what that does: it drives Apple to become complacent and uncompetitive. If Apple loses track of user needs and overcharges for fashion-first, value-second products and services, then it will lose its mojo and its customers. History offers many examples.

      What is undeniable is that many users here are getting sick of Apple’s pricing and non-user-friendly approach of late on many details that used to be well handled. Apple’s reputation will suffer if it ignores user needs or overcharges what customers can get elsewhere. For example, $30-50 dollars for a stupid fragile connector adapters or even more for fashionable iPhone cases that are all incompatible with those adapters is highway robbery and proof that Apple didn’t bother thinking through the adapter needs of its customers. Why the insane pricing? Because Apple has chosen to exploit a near-monopoly instead of supporting its customers.

      Apple’s iCloud strategy is just a drug pusher scheme, and it thinks like overpriced connectors that it will be able to get you hooked and then gouge you for server rental. Unfortunately, in this case, Apple is simply not the only game in town. Some competitors’ rental servers are more user-friendly, have more features, cost less, or whatever. People who think the iCloud is so great is because they are lightweight users who haven’t discovered firsthand the problems with it.

      And as others have pointed out, the price of subscript-based computing is much more than what your “cloud” charges. On top of that you need to consider how ISPs up their rates and/or throttle speeds.

      The consumer simply will never get a great bargain with the iCloud as he would from local hard drives, secure shared servers within his organization, or other locally hosted internet-connected storage. To whine for Apple to lower its prices is a joke. From the top of the money pile Cook is sitting on, he can’t hear you.

    1. Of course it is “per Apple ID”. iCloud is per user.

      “Per device” would make no sense.

      If you want it “per Device” then Apple would have to up the device cost. Then of course there would be people like you complaining why are we “forced” to pay for iCloud storage in the cost of the device. You would be saying things like, “…if I want extra iCloud storage I’ll buy extra iCloud storage, why does Apple make me pay up front…..come on Apple!!”

      You want something…pay for it. You don’t want it? Then don’t pay for it. What’s so difficult?

      As Steve Jobs once said (or words to this affect), “…you want free WiFi, I just want to pay you Tax. You can use my tax dollars in any way you want”.

      So stop asking for freebies all the time. Use your money to buy what you want. IT IS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE.

      1. Up the device cost????? That’s utterly ridiculous. The bottom line is that if I wanted a separate Apple ID for all my devices, they would not be as interconnected as they could be (hooray for family sharing). Every Apple ID is going to have an administration cost associated with it so in reality the cost for apple will be higher. I can get an extra 5gb with a separate ID.

        And once again for the record I pay 4 bucks a month for 200gb iCloud storage, thank you very much, so I’m far from being a cheap prick. But not giving 5gb with every device sold is a cheap prick move IMHO.

        People have to stop drinking the unfettered Laissez-faire koolaid and realize that there’s more to life than runaway profits. Trust me, the 720 billion dollar company can afford it.

        1. Next time I am in a ‘all you can eat restaurant’ I ask why my ten friends cannot eat from my one single payment.

          Jesus! You want something, PAY for it! Or else go someplace else where you think you are getting a better service. It’s simple free market. Stop fucking whinging!

          1. For me, it’s not even about price. But since the cheapskates on this board want to save money, here’s a tip: A 2 TB LaCie Cloudbox (network attached storage) costs $250 and you can keep it, manage it, secure it, implement any compression or securitization you choose. You get to own your data and your access won’t be throttled by a greedy ISP.

            How much does 2 TB of storage cost on the iCloud over the life of your Mac? It doesn’t even matter whether Apple gives the teaser 5 GB or 10GB. Any serious creator can’t be limited to that amount — if they trusted the iCloud (which would be a mistake), they don’t care what the teaser package is, they need more space for any major audio, graphic, or video project.

            This alone illustrates how ludicrous rental computing is. People aren’t saving money with any cloud, it is pure laziness on blind faith that the drug pushers will look out for them.

            But the real issue is privacy and security. Apple doesn’t guarantee either. Someday a hacker (or disgruntled Apple employee) will cause some severe damage. Don’t trust anybody’s cloud with your sensitive data, not even Apple’s.

            1. Cheapskate? Excuse me, hotshot. The only thing that I’ve been saying all along is that I want 5gb cloud backup storage for every device I buy. Who in the hell do you think you are anyway? I’m talking about value for money and apple should not penalize GOOD customers that have several of their devices. Each and every single one of them on my Apple ID I use personally. Nobody is trying to get a free lunch, just a fair one. Stop drinking the apple koolaid already! My mom & pop company has 7 iPhones, 4 iPads, 2 macs, 2 Apple TV, plus I own 600 shares. APPLE is a GREAT company, but they’re making a mistake on this one!

            2. No insult intended, mfdcap10.

              But if you own multiple Apple devices, you’re not hurting for disposable income. As I wrote, if you really want to save money, buy your own server and stop relying on Apple. Apple knows you will need more memory and it has absolutely no incentive to give it away.

              Hard drives and network attached storage is relatively less expensive and is actually easier to manage since YOU will have control over your data. Make the wise choice and tell Apple to not waste your time dealing with their stupid server rental business.

  2. You guys are so stingy. $3.99 for 200GB a month is nothing. Apple must pay for using transport, storage, data center cooling, hardware and upgrades, maintaining a facility, employees that work there, and a host of other non-obvious costs. You want Apple to give stuff away and behave like the Google’s of the world, and you’re not thinking about it right. It’s a small price to pay for not data mining my information, selling me to advertisers, and me not understanding who sees my data. Wanting free stuff or per-device free stuff is how we wind up with crapware and ads in everything. Be careful what you ask for.

      1. Then after Apple gives you the 10GB, it will be, “…….An extra measly 20gb of iCloud space is the least this “small country” can do!”

        Do you not see this?

        And of course sooner or later you’ll be demanding free Wi-Fi. Just like that hopelessly clueless woman at Cupertino city hall.

        1. How dare you couple my small country comment with the 10gb comment. Learn to read my friend! I have said all along is that all I want is 5gb of complimentary iCloud space to back up each device. Why do you have such a hard time wrapping your head around that?

          1. Paul and mfdcap10, you’re both wrong. There will never be a “correct” amount of free iCloud space. iPhones can hold up to 128 GB of data and clearly Apple will never let you back it up on their servers for free.

            Users like me will refuse to accept the performance limitations and long term costs that Apple is foisting on the unsuspecting Apple user base. Anyone who thinks the iCloud is safe, reliable, secure, private, cost effective, or in any way replaces the need for a local backup is deluding themselves. Read the user agreement and you’ll see that Apple guarantees you nothing. No server rental service does until you get into very expensive business-class services.

    1. There is no “free” iCloud. We’ve all bought iPhones, iPads, and/or Macs to get iCloud.

      That’s Apple’s entire business model – we pay good money for the hardware, and Apple supplies the software and services that which make the hardware valuable. Nickel-and-diming and otherwise pestering their paying customers isn’t part of Apple’s successful business model.

  3. The other bad thing is how data from one single app is charged twice against the cloud because there are two separate devices backed up on the same ID. In all fairness Cloud Photos is doing something about that by charging against the cloud space once. A good jester, but they need to go further.

    And for the record, I pay $3.99 per month for 200gb of iCloud. I just like looking out for the little guy and don’t appreciate cheap shots by companies to extract money. Cheap shots come back to bite you in the future.

  4. As Apple is successfully adding more and more folks to the Apple ecosystem, some amount of storage per device seems much more reasonable than per Apple ID. More and more people now own multiple Apple products. Way different from the days of .Mac.

    How much money does Apple make on my iPhones, my iPads, my iMacs, my MacBook Pro, and my Apple TV? How much does storage actually cost? Come on, Apple, loosen up a little.

  5. Not going to happen. I’m planning on getting a NAS device with video transcoding support that will put iCloud to shame. It’ll be 16TB to start with minus redundancy. Although total cloud storage has some advantages, I’d rather keep most of my data on site. That’s simply my personal preference.

      1. You can do what he described for less than $1000. And it is radically more capable than anything iCloud gives you. Once you get a real NAS, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

    1. Exactly what I already did. Got a Synology NAS and love it. It safely and securely holds my backups, videos, music, pictures and surveillance video. I can access my pictures and music from anywhere. On my local network, I can access it all at gigabit speed.

      iCloud sucks.

      1. Add another vote for Synology!

        People here seem to forget that the “cloud” is a rental scheme where the end user is double or triple charged: for server rental, for ISP access, and with some vendors, in your time wasting ads or personal data loss that are already part of many “cloud” provider business plans.

        You can’t cover up the fact that iCloud is Apple’s plan to force subscription-based computing. In the long run, it will never be cheaper or more secure to rent server space from somebody else. Moreover, Cook has no interest in giving you more free storage or lowering fees in the future, even if Apple can afford to do so. That’s why iCloud is a mandatory account whenever you buy any Apple hardware, and that’s why many Apple apps are being neutered of desktop functionality/usability and being replaced by apps that link you to Apple’s cloud.

        Anyone who wants reliable storage needs to retain the Mac as their digital hub. It is more reliable by far.

        1. That’s part of what’s wrong with it.

          Another part of the problem is how Apple is stuffing it into every application and OS and shoving down our throats whether we want it or not.

          I don’t want my computer connecting with ten servers on the Internet everytime I open a file. Install Little Snitch and see for yourself all the BS that is going on.

          I want a computer; not a device that is phoning home every minute.

          1. Ahhh OK. So you don’t want any more progress. Stay as is. CPU +Mem+Basic OS. Don’t add any subconscious intelligence. Is that right?

            Well Apple is trying to add some intelligence to the status quo.

            You say, “I want a computer; not a device that is phoning home every minute.”

            You make it sound like it’s doing something sinister. It is simply trying to HELP you.

            If you don’t want it then go get an android.

            1. Progress here means taking control away from the user and slowly eroding their privacy and their ability to do things offline. Of course this is not sinister, why no! It’s help, just like the government always helps, just like Smeagol always helps…

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