When even an online shopping company will store all my photos for me, it’s embarrassing that Apple won’t

“Just today, Amazon announced free unlimited photo storage for Prime members and their family,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “I’m already a Prime member, and consider it well worth the price for the unlimited free next-day delivery, so that would again be free for me.”

“My concern is that I simply cannot get from Apple something that other tech companies now seem to be viewing as table stakes,” Lovejoy writes. “It’s getting increasingly difficult to understand Apple’s position in this space.”

Lovejoy writes, “When even an online shopping company will store all my photos for me, it’s getting kind of embarrassing that Apple won’t.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s stinginess is pushing loyal customers to Google and Amazon services. That is not smart business.


    1. Apple users are used to paying a premium.

      Apple users are NOT used to paying a premium and not getting even standard-level specs or services.

      As examples:

      iCloud storage: only 5 GB for free, no matter how many devices you link to your AppleID

      iPhone/iPad: until last month, still started at 16 GB.

      Macs: last year’s (or worse) specs, at their original prices. Newer laptops rumoured to be missing a key protective feature (Magsafe).

    2. To be fair to Tim Cook, Apple gets punished by wall street for having a 38% margin instead of the 39% street estimate, while Amazon get rewarded for having any profit at all. The Wall Street Journal headline in July declared a “blockbuster profit” for Amazon’s Q2, with an operating profit of 4%.

      1. How Wall Street values Apple certainly does skew things a bit but the big investors love Amazon because they’re cornering the market and they’re betting on Amazon putting almost all competitors out of business. Apple either can’t or doesn’t want to do that and is definitely being punished for it. Wall Street loves aggressive companies. Apple should have the means to wield the biggest stick around but now has become a joke on Wall Street.

        Look at Apple’s share price today. Out of all the major tech stocks, excepting IBM, Apple was in the red while the rest of the tech stocks soared. That’s the kind of stock Apple has become. A pure laggard of a stock despite profits and a mountain of cash. Netflix is burning cash like crazy, beats Wall Street’s estimates and goes up nearly 20% in a day. Sweet for Netflix shareholders. Not so much for Apple shareholders, the big losers.

      2. Perhaps, some Wall St analysts view the speed of the flow of money through a company to its suppliers as a good thing. The appearance that Apple just stockpiles money stopping the ‘flow’ may be what is viewed by the analysts as negative to the rest of the economy at all levels.

        1. Hoarding is negative to the company and to the economy by definition. Money is the lubricant that enables business to work. Leave it on the shelf and the market will punish you. As it should.
          It’s not like Apple doesn’t have dozens of products overdue for improvement, new market segments to enter, and new technologies to perfect. Instead Cook burns money on an ill-advised car project , stops npd on the Mac, and plays shell games with his cash hoard. When he’s not at a social event, that is.

      3. Apple gets punished by Wall Street for losing its vision. Mossberg on Google Pixel AI. Shreds Siri even though Siri had a 5 year head start. Google, Amazon, Roku, Chinese offerings all 4K streaming. Apple TV 1080i. Apple Music 17m subscribers with over 1B IOS devises. Too late to the game. The ship has sailed. No movie streaming. No intelligent speaker. No innovation in home WiFi. Lack of any innovation on Mac line for years. Incremental changes on phones. This is why Apple trades at a 50% discount to Microsoft. Apple is about Pushing the limits but is instead looking like Walmart to Amazon. Services grew at 17%. Limited. Google will beat Apple to a 1T market cap. Not sure Apple will ever get there. Hate to see Apple miss so many opportunities. Amazon google and facebook will offer high speed internet in the future. The iPhone will be passed over just as Siri has if Apple does not change its strategy. Seems too many fat, rich and lazy execs.

    1. Generally true, but not so black and white here.

      This is about Amazon Prime, a paid service. Just cuz a new service was added to it, doesn’t make it free.

      iCloud is free. Does that mean we’re the product?

        1. Should’ve put in quotes, “free”, since the intent was to turn the argument around on him.

          Either he had to acknowledge the new photo service is part of Amazon prime i.e. “paid”; or, if he persisted in calling it “free”, then logically iCloud was also “free” and we’re the product.

          That said, there’s no question they’re monetizing the photos being uploaded, just like Google’s doing with their “free” image hosting service.

  1. Lets see, Google sells information about your search habits and whatever other information they can gather from you. Amazon sells stuff and they also want as much information as possible about stuff you buy and may buy. Both claim to be going deeply into AI — let me see, running AI on your photos may just give them both a lot of information. Nothing is free folks and if you don’t think they will be using your photos to benefit themselves and perhaps other nefarious organizations, you are terribly naive.

    1. $99 plus all the money they make from your orders throughout the year. It is an incentive to attract paying customers. Most people on Prime probably don’t use the photos feature anyway so they make money. Amazon isn’t doing anything for free.

      1. By that logic Apple is not giving you ‘free’ OS upgrades, it’s included in the premium cost you pay to buy their HW.

        The argument for joining Prime gets better each time a new service is added to the subscription w/o raising the price. At $99 that’s about $8.25/month. Personally, I buy at least one item a month from Amazon.com and get free shipping to Hawaii, watch a few movies a week, use my free Twitch Prime subscription to support a Twitch Streamer ($4.99 value), and have access to the Kindle Unlimited library. Not currently using the music or photos but getting a great deal. Also getting the Amazon Prime Card (only usable at Amazon and no expiration date) gives 5% off all Amazon.com purchases even if you use gift card credit in your account. Hard to beat.

  2. The misuse of the word “free” irks me. Amazon Prime is $10.99 per month or ~$132 per year. Sure, if you already have Prime, then this new service is a no-cost bonus. But it is not free…you cannot get it without Prime.

    If I ordered more stuff from Amazon then I might be able to justify Prime. I could also ditch Netflix and divert that money to help pay for prime.

    In summary, I agree that Apple needs to get its ass in gear with respect to iCloud and such. But don’t feed me B.S. arguments based on non-free free stuff.

    1. What method are you using to subscribe to Amazon Prime to get $132/year? As far as I know it is $99 (~$8.25/month) for Amazon Prime or $49 (~$4.12/month) for Amazon Prime Student (if you can prove you are a student at a U.S. based university). The Amazon Prime Student also has a 6 month free trial and other than being able to share the account with another person in your household is identical to the regular Prime subscription.

  3. Nothing is free.
    Read the terms. There’ll be a ‘gotcha’ in there, and it will involve your privacy, guaranteed.
    Willing to give up your privacy to save a few bucks?
    Be my guest.
    Tim and Team are listening.

  4. There is a fundamental difference between all others and Apple for which anyone who understands is more than happy to pay Apple for what they would otherwise get for free elsewhere.

    All that free photo storage (Flickr, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Google, etc) comes at a pretty high privacy cost. Even with Amazon, where you do pay that Prime subscription; that money goes towards licensing of video content. The free picture storage is paid for by selling the info about you that is obtained by data mining your photos.

    The only one, the ONLY one company that does NOT share / sell ANY data about customers, not even in the broadest possible aggregate, is Apple. And that’s why I’m happily paying for iCloud storage. It is well worth $0.99 per month (for those 50GB).

    1. When there are so many cheaper or more generous or more feature-rich consumer choices out there, it’s embarassing that Apple doesn’t match them. Why can’t Apple be more competitive, why are they so obdurate? Why can’t they be what we’d like them to be, the perfect distillation of all consumer desires and unnamed longings into a philosopher’s stone that turns our leaden spirit into gold? At a discount? Punish them for failing to meet our expectations.

  5. I don’t understand this gripe. Apple does store your photos on the cloud and accessible to all your devices. Yes, it increased the storage you need and Apple does charge too much for it. But Amazon also charges. Prime is not free, even thought the author feels it is. What I do think Apple should do is their own Prime that includes Apple Music, iTunes Match, the largest chunk of iCloud storage, and a video streaming service for one low price, and tied to Family Sharing.

  6. The thing for me is that across my family we spend enough over the year at amazon to justify Prime on it’s own. The bundled music service is a nice bonus, the selection isn’t as big as others, but it’s hardly tiny. There is more than enough stuff on there to supplement my own collection so that I’m never stuck for something to listen to. To pay for Apple Music (or indeed any other service) on top is just a waste of money. I don’t mind paying Apple for iCloud space because I know that they’re not trying to get my information, but it’s getting to the point where for what you get the cost is becoming something that needs to be thought about. I think Apple need to bump up their offering a little bit because once you factor in everything that space is used for the free tier is almost useless.

  7. Why don’t people understand that apple is still using other people’s servers to store information. They are slowly building their own servers, free unlimited storage will come when Apple feels like they can handle the load them selves.
    Comparing this companies isn’t fair because when it comes to apple free storage means more than 600m customers who take the most photos in the world, amazon afew million and for google only Pixal buyers thats about 2million users

    1. You make it sound as if Google and Amazon have closed environments where only their branded devices have access to photo storage. Yes, Google limits unlimited full-sized image storage to the Pixel devices but you can store unlimited compressed images on their servers. The Amazon Photo offering, as far as I can tell, will allow unlimited full sized images plus give you 5GB storage for videos and other files. Both services are open to other mobile platforms. A good chunk of the 600m iPhone users that use Amazon or Google services are probably making good use of the photo storage offered vs the number of Android and Fire device owners using Apple’s storage offering.

  8. The bigger problem with Apple’s iCloud is flexibility with the data you can upload and downlosd.
    I have their $1/month plan and so far can only really use for iDevice backups!
    Their is no flexible way just to store some photos or a way to remove or delete them without risking accidentally removing/ deleting them from your iDevices.
    iCloud is too integrated with all of their products and eco systems and this is where the inflexibility issues come into play.
    Has anyone using iCloud figured out how to store documents easily and flexible to iCloud?
    Right now, without being an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of Amazon’s
    Cloud Drive with UNLIMITED DATA, that will copy and save any data to their servers for $60/year (or only $5/month) for UNLIMITED AND FLEXIBLE STORAGE peoples!!!!
    Amazon’s Cloud is a very enticing offer and alternative compared to Apple’s limited iCloud data storage service offers.

  9. I, too, also use DropBox free 5 GBs of storage, but I wish their other storage tier plans were far cheaper.
    Again, Amazon beats DropBox hands down. $5/month for UNLIMITED DATA STORAGE andnyou can flexibly store ANY type of data!

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