Apple is no stranger to lawsuits and complaints. One of the more memorable ones in recent years was the class action filed by users who believed that Apple was not being transparent about the storage space it offers on iPhones, iPods and iPads. The suit was followed by another class action filed last year, making this a serious matter for the company.
There are a number of reasons why the iPhone storage is unfair to customers. We’re going to take a closer look at this matter – and find ways to get around the problem – in this article.
How much storage do I really get?
When you buy a 16GB iPhone, for example, you’re not really getting 16GB of storage space for your photos and apps. In fact, you’re not getting anywhere close to 16GB. The same can be said of the other capacities Apple offers for its products.
So, how much do you really get? The difference can be as high as 20%. This means a 16GB iPhone 6S will only have less than 12GB of accessible storage to use. It’s even worse with the iPad Air; you only have 11.7GB (or sometimes less, depending on your iOS version and other factors) available to use out of the box.
If the difference is negligible – no more than 5%, according to experts – then this wouldn’t be a problem. It is not uncommon for smartphones to use internal storage for storing system files. An unusable space of around 20%, however, is considered an issue by many.
Similar Problems with Android Phones
This is not a problem that’s exclusive to iPhone and iOS users. Android phones suffer from the same issue as their iOS counterparts. Samsung once had to explain to their users why the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S5 only had 24GB of available storage.
That said, Android users have the ability to expand their phone’s internal storage. You can buy MicroSD cards from companies like Offtek and add up to 256GB of storage to your phone. Although the lack of transparency is still a problem, Android users have several solutions to choose from.
Apple users, on the other hand, are stuck with the built-in storage they have. You can upload your media to iCloud or use external drives that plug into the Lightning connector, for example, but neither solutionis exactly practical.
Getting Around the Storage Problem
The two solutions mentioned above can help offload some of your media files to external drives, but most users still need to use their phone’s internal storage for apps and games. One option is to pick up a higher-tier model of the iPhone of your choice to gain more storage space. Apple will even help move all of your files and settings upon making the purchase.
For now, however, those are the only solutions you have. The newly announced iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have eliminated the 16GB models in exchange for a 32GB minimum storage capacity. Plus, you now have the option to grab the 256GB models of the new iPhones and iPads; of course, you will have to shell out some extra cash to get them.
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