Apple Introduces iCloud Drive Lower Cost Storageby Brett Howse on September 10, 2014 11:35 PM EST
At WWDC this year, Apple announced iCloud Drive to compete with the cloud storage offerings of other companies. Previous to this, iCloud did not offer the file and folder sync capabilities of other cloud storage competitors, and Apple is hoping iCloud Drive will be the answer. It is a very competitive market right now though, with some pretty major price cuts by the major players this year including Dropbox, Microsoft, and Google.
Apple has now announced the full pricing structure for iCloud Drive which is more competitive than before. Just a few months ago, Apple only offered up to 50 GB in iCloud, and charged $100 USD per year for it. Google Drive at the time offered 100 GB for only $24 USD per year, so clearly some price adjustments needed to be done.
|Apple iCloud Comparison|
|Free Storage||5 GB||5 GB|
|Lowest Tier (USD/year)||10 GB / $20||20 GB / $12|
|Second Tier (USD/year)||20 GB / $40||200 GB / $48|
|Third Tier (USD/year)||50 GB / $100||500 GB / $120|
|Fourth Tier (USD/year)||N/A||1 TB / $240|
|Lowest Cost/GB||$2 / GB||$0.24 / GB|
With the new prices, Apple is offering quite a bit of choice as far as storage tiers, and with a 20 GB option for only $0.99 per month, and Apple now offers tiers up to 1 TB which is in line with many competitors. Unfortunately they have not touched the free tier, which stays at 5 GB.
These new prices are much better per gigabyte than previously offered, with the 200 GB tier exactly the same price per gigabyte as both OneDrive and Google Drive, however none of the other tiers really come close. For $0.99/month, you can get 20 GB on iCloud Drive, but for only $2/month you can get 100 GB on both OneDrive and Google Drive. The higher tiers get even more out of sync, with Apple asking $240 for 1 TB of storage, but Microsoft offers 1 TB of storage and a full version of Office for $70 per year, or 5 x 1 TB and 5 installs of Office for $100 per year. Google comes in at 1 TB for $120 per year, and DropBox just lowered their pricing with 1 TB per year for $100.
It would seem Apple is hoping that users of its products will be willing to pay more for iCloud Drive to keep the experience all within the Apple ecosystem, and it might not be the wrong move. They have shown in the past that their customers are willing to spend more for the Apple products than competitors can accomplish, and Apple has traditionally not competed much on price so this may work out well for them, but it must be said, all of the consumer cloud offerings do support the Mac already, and several are available and popular on iOS as well, so it may be difficult to come to the game this late with a higher price than the competition.