The reviews of Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which go on sale on Friday, have been pretty favourable.
The small number of reviewers Apple loaned phones to before they hit stores have praised the phones for their speed, improved cameras, and new features like 3D Touch and Live Photos.
But there’s one common complaint reviewers have about the new iPhones: The entry-level model still starts with 16GB of storage.
As I’ve written before, a 16GB smartphone doesn’t offer enough storage for most people. Between the space taken up by the operating system, apps you use regularly, photos, music, and maybe a video or two, many people will fill up a 16GB phone very quickly.
And the latest iPhone needs more storage space than any iPhone before it.
That’s because photos on the new iPhone, which has improved front and rear cameras, take up significantly more space than photos taken with older iPhones. It also comes with Live Photos, a new feature that creates a moving GIF-like image, and these files take up twice the storage space than a normal photo, according to Brian X. Chen of The New York Times.
The phone can also shoot video in ultra high resolution 4K, which according to The Verge’s Nilay Patel, takes up a whopping 375MB per minute of video.
Yet Apple still sells a 16GB version of the phone because it’s great for Apple’s bottom line — it entices people to spend buy a phone with four times the storage capacity for just $US100 more. If Apple were to replace its 16GB entry-level iPhone with a 32GB version, as Samsung has doneTK, fewer people would splurge for the middle tiered phone.
This is bad for consumers, and reviewers agree.
In the Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern writes that “If there were ever an iPhone that needed more storage, it’s this one, yet Apple continues to rip off customers with a 16GB base model ($US649 without payment plan/contract), rather than offer a 32GB one.”
“The only thing a 16 GB iPhone is good for is Apple’s margins and making people wish they’d spent the extra money on a 64 GB iPhone,” writes BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski in his review of the new iPhone.
Mashable’s Christina Warren is “disappointed that Apple decided to keep the 16GB option available for the iPhone 6S. It just seems silly.”
The fact that Apple still sells the 16GB iPhone is Walt Mossberg’s biggest complaint about the new smartphone, and he notes in his review in Re/Code that Apple rival Samsung sells premium smartphones with 32GB for roughly the same price.
The New York Times’ Brian X. Chen “strongly recommend[s] against” buying the 16GB version of the phone.
Apple makes more profit from a 64GB phone sold for $US750 than a 16GB phone sold for $US650, so this ridiculous pricing structure is great for Apple shareholders.
But as we know, what’s good for shareholders isn’t always good for consumers.
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