Is iPhone Backup redundant?

No-one’s asking for 2TB to be built in, but it’s been 5gb for more than 10 years and should be 50gb by now for free and then pay for 200GB, 2TB and another higher tier. Apple will make profits on all paid tiers.

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If it would be like that, nobody would be happy with the, today more or less worthless 50GB!
Everybody today complaining about it, would do so in the future, too. But with Apple spending a lot of more money for the same bad comments…

Especially considering what Backblaze can store for $6. Yes, I know that Backblaze roll their own, but still…

You just have to figure the cost out further - say 6 years or so. If Apple’s storage cost is around a penny per gigabyte (a reasonable estimate at their scale - it splits the B2 and S3 costs), 5 GB x 72 months = $3.60.

Bumping that to some middle number (25 gigabytes) would make it about $18 over the device’s reasonable lifetime. Bumping it to enough storage to back up the “base” 64 GB phone would make it $46. Doing that on a $700 phone would effectively mean a 6% price hike for Apple to keep their per-phone profit.

And again, my argument isn’t that Apple should do this for free. My argument is that they should build more than 5 GB into the phone price because 5 GB is a miserable user experience. Especially since a large number of people who buy phones finance them over a 2-year period, which makes the “monthly payment” cost the consideration rather than the complete retail sticker price.

See my comment above:

(quote link for clickability :slight_smile: )


Yes, at least for some. I’ve seen dozens of personal iPhones over the years and it would have been a miserable experience for me if I had to use a lot of them. It wasn’t unusual to see phones with hundreds or thousands of unread emails and/or an unapplied iOS update.

But their owners were happy as long as they could play their games, use FaceBook (Meta?), and chat on Messages. IMO no matter how much free storage Apple gave them they would ignore it and let it fill up. And continue to use their phone with the broken screen as long as it didn’t cut their fingers.

That’s no excuse for Apple’s sticking with 5GB but anyone who owns an $800+ device and won’t pay $1/month for some additional storage just doesn’t care.

A counter argument to many of the posts in this thread is that the free 5GB plan is intended to be only enough for a naive iPhone purchaser to protect their data without having to think much about it.

After spending thousands to buy an iPhone, iPad, and Mac it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for another $0.99 a month to bump up to an iCloud storage level that will easily take care of one’s basic backup needs. That is easier and cheaper than any of the other more advanced methods of data protection that are available.

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I disagree, after spending many hundreds of pounds/dollars on a phone, it makes Apple look cheap reduces customer satisfaction and leads to people losing data because they won’t pay the initial upgrade subscription for any of the following reasons:

  • They don’t want a subscription (we’ve seen this said on this forum amongst techie people), because they’re not comfortable with setting up a first or another subscription
  • They feel like Apple is trying to nickel and dime them (I believe this to be true)
  • They believe that 5GB is a comically small amount of data these days for the richest company in the world to provide
  • There are people with iphones to who 99 cents may not be justifiable.

Can you imagine that back when iCloud was first announced with it’s 5GB of included storage that anyone thought that all these years later it would still be where it was? Me either.

I’m in the lucky place where I can spring for the 2TB plan and ensure all of my data is safe and sync’d but Apple is really missing a trick here where for the cost of literal pennies per user, they can make a difference to their users and reduce those moments when an Apple Genius has to tell a customer that all of their photos are gone.

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I think they’re partly stuck at 5GB to drive services revenue, and partly stuck because of the historical ineffectiveness of IS&T. There’s also a UX limitation because there’s still no good way to provide someone a free service while they’re ignorant of the need of it, and get them to pay later once they understand it better. That approach would prevent data loss the most, but it would be very expensive without an ability to move them off to paid services that back up a similar amount of data.


It is an often observed phenomenon, that people are attracted by “inclusive” offers, no matter how much more expensive they would have actual been, compared with buying only the options they really need.
Whole industries are operating on this behavior, and making a lot of extra money by this…

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I agree 100% in principle. $1 per month is cheap.

That said, to many people it feels like nickel-and-diming. And I’ve known multiple people that don’t feel comfortable giving Apple a credit card. Yes, I know you can get an iTunes gift card and put it on file instead - but a lot of people don’t.

And this neglects the fact that the user frequently isn’t given the info to make a rational, pre-planned decision. Apple enables iCloud backup and a number of other iCloud syncs by default, which means that frequently the user’s first discovery that they’re out of iCloud storage is when their phone starts INCESSANTLY throwing up prompts that they’re out of storage space.

Yes, this behavior is all user-configurable. But those incessant pop-ups about running out of storage space - at least the last time I checked - don’t make it all that clear how to disable the stuff that’s causing the problem.

IMHO it’s bad UX, exacerbated by default configurations, caused by a lack of user education during the setup process.

Random thought - they could maybe figure out how to bundle device backup only into AppleCare for iDevices. Buy AppleCare, get free device backups as long as you have AppleCare. That bundles a service Apple understands the need for with a service the user understands the need for. And it would be pretty logical, since a lot of the circumstances that require a backup are the same circumstances that trigger an AppleCare claim.

Apple may be a money grubbing tightwad of a corporation but ultimately people are responsible for the decisions they make. An iPhone is a very desirable device but if a person can’t afford to use it they should probably buy something else.

Instead of a iPhone 14, get a 12, or an SE. And even iPhone users can get 15GB of free storage from Google. Everyone has a phone of some kind these days and a new iPhone doesn’t impress people any more.


I like that idea. I think that plus the ability to easily pay for a family member’s phone’s backup based on either iCloud ID or serial number (a nice notification informing you, etc.) would go a ways.

Just a couple of thoughts here:

  1. In today’s mobile world, a huge chunk of iPhone owners do not own any other Apple device. Their only means of backing it up safely is iCloud. 5GB isn’t enough room to back up basic app data, not to mention an actual device backup on a 64GB iPhone.
  2. Apple makes over $500 on each $1000+ iPhone, not counting AppleCare+

Given that, the 5GB of storage is almost insulting. A new iPhone can use that up with one minute of video. It seems like the only reason they give any of it for free is to cover basic initial connectivity and setup storage. If so, just make it a hidden cap and stop advertising it as if it has any real-world value.

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or to a PC running iTunes. My brother has been doing that for years.

Back up iPhone using your Windows PC


Beside the pure statement in this article, is there any evidence that this statement is true?
And is this just production costs, or what is contained in this numbers?

Regardless of whether the exact number is true or not - Apple is a fabulously successful company both technologically and financially.

Long ago I realized there is one obvious antidote to whining about the cost of Apple products:

Buy AAPL Stock


Which is a total PITA for those of us who do NOT want iCloudanewhere near our critical data. Its; starts backing up before you can get tohe setting to tirn the Da***ed thing OFF!


If possible I turn off wifi, at the router, before I log into a new Mac or after a clean install to avoid some of Apple’s default settings.

There was a footnote in the first graphic. A quick Google search leads one to this article:

That article gives you the details - parts only.

That means, you have to add to that the cost for:

  • packaging
  • shipping
  • distribution
  • development
  • software
  • selling
  • basic support
  • overhead
  • and everything I forgot…

I don’t know the real numbers, and obviously they are gaining profit from it, but there is not that much left on every iPhone, as the first article suggested.

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