Apple & US carriers partner on 200GB iCloud promo ahead of new iPhones

Posted:
in iCloud
Apple and the four major U.S. carriers are offering two free months of iCloud's 200-gigabyte tier to some people looking to upgrade their iPhone this fall.

iCloud on iPhone X, iPad, and MacBook Pro


The promo, noticed on Reddit, is only available to new (paid) iCloud customers, and is nominally meant to ensure they "have enough space to safely back up all the important things on your iPhone, like photos, videos, files, and apps" so the data can be restored once a new phone arrives. The link above mentions Sprint in the URL but should also work for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Apple has actually been offering 30-day trials of its paid tiers since May, so in reality the new promotion is simply an extra month on top of that. People who sign up will also be charged $2.99 per month after the deal expires, unless they cancel.

iCloud only includes 5 gigabytes of data for free, which for many people is just enough for a single device backup. In the U.S. Apple charges 99 cents per month for 50 gigabytes, $2.99 for 200 gigabytes, and $9.99 for 2 terabytes.

The company is expected to reveal three new iPhones next month at its usual September press event. These include 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED models, and a less expensive 6.1-inch LCD device. It's possible that Apple could once again bump up maximum local storage to 512 gigabytes, which would keep iPhones competitive with Samsung's Galaxy Note 9.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    200GB for 2 months is a joke.
    LukeCagezeus423toysandmematrix077CarnagewilliamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,474member
    Embarrassing. It’s like a lollipop leaving doctor's surgery.
    edited August 26 zeus423matrix077GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 33
    d_2d_2 Posts: 49member
    dipdog3 said:
    200GB for 2 months is a joke.
    Seems like a reasonable free test period; if the user likes it they can easily buy or upgrade and if not then so be it.
    chasmracerhomie3lolliverAnilu_777tycho_macuserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    doesn’t matter i already have ample storage but could be a sweet spot for others.. i’ve been waiting to upgrade to the ten having an aging 6, and 7.. maybe the new phones will drop the cost to the ten maybe just maybe a cool upgrade will be offered i’ll be game to switch carriers 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 162member
    This looks very bad on Apple part, this makes no sense. Either raise the free storage which they should or make this promotion for at least a year with a purchase of a new phone. 
    zeus423
  • Reply 6 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,638member
    Why not Apple just increase the default iCloud storage to at least 50GB? 5GB is an absolute joke today. 
    zeus423rogifan_newmatrix077macseekerNameo_[Deleted User]williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Ridiculous. If I buy a Mac or iOS device they should include a reasonable amount of space for free. I'm never paying for this.
    claire1williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 997member
    As I've mentioned before -- the reason Apple doesn't raise the free storage (though I join you all in hoping for a bit more in the near future, like 10GB) is because **Apple is the only one that doesn't supplement the cost with personal data collection or ad revenue**. Thus, it makes zero sense for them to be generous with the free tier, though I agree with those who say 5GB is barely adequate even for a single device backup anymore. 10GB would be a reasonable amount; anything more than that would be surprising.

    What I'd like to see is a good-better-best and family tiers. Something like the current 50GB for $1, 200GB for $3, but add 500GB for $5. That would cover most individual users, but for the rest: family tier would be as it is now, 2TB for $10.

    (addendum: Microsoft also doesn't monetize their free tier -- apart from nagging you to buy Office 365 -- as far as I know. Their free tier is 5GB, same as Apple. For the same reason.)
    edited August 26 racerhomie3lolliverAnilu_777watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Jesus, Apple.. do what’s right for your customers. Not this!
    irelandwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 33
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,483member
    chasm said:
    As I've mentioned before -- the reason Apple doesn't raise the free storage (though I join you all in hoping for a bit more in the near future, like 10GB) is because **Apple is the only one that doesn't supplement the cost with personal data collection or ad revenue**. Thus, it makes zero sense for them to be generous with the free tier, though I agree with those who say 5GB is barely adequate even for a single device backup anymore. 10GB would be a reasonable amount; anything more than that would be surprising.

    What I'd like to see is a good-better-best and family tiers. Something like the current 50GB for $1, 200GB for $3, but add 500GB for $5. That would cover most individual users, but for the rest: family tier would be as it is now, 2TB for $10.

    (addendum: Microsoft also doesn't monetize their free tier -- apart from nagging you to buy Office 365 -- as far as I know. Their free tier is 5GB, same as Apple. For the same reason.)
    Between my iPad Pro and iPhone X I’ve given Apple over $2,000.  You’re telling me they can’t provide more than 5GB of “free” storage because they don’t monitize me? You mention Microsoft. If you sign up for Office 365 Personal you get 1TB cloud storage. The price works out to $5.83/mo. With Office 365 Home you get 5TB total (1TB each for 5 users). The price is roughky $8.33/mo. Apple is stingy because they can be. There’s a reason services revenue is growing like 30% a year. iCloud storage is one reason.
    Carnage[Deleted User]irelandwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 33
    TomETomE Posts: 129member
    Without Adequate iCloud Storage, iOS & OSx just don't work.  I don't mind paying for cloud storage if Apple wants me to pay, but without iCloud, one might as well say the OS's don't work correctly.  What I really want is a high speed ISP connection with little to no delay or jitter , with reasonable matching upload & download speeds.  The business of cable and others doing what they want without regard to the needs of the customer is past being funny.  My iCloud is  problem  because I have Cable problems.  The gamers are using up all of the pipe or they have too many customers on the cable (pipe).  I may have to switch back to DSL just to get a normal ISP signal I can depend upon.  Cable and iCloud don't go together in this small town.
    ihatescreennames
  • Reply 12 of 33
    For people who complain, I have a suggestion.
    Use offline backup on Mac or PC. Or a Lightning drives ,which are available now.
    For basic photo syncing , use Photo Stream.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,481member
    "iCloud only includes 5 gigabytes of data for free, which for many people is just enough for a single device backup." Not for people who use the camera.
    edited August 26 williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Why are these offers always US only? People outside of the US buy iPhones too!
    [Deleted User]watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    "Why are these offers always US only? People outside of the US buy iPhones too!"

    Are you saying that Apple is busy selling hardware internationally but don't give a hoot about offering things like trade-ups, specials or even features like maps flyover in all but a handful of non USA cities? Sad but true.  But the "special" in the article is for US telecoms selling new iPhones though I bet Apple give buyers of unlocked phones sold in their Apple Stores the same little freebie ... in the USA.  As for me in my city with 2 Apple stores and 1.5 million people we still don't have flyover. As to the freebie - too late I already buy 50gb.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 547member
    d_2 said:
    dipdog3 said:
    200GB for 2 months is a joke.
    Seems like a reasonable free test period; if the user likes it they can easily buy or upgrade and if not then so be it.
    It’s storage... not an Apple Music subscription? What do you mean if the user likes it ? How exactly do you decide if you “like” 195gb of additional storage for a couple of months ? That seems silly if you really think about it. 
    bonobob[Deleted User]
  • Reply 17 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    jcs2305 said:
    How exactly do you decide if you “like” 195gb of additional storage for a couple of months ? That seems silly if you really think about it. 
    The idea is to get you accustomed to having it, so that the thought of losing it becomes unbearable enough to pay for it indefinitely. Then your files are (well, a sane person would only allow his workflow to be) held hostage by this extortion (not in the “costs a lot” sense, but the “held over your head” sense) for as long as it takes you to rework your way out of it. There’s an entire group of people that comes up with the psychological techniques to subconsciously manipulate people into falling for things like this. When the revolution comes, consumerism will have to be made a capital offense.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    To those who are up in arms that Apple doesn’t just give everyone 50GB instead of 5GB for free, or even 200GB for free, have you considered the data centre implications of this? It’s not just an finance/marketing exercise - we are talking many hundreds of millions of active iOS devices and iCloud users who would suddenly be granted access to 10x or 40x more storage. Lets’s Throw around some numbers, admittedly based on a bunch of, hopefully not unrealistic, assumptions:

    Say we have 1.3 billion active iOS users (announced by Apple in Jan 2018) and each user has the current 5GB of free space. That’s 6500 Petabytes of storage which, to put it in perspective is roughly 10x the total storage size of the well known backup and cloud storage company Backblaze. Now imagine Apple moving to a 50GB free tier overnight. That needs 65000 Petabytes or 100 Backblaze sized datacentres. Now imagine 200GB free tier...you get the idea. I realise that not every user would max out their storage budget immediately but it would also be disingenuous for Apple to give away 50GB to every user if in reality they only had data storage space for, say, half of those. How annoyed do we all get if we can’t get onto an overbooked flight for example?

    Anyone following Apple knows that they are building, or trying to build, data centres all over the world and have had some setbacks with planning approvals etc in recent years. They also, rightly in my opinion, try very hard to make their data centres renewable powered which no doubt makes the process a bit slower and dependent on suppliers of PV panels amongst other things to also scale up.

    i don’t know how many Petabyte or Exabytes of storage Apple actually has available but I also know from following Backblaze and their excellent company blog how much investment and actual work it takes to build storage racks and there is no magic! It comes down to physically building hundreds of storage enclosures using many thousands of 3.5” hard drives, which also have to be built by someone else. The supply chain involved is complex and takes a finite time to deliver.

    i have no doubt in my mind that Apple would love to be able to give away iCloud storage at least equal to the storage size of the devices being sold because the marketing narrative would be worth more than the loss in margin. But they need to be able to deliver the goods and that is a multi-year exercise in data centre building. That said, I think we should expect them to at least be able to make a step up from 5GB soon but my guess is that it’ll be to 20GB or 50GB at most with paid tiers beyond that to ensure that demand doesn’t outstrip supply until they can build more data centres.
    watto_cobrawilliamlondonGeorgeBMaclowededwookie
  • Reply 19 of 33
    For the user above, mathematically, you are correct, but rarely would a person even come close to using their full iCloud allowance. I'm on the free tier plan and only use 3GB. And other places are offering much more generous free and cheaper paid options than Apple too, especially considering it has been known that Apple actually uses Google for their iCloud storage. Apple is just too cheap here and offering a free 20GB would go a long way.

    Why do I only use 3GB? I don't believe in storing sensitive files online (including my non-sensitive photos and videos). All of that is on SSDs.
    [Deleted User]williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 33
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,656member
    I think the problem with iCloud Drive is that you can’t customise which files are stored on your Macs – you have to store all the files on all of your computers. Until Apple address this their cloud solution really isn’t that useful for people with a lot of files that can’t fit on a laptop SSD. 
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