Rising storage demand from consumers paves the way for 1TB iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone
Buyers of iPhones tend to purchase models with higher storage capacities than their Android counterparts, according to analysis of fourth-quarter sales, a gap that could widen with the introduction of a 1-terabyte model in the "iPhone 13."




Smartphone users typically desire to have as much storage as possible on their devices, in order to hold as much of their digital lives as possible. It is thought to be an important criterion for new smartphone buyers alongside screen size, cameras, and connectivity, and demand has gradually increased over time.

According to a Counterpoint Research report published on Monday, the smartphone industry as a whole is experiencing a trend for adopting larger NAND memory capacities on devices. After seeing the average NAND capacity pass 100 gigabytes in 2020, it is reckoned the industry benefited heavily from price reductions in UFS NAND memory.

Apple is said to have retained a higher NAND flash density on their devices than Android counterparts, with users opting for larger storage capacities in iPhones over time. However the firm believes the high average relative to Android is reducing due to a combination of Apple limiting the iPhone 12 to 512 gigabytes at most, and because Android vendors are adding more storage to their devices .

In the fourth quarter of 2020, iPhones were said to be supplied with an average storage capacity of 141 gigabytes, putting it in second place behind Huawei's 150 gigabytes. Apple still has a hefty lead over Oppo, Honor, and Vivo with 122, 115, and 108 gigabytes respectively, while Samsung is in sixth place with 95 gigabytes.

Average smartphone capacities in Q4 2020 [Counterpoint Research]
Average smartphone capacities in Q4 2020 [Counterpoint Research]


Between 2019 and 2020, Apple's 128GB models experienced a yearly growth in shipments in the "low-to-mid teens." Meanwhile 64GB models saw a 1% decline over the same period.

The iPhone 11, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 Pro Max was thought to make up half of Apple's shipments in the 2019-2020 period, with 64GB models making up over half of sales.

Counterpoint believes 128GB is fast becoming the minimum standard for storage capacities in the mid-to-high end of the market.

While Apple currently offers a maximum of 256GB of storage in its iPhone 12 and 512GB in the iPhone 12 Pro, there is always the possibility of Apple increasing capacities. Apple typically doubles its top-end storage allocation every two years, though it has stayed at 512GB for three, making a 2021 upgrade more plausible.

Early iPhone 13 rumors also pointed to the prospect of a 1TB iPhone.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    A bigger iCloud storage plan will allow you to get by with less storage on the iPhone/iPad/Mac. iCloud therefore more than pays for itself. 
    lkruppStrangeDayswatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Android users buy micro SD cards, so this shouldn’t be surprising.
    elijahgCloudTalkinapplguysandorPetrolDavewatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 3 of 14
    The new higher density cameras "proposed" for the iPhone 13 will drive folks to the 1Tb memory capability/ The cloud is not available everywhere I have used my iPhone camera system. I was ready to see the 1Tb option last year. The parallel part would be a USB-C connection for faster data transfers. USB-C has been the connector for the iPads for several years now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    M68000M68000 Posts: 334member
    My first iPhone had 4gb storage, LOL.   Having 1TB seems like way too much,  what are these people doing,  recording videos everyday?   still have not used half of 256gb in current phone that is about 3 years old
    StrangeDaysdysamoriawatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 5 of 14
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,608member
    I'm curious to see what the use-case is for users wanting 1TB on their iPhones.  I still try justifying purchasing any iPhone above 256GB and I don't think I'm even using half of that.  With the amount of space I get on iCloud, that is cheaper over the years versus the premium cost for that 1TB iPhone.

    That's a boat-load of capacity.  Then again, with ever-higher megapixel camera shots, I can see why people are asking for more. :/
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,890member
    I think part of it may simply be the buyers have so much disposable cash they splurge on the best available and highest spec'd versions even tho they'll never take advantage of either the speeds or the storage.  For bragging rights alone it's valuable. 
    edited April 19 baconstang
  • Reply 7 of 14
    ionicleionicle Posts: 62member
    Before i signed up to icloud both me and my wife with our 256gb iphones were maxed out and slowing down due to being full, icloud has fixed that, but i would still rather have all my content with me
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    thttht Posts: 3,949member
    M68000 said:
    My first iPhone had 4gb storage, LOL.   Having 1TB seems like way too much,  what are these people doing,  recording videos everyday?   still have not used half of 256gb in current phone that is about 3 years old
    Yes. ;)

    While I don't record videos all the much, I've kept every single photo and video I've ever taken over the past 20 years. It's magical when you can go look at them on the phone. I'm basically a nuclear family unit who had babies at the start of the digicam age. It eventually adds up. Wish I had the time to get old film photos digitized with proper meta data too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,297member
    Dead_Pool said:
    A bigger iCloud storage plan will allow you to get by with less storage on the iPhone/iPad/Mac. iCloud therefore more than pays for itself. 
    Yeah it's funny -- for me, w/ iCloud integration, my on-device storage requirements have been going down, not up. I use less than 64GB now. That's less than half of the 128GB pro model. 
    watto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 10 of 14
    It’s not just about photos and videos - I have 145GB of MP3 files and 72GB of photos/videos on my iPhone.

    Before anyone says “why don’t you stream your audio” it’s because coverage is rubbish where I live and much of the audio is ripped from previous owned vinyl, cassette and CDs.
    edited April 19 thtdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,294member
    gatorguy said:
    I think part of it may simply be the buyers have so much disposable cash they splurge on the best available and highest spec'd versions even tho they'll never take advantage of either the speeds or the storage.  For bragging rights alone it's valuable. 
    What. Who has disposable cash, let alone “so much” of it??? Where do you live that you think this is how things are?
  • Reply 12 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,294member
    I’m sure I could use a little more space than the 64GB on my current phone, especially if my iPhone 4 dies (I’m using it as an iPod)... but I cannot see myself using 256GB, let alone a frelling terabyte!!

    My data gets placed on an iMac and backup drives every few months. I don’t keep everything with me. I don’t see any reason to do that.

    i also don’t store much on iCloud.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Between iCloud for Photos and iTunes Match for music,  my storage needs are waaay below the 64GB on my phone.  
    If I stored everything on my phone I'd need one with 256GB.  I like having the back up, and it's all available by WiFi or Cell.
    Cloud storage comes to about $3 a month.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    M68000 said:
    My first iPhone had 4gb storage, LOL.   Having 1TB seems like way too much,  what are these people doing,  recording videos everyday?   still have not used half of 256gb in current phone that is about 3 years old
    I have a maxed out iPhone 11 and use the storage space for audio, video and picture storage.  Rather than having and using a cloud service, I opt for significant device storage and (essentially) zero wireless data usage.  This has allowed my family to have five iPhones with a family phone plan which only costs $30 per month (total - for all five phones)!  The caveat is that we have a shared 1GB of wireless data.  We made the choice to spend our money on physical product rather than a monthly costs that never nets us anything.  It is also of note that we upgrade our phones only rarely (5-ish years).  If you consider the additional cost of buying a phone with the extra storage and offset it by the cost savings of our wireless plan and it is a win!
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