Apple is giving iCloud users a little more choice only a week before the company is expected to unveil the new iPhone. Users will now have access to a new top-tier option of up to 2 terabytes of cloud storage for $20 per month.
For the uninitiated, iCloud is basically Apple’s cloud storage service, and is used to backup things like photos, documents, videos, and so on. Apple also offers iCloud Drive, which works like Dropbox or Google Drive and allows you to sync files between all of your devices in a folder interface.
Apple’s new Mac operating system, macOS Sierra, is about to be released with iCloud Drive support built in, so it’s entirely possible that the new 2TB tier was released in anticipation of users wanting more than the previous 1TB option. Not only that, but Apple is expected to unveil a 256GB iPhone option, an amount of storage that might previously have been a little too much for those with 1TB limits, especially when all of a computer’s files are added into the mix. In fact, the largest iCloud capacity has always been around eight times that of the highest iPhone storage option.
The pricing of the new tier is pretty much in line with competitors’ offerings — Google offers cloud storage for around $10 per terabyte, as does Dropbox. Microsoft offers 1TB of storage for $7 per month, butthat’s part of the company’s Office 365 subscription.
Existing iCloud users won’t need to worry — the new tier doesn’t replace any other options, so you’ll be able to pay $1 for 50GB, $3 for 200GB and $10 for 1TB if you so choose. Users who don’t want to pay anything will still get 5GB for free.
Apple is clearly going head to head with the likes of Google and Dropbox, but only time will tell if the new storage option and iCloud Drive integration are enough to pull customers from the other much-loved cloud storage options.