At WWDC this year, Apple announced iCloud Drive to compete with the cloud storage offerings of other companies. Previous to this, iCloud did not offer the file and folder sync capabilities of other cloud storage competitors, and Apple is hoping iCloud Drive will be the answer. It is a very competitive market right now though, with some pretty major price cuts by the major players this year including Dropbox, Microsoft, and Google.

Apple has now announced the full pricing structure for iCloud Drive which is more competitive than before. Just a few months ago, Apple only offered up to 50 GB in iCloud, and charged $100 USD per year for it. Google Drive at the time offered 100 GB for only $24 USD per year, so clearly some price adjustments needed to be done.

Apple iCloud Comparison
  iCloud iCloud Drive
Free Storage 5 GB 5 GB
Lowest Tier (USD/year) 10 GB / $20 20 GB / $12
Second Tier (USD/year) 20 GB / $40 200 GB / $48
Third Tier (USD/year) 50 GB / $100 500 GB / $120
Fourth Tier (USD/year) N/A 1 TB / $240
Lowest Cost/GB $2 / GB $0.24 / GB

With the new prices, Apple is offering quite a bit of choice as far as storage tiers, and with a 20 GB option for only $0.99 per month, and Apple now offers tiers up to 1 TB which is in line with many competitors. Unfortunately they have not touched the free tier, which stays at 5 GB.

These new prices are much better per gigabyte than previously offered, with the 200 GB tier exactly the same price per gigabyte as both OneDrive and Google Drive, however none of the other tiers really come close. For $0.99/month, you can get 20 GB on iCloud Drive, but for only $2/month you can get 100 GB on both OneDrive and Google Drive. The higher tiers get even more out of sync, with Apple asking $240 for 1 TB of storage, but Microsoft offers 1 TB of storage and a full version of Office for $70 per year, or 5 x 1 TB and 5 installs of Office for $100 per year. Google comes in at 1 TB for $120 per year, and DropBox just lowered their pricing with 1 TB per year for $100.

It would seem Apple is hoping that users of its products will be willing to pay more for iCloud Drive to keep the experience all within the Apple ecosystem, and it might not be the wrong move. They have shown in the past that their customers are willing to spend more for the Apple products than competitors can accomplish, and Apple has traditionally not competed much on price so this may work out well for them, but it must be said, all of the consumer cloud offerings do support the Mac already, and several are available and popular on iOS as well, so it may be difficult to come to the game this late with a higher price than the competition.

Source: Apple

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  • PCMerlin - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    I think you missed the point. Rather than pay $240/yr to Apple for 1TB of storage and use a "free" office suite with half the features does not make sense when for $99/year (less than half) you can get Office 365 for 5 users, with 5TB of storage (1TB for each user).

    But then again, as it says in the article, most Apple users don't really care about how much things cost anyway... (well, unless it's from Microsoft :P )
  • grahamwilliams - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Most Apple users don't care to pay the Microsoft tax when they have "Good Enough" versions of some software and "Far Better" versions of others (Keynote especially).

    I'm curious as to who is storing more than 200GB in the cloud, and why. Surely Office has not bloated Word and Excel files to the point where that's required yet, right? And if you're talking photos... those are included for free in iCloud, so your argument is getting thinner and thinner...
  • SoCalBoomer - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    The point is still the point. Apple users would pay $240 for 1TB and a less capable office suite while students can get the full version of Office and 1TB for $79. That's not a MS tax, that's an Apple tax - and a huge one.

    In any case - I have 128GB free on OneDrive, 75GB free on Dropbox - why would I pay $20 a year for less than a tenth of that? Only commenting, here, re: your 200GB in the cloud. . . Apple's 200GB prices are still pretty stupid. . .
  • akdj - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    Apple's iWork suite is completely free and not at all tied into 'storage pricing' in the cloud. iCloud and it's prices for storage IMHO look high as well ...but if you're comparing to OneDrive, it's leaps n bounds ahead for using within iOS or OSx'es ecosystem. Not the case with OneDrive. Can't send to, open in, or transfer to other services (ala Dropbox) without headaches
    Right now I'm enjoying OneDrive for the business as we get 5TB of storage with five users ...for ten bucks a month. Just happens to come with Word/Excel &PPT. Pages, Numbers and Keynote are free as are OS Updates on OSx. Six one way a half dozen the other.

    One thing is for sure though. Gone are the days everyone 'needs' Word to open a .doc ...or to create a .docx.
  • krutou - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    "Most Apple users don't care to pay the Microsoft tax when they have 'Good Enough' versions of some software and 'Far Better' versions of others (Keynote especially)."

    Funny how you're criticizing the "Microsoft Tax" when you're completely ignoring the "Apple Tax". The massive "cover" you must pay to buy into the Apple ecosystem is appalling.

    $900 for a 13" MacBook Air with a screen from 2010, and absolute garbage performance. Its funny how my Atom Tablet runs Powerpoint better than the MBA 2014.
  • ttzero13 - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    Stop showing your ignorance, idiot. You either haven't used a Macbook Air or got scammed. There is no way that an Atom Tablet would run better than a 2014 MBA with i5. Plain rubbish. Macbook Air is in fact cheaper than most WINDOWS ultra books of the same or worse performance.
  • akdj - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    Lol. That's funny. The 13" MBA would trounce any and all Atom based net books. As it does most EVERY ULV Ultrabook! It's quicker than the SPIII, with better iGPU, faster PCIe SSD storage, Thunderbolt...and a two pound package that'll run OSx, Windows 7 or 8(.1), your favorite flavor of Unix, Linux it.

    Your 'Atom Tablet' is NO Where near the capabilities of today's MBA or Ultrabooks based on the Haswell core architecture. While indeed it's not a high resolution display, Apple's intelligent enough to wait until integrated graphic power catches up move all those pixels around.

    What a silly ck,ment
  • akdj - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    'Silly comment'. It was supposed to read anyway ;)
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    Far Better? Hardly.

    For one Microsoft has "One Note" that competes with Keynote, however the big difference is... Keynote is no longer being actively developed.

    As for Microsoft's cloud, you can do more than just upload documents and photos, not to mention Microsoft provides everyone with triple the amount of storage compared to Apple in it's "Free" versions.
    And in the free version of OneDrive, Microsoft will backup your cloud data, Apple doesn't, OneDrive is also available on more platforms than Apple's competing solution.
  • akdj - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    Your last 'run on' sentence isn't really true. Apple DOES indeed backup your cloud data at it's free tier's just smart enough to not store the "entire song, movie, TV show series or apps". iCloud stores the relevant metadata so it's aware you've bought the app, own the song or video and it's referencing backup for data, IE Pages/Word document is FAR & Away better than OneDrive. I use both OSx and Windows 8.1. iOS and Android. OneDrive is an absolute nightmare to access from most 'non MS associated' applications or software. Yes. You can back up your photos. But you can't 'import' them back into your local machine for editing in PS or video to manipulate with After Effects, Premier or FCPx like Dropbox or iCloud allow. In fact with DB & iCloud, especially for the every day 'joe and janes''s pretty sweet the way 'Finder' allows them to be regular 'folders' within the OS itself. Not possible with One.note. While OneNote will store what you want, and it comes with office, for use on a mobile device, there is much better solutions. Especially if you're not using a Window's phone like 98% of us. iOS and Android for current offerings, although it's not without caveats, Dropbox is the pound for pound winner. iCloud drive and it's integration and aggregation with 10.10 remains to be seen, along with continuity/handoff with iOS 8 & AirDrop between to two. Time will tell.

    I should mention I work for none, use them all and currently have a TB w/ Dropbox and 5TB with OneDrive, my business and family. I've not yet bought into iCloud even though I'm a bigger Mac user (my business and home vs. our business's servers and desktop environment [radio stations and proprietary software not OSx compatible or it would be different]) than Windows but I do LIKE Windows 8.1, my little HP 2 in 1 and it's 'crappy display from 2010' as earlier mentioned so eloquently earlier about the MBA (same display as my HP). Funny though, as I don't remember 2010 being a real terrible year. iPad dropped. Android started on tabs with the Xoom release, iPhone went 'retina' and the industry followed to HiDPI displays with phenomenal increases in quality since then on AMOLED display technology.
    Anyway, hopefully you get the point. MS, unless vertically and horizontally you're working within MS (mobile OS/desk and laptop OS/wherever you're communicating with's 'system' or OS) solely. If you're on android or iOS Dropbox bests them all at this point if you don't need office for it's versatility and accessibility across the board.
    If indeed your laptop, desktop and workstation 9-5 is all Windows based including your mobile choices (phone and tablet), I'll bet OneNote or as you say 'Microsoft's cloud' would easily smoke the others. That said....
    OSx 10.10 and iOS 8 aren't in the hands off the masses as they're readying the GM versions for developers now. Once we're familiar with iCloud's abilities (remember it's not storing any actual 'content' you've purchased from them: apps, flicks, tunes TV shows, mags books or even 'documents' rather reference points 'in time' while making your document so you can go back and edit from a point before you've ACTUALLY screwed it up;)---& any metadata associates with your iTunes purchases, today's largest selling 'place' online for music! As well, your magazines, books, media period doesn't take up 5GB of your thousand to save Django as on OneDrive. It knows you bought it with about a 25kb 'note')
    Time will tell. But don't for a second believe OneNote is as agile as the others. While you can install training wheels, I mean Windows on a Mac 'out of the box' with supported drivers...It's not possible to go the other direction. Hopefully it changes someday but today, iCloud services are very easy to use on Win 8 within the browser.


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