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

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • SoCalBoomer - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    $79 if you're a student. . .
  • ruggia - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    I'm genuinely curious.... what are the distinguishing features that make iCloud a compelling service for Apple ecosystem users?
    Cause based on what I've seen so far, I don't see any reason why one would want to pay for iCloud....
  • MikhailT - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    iCloud is basically built into iOS and OS X. You just log into your AppleID and that's it, everything else is handled for you in the background. Your devices are backed up, your photos and videos are uploaded in the background automatically, and so on. As long as you're an Apple user, it's the best integrated service you can get for photos, videos, and so on. It's certainly not the cheapest or the best cloud service but for Apple users, they want that effortless experience.
  • krutou - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    "They want that effortless experience."

    Is it correct, then, to label Apple users as lazy? CBA to do marginal amounts of work to save quite a bit of money?
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    It's not unusual for Apple to follow in the wake of their competitors and then have customers so clueless as to not realize that the features they're paying more for are available elsewhere and have been for some time.
  • blacks329 - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    I'm fairly heavily invested in the Mac and iOS ecosystem and the 200GB offering is looking pretty good to me. But if you're looking for more than 200GB of Cloud storage, OneDrive+Office 365 is SO FAR AND AWAY the best value. $70 for 1TB is great value already, Office on top is a nice bonus.

    Now if Office wasn't such complete garbage on the Mac. Still though in terms of MS and Apples offering: Word > Pages, Xcel >>> Numbers, Keynote >>> Powerpoint.
  • frostyfiredude - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    OneNote for Mac seems solid, one can hope MS will release an Office 2014 or Office 2015 update for Mac soon to make Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook as good as the Mac OneNote.
  • nerd1 - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Google and MS already gives 15GB for free, Box 50GB free and dropbox you can get similar amount for free if you use samsung device. All of those are platform independent. No thanks at all.
  • nerd1 - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Oh I forgot I have extra 100GB free for google drive (came with purchase of chromebox :D)
  • solipsism - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    And none of those are going to automatically backup a family with a half-dozen or so iDevices to the cloud. For a dollar a month one can do that much more cheaply now.

    Now is 5GB stingy and not somehow additional space per device owned kind of shitty, sure, but none of that has anything to do the storage solutions you mentioned as they have nothing to do with iCloud's purpose.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now