Apple, Google, and Amazon accused of overcharging for tablet storage

Apple, Google, and Amazon accused of overcharging for tablet storage
This is certainly not a new argument. The complaint about the premium put on more storage space in mobile devices is one that began with the original iPhone and continues to this day across all manufacturers and platforms, especially as expandable storage continues to disappear. But, while plenty have accused Apple, Google, Amazon and the rest of overcharging for tablet storage, now we have some hard numbers to back up just how bad the problem is.

As we all know, each storage tier on iOS products bumps the price by $100. The price difference isn't as bad with other tablets, but even so Amazon charges $40 more for each storage tier on smaller tablets and $50 on larger tablets. Google has followed the same structure as Amazon for its Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. 

Well, a new report is saying that as far as component costs go, Apple pays less than $10 more for the 32GB storage module compared to the 16GB, meaning it is charging over a 1,000% markup on that upgrade. The markup isn't quite as bad on Amazon and Google tablets, but we're still talking about close to a 400-500% markup on those tablets. 

And, worst of all is that these figures don't even take into account how much actual usable storage a customer will get when buying a new tablet. Apple and Google tend to be good about keeping system sizes smaller, but if you go for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 there will be about 6GB of storage lost just for Samsung's software. 

Of course, all of this is from the standpoint of consumer rage. While we agree that Apple overcharges for storage upgrades, we would say that $40 to $50 difference makes sense. If the cost to the consumer were less than that, manufacturers would end up cannibalizing their own sales because no one would bother with lower capacity storage options. 

source: MacWorld

FEATURED VIDEO

48 Comments

1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

That's where they make the real profit, and off network antennas so it's not gonna change. Of course it would only take one company to make a gesture and release a product flat out having 128GB on board (would cost them like $25 extra), and guess what, ppl. would buy the crap out of it and others would follow. But right now the best you can get is not starting at 16GB but 32GB (select $600+ devices) so winter is coming... well who knows when.

5. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

If some company did $600 for a 128gb with LTE the storage bs would be done.

25. DROIDX0430

Posts: 469; Member since: Nov 24, 2010

Yeah and why don't McDonald's, Wendy's and BK join hands.

11. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

True. Just set 32GB as the minimum. That would be good for a couple more years. Then when everybody is filling up their phones with 30mb+ pics shot from 20MP cameras with RAW support and videos captured in 4K and 1080p in 60fps let's move to 64GB and 128GB.

40. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Even if 64 gb phones at ~200 (500 off) on contract were released, I would no longer feel compelled to b!tch about a lack of SD cards. Don't get me wrong, I would rather just take my SIM and SD card and swap devices, but I would deal with phones without removable storage if they had 64gb or >.

43. madmikepr

Posts: 138; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

well at least MS and Nokia don't charge Extra...

2. richardraji

Posts: 21; Member since: Oct 14, 2013

typical of apple.. i think the prices should about $20 increases not all the way to $100

3. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

yess I use to think it was crazy 32 gigs cost a hundred more and I still think its crazy

4. jove39

Posts: 2137; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Apple is evil company when it comes to pricing of device - iphone5s Nexus5 16gb $649 $349 32gb $749 $399 Google charging extra for more storage is justified as their device is already priced low...but apple devices are priced higher upfront they should sell 64gb iphone5s at $649.

7. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

So the other companies being accused are not evil? Are they LESS evil? Is it fine for them to steal $50 because another company takes $150? Am I understanding that?

8. jove39

Posts: 2137; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Yes It is fine for google to charge extra $50 for 16gb storage...if Apple charges $399 for 32gb iphone5s...I would say its OK for apple to charge $50 for extra 16gb.

10. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

You should email the author of the article to remove Google's name in the accused list.

13. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Most of the others offer a MicroSD slot at least so you can go around their back and put in a 64GB card like a champ. Of course NAND flash is much faster, but at least you have options. Google doesn't offer that, but charges half the price.

19. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Not really fair to be honest, comparing iphone 5s to a nexus 5... Why not nexus 5 to Galaxy s4? 16gb and costs $627? Or note 3? 32gb for $703 Also if I am not mistaken, the 5s has a 64bit processor and also a 64bit memory controller as well. Sure they over charge but....look at the specs a little more and they are in line with Galaxy s4 and note 3

32. darkkjedii

Posts: 30782; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You are a classic a$$ kisser, this'll get moded, but I had to say it.

44. stealthd unregistered

It doesn't really matter where they price the Nexus 5, they're still charging $50 more for a part that isn't more than $4 more expensive. I think you've confused "evil" with "supply and demand".

6. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

might i point out that its not just amazon, apple and google. Samsung charge £325 for a 16GB Galaxy Note 10.1 but charge £400 if you want a 32GB version. All the OEMs do it. Also, Google doesnt actually make any tablets. Google just puts vanilla Android on them.

9. jove39

Posts: 2137; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Sure google doesn't manufacture any device...but google definitely play role in deciding price and specs...for nexus line up.

47. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

at least with Samsung you have what we call the freedom to use a microSD card. That is the major difference.

12. glenwf

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

This is called Capitalism and Supply & Demand. As long as you're willing to pay it, the prices won't significantly change. Maybe people should stop whining and speak with their wallets instead. "Evil" has nothing to do with this....

20. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Storage is the most valuable thing they can make money off of. Anyone that complains that the nexus 7 32GB cost too much is just being a troll.

23. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

It'll never change as long as people keep camping out for product launches.

26. TruPatriot

Posts: 110; Member since: May 27, 2013

Take an econ class, moron.

41. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

If you are speaking to OP, then you should take your own advice.

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

In other shocking news, water is wet, the sky is blue, and Andy d**k is gay. All manufacturers are guilty, but Apple is by far the worst. A class 10 microSD card from Sandisk costs ~$50. So why does the increase from a 16gb to a 32gb model cost $100? For the same reason they refuse to include a microSD slot on their devices.

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

"Of course, all of this is from the standpoint of consumer rage. While we agree that Apple overcharges for storage upgrades, we would say that $40 to $50 difference makes sense. If the cost to the consumer were less than that, manufacturers would end up cannibalizing their own sales because no one would bother with lower capacity storage options." So here's a quirky thought, rather than worry about giving consumers multiple storage options, and in turn have to worry about cannibalizing sales from lower storage models, how about just making one storage option available and be the highest currently available. If there was only one size chip to buy and they buy in bulk for all their models, the device cost would probably be in the middle of the low & high end. Problem solved. Even if they never go down that road, a 15% markup doesn't sound unreasonable to me. There are always going to be people who say "This is all the space I need" and won't spend the extra for more storage. And those that want/need the extra storage won't get raped in the process. Also, why not give the ACTUAL storage capacity that's available to the user. When they ship these phones, they know what they'll have for storage, so put that in the specs rather than the gross capacity that the end user will never see. It would also shine a light on how much space the OS, any skin, and bloatware are eating from the advertised storage capacity. I'm surprised no one mentioned phones in this scenario as well. Most companies are just as bad when moving up in storage for phones as they are for tablets.

16. danwatson

Posts: 117; Member since: Jan 03, 2012

Everywhere else does this too. Hopefully people know that a HDMI cable doesn't cost $100 like bestbuy prices them. Bestbuy actually sells a 6.5ft HDMI cable for $1500http://www.bestbuy.com/site/diamond-6-6-high-speed-hdmi-cable/2383319.p?id=1218325919542&skuId=2383319&st=categoryid$abcat0107020&cp=1&lp=4 1000% Markup is nothing

42. madmikepr

Posts: 138; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

the reviews on that link are hilarious Lmao "This cable completely changed my life. The product is amazing. I had to sell my kidney to buy this cable, but it was totally worth it."

17. dragonscourgex

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

"If the cost to the consumer were less than that, manufacturers would end up cannibalizing their own sales because no one would bother with lower capacity storage options. " This is why I understand the $50.00 price gap. But..a $100.00 gap is a little too much. I personally would be fine with a 16 GB internal and a SD card slot standard on every phone and let me expand my storage as I see fit.

18. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

If a phone manufacturer is going to charge $100 between model phones then they better take notes from Motorola and double the memory, increase the battery size, throw in wireless charging, and a kevlar finish.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.