The 64GB iPhone 11s are a joke Apple keeps repeating

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
The 64GB iPhone 11s are a joke Apple keeps repeating
The 2019 lineup of iPhones was announced earlier this week, and one of the pleasant surprises was that the prices of the three new devices are the same or lower (as hard as it is to believe) than those of the iPhones they succeed. But that’s not a big consolation considering the numbers hover around $1,000, but things get worse when we take a look at what the base versions offer as storage – and how much Apple charges for upgrades.

There’s one phone that got a lower price and that’s the iPhone 11 which dropped by $50 compared to the iPhone XR. Its base storage and the price jumps between storage upgrades, however, remain the same and the situation is similar with the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. And that’s exactly where the issue is. This means that all the prices Apple shows during its presentation are for iPhones with 64GB of storage. While users might let that slide when it comes to the $699 iPhone 11 since for the same price as last year’s iPhone XR ($749) you get 128GB, the same can’t be said for the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

For $999 (or $1,099 for the Max version) on a device that it calls “Pro”, Apple is giving its users a meager 64GB of storage. In 2019. And keep in mind that about 7GB of those are taken by the operating system. And those amazing 4K 60fps videos Apple was showcasing during the announcement? They come at about 400MB per minute. It quickly becomes clear that even for the average user, 64GB are going to feel tight, let alone someone that is looking to get the most out of their thousand-dollar device. So let’s look at what options they have...

Apple’s storage prices vs competitors 

We’ve selected a couple of popular 2019 Android high-end smartphones from different brands to see how they price storage upgrades.

Now, we’re not here to compare the absolute prices since the phones are vastly different. What we’re going to focus on are the jumps between the different storage options. One thing that jumps out immediately is that the two other brands, Samsung and OnePlus, don’t even bother with offering 64GB versions of their flagship devices, just as it should be in 2019. That leaves us with two equal jumps we can take a look at. First, the iPhone 11’s jump from 128GB to 256GB would cost customers $100. Meanwhile, over at OnePlus, the upgrade costs just $30. That means Apple charges over three times more for the extra 128GB. And Apple’s storage isn’t some fancy superior version. In fact, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with the latest UFS 3.0 super-fast storage, and you can’t get better than that. 

And second, going from 256 to 512GB of storage on the iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost you double what you’d pay for the same amount of extra storage on the Galaxy Note 10+. $200 is what Apple demands for the upgrade, while Samsung will be happy with just one Benjamin.

This means that the most expensive iPhone 11 Pro Max costs a whopping 31% more than the base version. $350 to upgrade a single part. You can buy a whole other smartphone for that money. Meanwhile, for the Note 10+, the $100 price increase is merely 9% of the cost of the base model.

It’s not news that companies are using larger storage options to increase their profit margins but the limit to which Apple is pushing it is just ridiculous. And while companies charge you a pretty penny for the extra storage, when the time comes for you to return their precious device, they pretend it’s all the same.

Storage is how companies make money. You don’t

Trade-in programs are a popular way for phone manufacturers to offer discounts on the latest products to customers that give back their old phones. Usually, the way it works is by having a fixed amount you get depending on the device you return, and the newer and more expensive the phone, the bigger the discount. But here’s the thing: the discount doesn’t change depending on which storage option you have. So no matter if you’ve paid $1,099 or $1,449 for your previous iPhone, you’re getting the same value for it when giving it back to Apple. The same goes for Samsung and other manufacturers as well. Suddenly, the flash memory chips that vary wildly in prices depending on their capacity are all worth the same.

So, if you’ve gone for a high storage option in the past, it makes a lot more sense to sell your phone on eBay or somewhere else (we have a guide on how to go about it) where you can get back at least some of the extra cost. Of course, the second-hand market will almost always give you more, even for the base version of a phone, but some people prefer to go for the hassle-free experience of trade-ins.

Overall, it turns out choosing which storage option to get is quite an important decision. Getting a phone with less storage could seriously hinder your experience in the long term, potentially forcing you to upgrade sooner than you’d hoped. Being tempted by the big numbers, however, could end up as a waste of money if you never make use of all the storage you have. Consider your needs and take into account your past experiences and you’ll surely make the right decision.

Related phones

iPhone 11
  • Display 6.1" 828 x 1792 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 12 MP front
  • Processor Apple A13 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2650 MHz
  • Storage 64GB
  • Battery 3110 mAh
iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 12 MP front
  • Processor Apple A13 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2650 MHz
  • Storage 64GB
  • Battery 3969 mAh



1. DolmioMan

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

16GB base was... 64GB is still enough for most people.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4391; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If you never do anything with your phone, I agree

11. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

it’s just a strategy to lower the starting price. They want people to buy at least the 256GB as 64GB would be impractical for many unless you just want to show that you’ve an iPhone instead of using it. Apple is doing the same from many years so nothing new here. For me the base iPhone model never exist. It starts from the mid storage model to actually be usable. But the base model is always the top selling.

49. corvette72778

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

It's a bait and switch tactic. Deceptive if you ask me

18. skips

Posts: 490; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

What? I'm barely half full with my 32GB 6S Plus. Clean your damn phone every once in a while. Upload a part of the stuff in cloud. What the hell are y'all storing in your phones that 64GB for a PHONE is a joke? I'll gladly take the smallest storage if it's an option.

36. mackan84

Posts: 689; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I’m with you. 64gb is good enough, music, podcast and movies are streamed and photos is in the cloud. I have about 100 apps installed of which I use about 1-15 a day. Currently using 25gb out of 64gb.

105. srgonu

Posts: 569; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

64GB is fine earlier. This year all phones by default spork 4k 60fps recording and even with front facing it is 4k 30. Iphone advertised it as great video camera phone and you need storage for it. So, its definitely a bad strategy starting with 64GB. Should have started with atleast 128GB.

108. sachiel

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

What icloud subscription did you get?

40. izim1

Posts: 1619; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I have a billion family pictures and videos on my phone and am barely crossing the 30gb mark. Every show/movie i watch on my phone is streamed from somewhere. What exactly do you people do that uses up so much storage, download the entire MCU collection in 4K HDR on your phones?

52. lyndon420

Posts: 6918; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Once apple's arcade hits, and people are downloading games to avoid using the internet...that's when these paltry base models may be a problem.

54. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

I tried explaining there are users who just need an iPhone for their daily tasks and often use it for years even with base storage. While there are power users who need a new iPhone every year even with maximum storage. iPhone is a powerhouse device with a very powerful CPU, GPU and camera. Downloading heavy games, having lot of videos you and your loved ones capture and having a lot of good apps eats up storage. Plus higher models reportedly have faster storage than low storage models. The other thing is despite having cloud option, the offline storage is safer as everything resides in your own device. So higher storage models are really the ones to have if you want to fully use the device enjoying the true power it offers.

92. oldskool50 unregistered

But that isnt the point. It's not about if you need the space or not. Its about the fact of much you are paying for it and the fact if others are offering more at equal or lesser price, that you are being ripped off. You are basically defending this with not poor excuse. A Note 10+ is $1200 with 512 while and iPhone with the same is $1500. When you consider the camera is at default which is the highest resolution, with files sizes above 4MB, plus 4K videos, then the space for the OS which is over 5GB, then your media, contacts, photos, videos, app data and more...64GB goes quick. I don't use u limited data plans so I'm not gonna stream my personal library when I can simply have it local on my device.

102. midan

Posts: 3228; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

”When you consider the camera is at default which is the highest resolution, with files sizes above 4MB” Like i said to you earlier, stop spreading lies, average iPhone photo takes around 2MB space.

117. oldskool50 unregistered

No they do not. if you have the latest iPhone models set at their native highest resolutions, those files are 4MB. This is what people were saying files sizes were on their iPhone back in 2014 in this Apple discussion:​64306 They were saying their photos were ranging from 1.7-2.3MB then. With Panoramic shots being as high as 16MB. Today photos are above QHD resolutions dude. You don't know jack about the phone you even use. Video - 1 minute 1080p at 30fps will be 60MB 1 minute 1080p at 60fps will be 90MB 1 minute 4K at 30fps will be 170MB 1 minute 4K at 60fps will be 400MB. See I have the facts bruh. I know what I'm taking about. Please shut-up when adults are talking. Kids need not express themselves when they are completely wrong. You continue to try to base everything off of YOUR personal usage, which is wrong and its completely stupid. How big a photo size is, depends on what is in the photo. So if you were only taking a photo of a page in a book, since its just black and white, that photo will be small. But if you were outside taking a photo of a huge rose garden, then their is more data to compress and that file size could be as large as 4MB or larger for fancier shots like wide angles and panoramic. Fancy shots with things like Slo-mo, panoramic, wide-angles, Bokeh and other fancy shots, can lead to more data for aphoto, which will drive up file sizes. Just liek video with a higher resolution also drives up files sizes. On my Note 9, I have my camera to take all photos at 18.5:9, which is a resolution of 4032.1960. Looking at my file sizes, they range from the smallest being 2.8MB-4.6MB. Right now I have 500 photos in one folder, and that takes up 2.3GB. I have 2 DCIM folders, one on the phone and one on my SDCARD. My total usage for photos and videos, just on my SD is nearly 6GB. Which means, add all the apps and other stuff, 64GB won't even hold all my apps. I have the 512GB model and I try to keep my junk on the sdcard which I have a 400GB Sandisk. My apps/games/ and their data is using nearly 200GB of my internal storage. yes I am a power user. But even if I wasn't, 64GB would not be enough and for a phone that claims to be "pro", the storage at $1000 should be at least 256GB, regardless if you need it or not. You love paying more for less. I don't. You are clueless Midan, because you are not a tech fan. You think you represent everyone in your thoughtless conclusions. Please stop before you hurt yourself! LMAO!

76. iushnt

Posts: 3176; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

@izim1 I just checked my 7 plus’s storage usage. It is 190 GB used. 47 GB photos, 30 GB work and personal documents, 40 Gb apps, 27 GB music (offline downloads of Apple Music) and miscellaneous. That’s my need, just because you don’t need doesn’t mean other need to download entire MCU collection in 4K HDR on phones. BTw what is MCU collection?

4. Wickedsamaritan

Posts: 88; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

If you only use your phone for stopwatch and Alarm.. that's right

72. OneLove123

Posts: 1296; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

No, they use it for the logo. They don’t really care about the storage. If it’s full they buy iCloud

5. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 727; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

It is not acceptable to offer 64GB for flagship in 2019. This stands true in particular when Apple promotes the storage hungry new camera of iPhone 11 as the main new feature.

6. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 778; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

I agree with you that 64GB is enough for most people. Tech savvy people on this website think otherwise because they use more on average, but most people who don't follow tech, don't use their phones to the same degree. That being said, it doesn't change the fact that Apple offers way less for your money than Android counterparts and charges you more to upgrade the memory as well. Think for a second about the fact that they're charging $200 to go from 256GB to 512GB. A stand-alone SD card of that size costs between $15-50 depending on the quality. I expect an upcharge, but that's just ridiculous.

7. ph00ny

Posts: 2077; Member since: May 26, 2011

Wife isn't tech savvy by any means but just like majority of the women on this planet with a smartphone, she takes ton of pics, 128GBs on her iphone is barely keeping pace. Since she already said she doesn't care about the telephoto lens, she's getting the 256GB iphone 11 instead.

10. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 778; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

I said most. Believe it or not, your wife isn't necessarily representative of most people.

46. Vancetastic

Posts: 1883; Member since: May 17, 2017

My wife is actually the same way...she's a teacher, and between the dozens of teaching apps required, photos and videos, she uses a LOT of storage. I'm trying to steer her away from iPhones next time, because I'm tired of paying their ridiculous prices for storage.

20. midan

Posts: 3228; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Your wife is perfect example about what i just wrote in my long post. Instead she could remove all the crap on her device before she buy bigger model. And photos really doesn’t take much space. Even 10 000 photos would be around 15gb etc. So i should recommend her to check where her storage goes before spending extra money. It’s very easy from settings it shows every app how much them take space and you can right away from there to delete those apps. In few minutes she might get many many gigs free so i recommend to check this data if she didn’t already buy new bigger model. There might be big surprise for her because ton of photos won’t make her 128GB full. Does she have thousands of photos in recent deleted folder? Already from there she might get many gigs free if she didn’t empty it. Here’s the photo where the data is and how it looks

47. Vancetastic

Posts: 1883; Member since: May 17, 2017

Why would you assume what she has on her phone is "crap"? You are an arrogant turd.

58. ph00ny

Posts: 2077; Member since: May 26, 2011

I wouldn't call pics of our baby boy growing up "crap" more like being a parent. She doesn't post on social media but she does send ton of pics to share in messaging apps with other family members. Also uploads boatload of them to her google photos (yes from her iphone and yes i've explained to her it still works if she switches over. Just enjoys iphone integration with her mbp) Also what's wrong with using and needing bigger storage? If we're going for the absolute need, why do you even have a smartphone?

82. midan

Posts: 3228; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

”I wouldn't call pics of our baby boy growing up "crap" more like being a parent.” Of course not, but i could bet money that her device have lot of junk, just based on the fact i helped lot of people like her to realize how much useless stuff your device store. I’m not talking about any real content here. I’m talking about useless files. Everytime i show those stuff to people they say they didn’t have any idea that these takes space. Because just like you said ”Wife isn't tech savvy by any means” ”doesn't post on social media but she does send ton of pics to share in messaging apps with other family members” so she have ton of pics duplicated=crap

89. Vancetastic

Posts: 1883; Member since: May 17, 2017

Way to double down on being a turd. Turd. People like you are the reason everyone can't stand arrogant fanboys.

107. sachiel

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

Then how come taking a screenshot, marking favorites and making a new folder to organize your pictures duplicates the file automatically? And what makes it worse is 99% of Iphone users don't know about it which are the most non tech savvy population of the smartphone world. Apple knows this and is taking advantage of non tech people to buy their overpriced and underspecced products. It is the reason why people hate Apple because they are making the consumers look stupid.

50. corvette72778

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

It's enough until they run out. I've seen it all to many times iPhone users have to delete something to download something or take a picture. Sad.

93. oldskool50 unregistered

The storage you get should not be based on need. Uts based on what you are paying. A $1000 phone should have at least 128GB. Period. Whether you need it or not. Apple is always given the exception. Since iPhone doesnt support sdcards, then they should include more. Everyone else is. Apple is just ripping you all off and you justify it with bogus excuses. Samsung $1000 phone comes 256GB. The $699 iPhone should start at 128GB The S6 edge 128 was that price years ago. Stop with the lame excuses. The price of storage on the open market ranges from $5-9 each per 1M order for 128, 256 and 512. Depends on speed rating and manufacturer. Samsungs 256GB internal flash is literally $5. Come dude...stand up to getting ripped off for the price you pay.

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