Google has just announced some new price plans for its Google Drive service. The new plans start at $1.99 for 100 GB (down from $4.99), $10 for 1 TB (down from $50) and 10 TB for $99.99. This storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos.
It should be noted that Google bills customers monthly. Even so, these new price points make Apple’s iCloud storage offerings look awful in terms of value for money.
For iCloud storage, Apple currently charges $20 yearly for 15 GB, $50 yearly for 25 GB and $100 yearly for 55 GB (lumping in the free 5 gigabytes Apple gives to every user). Rather amusingly, Apple’s options do not even allow users to perform a 1:1 backup of their 64 GB and 128 GB devices — the top iCloud tier totals 55 GB of storage.
Whatever way you cut it, Apple’s prices are exorbitant in comparison to Google’s. Doing some basic arithmetic, for one gigabyte of cloud storage over a year, Google charges you 24 cents. Meanwhile, Apple charges you 1.8 dollars. This means Apple’s current rates are 7.5x more expensive than Google’s.
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Obviously, there are differences in the quality of services this storage can provide. Google Drive is almost like a hard drive in the sky, you can store whatever you want there. It could be argued that Apple’s solution is more integrated to the iOS and Mac platforms, for instance, or that Apple’s motivations for hosting your data are much more ‘honest’. Unlike many Google services, iCloud is ad-free. Even so, I think anyone would find it hard to justify that this convenience is worth approximately eight times the price.
As an additional metric, for most iOS devices it costs $100 dollars to add an additional 16 GB of local storage. This translates to 6.25 dollars per gigabyte. This is both more expensive than iCloud and Google Drive and generally less appealing. Apple won’t offer you any more than 64 GB of storage on iPhones and iPod touches, whereas Google Drive’s paid options start at 100GB. Local storage also lacks the convenience that the cloud offers, in terms of ‘automatic’ data backup and syncing.
Also, don’t forget that if you pay nothing at all … Google still wins out in terms of generosity. Google gives all users 15 GB for free compared to Apple’s measly 5 GB per Apple ID offering.
Google has recently begun offering to back up Apple users’ photos with its Google+ Auto Backup on the Mac and Google Plus App for iPad and iPhone. With prices this low, many may forgo Apple’s iCloud and use Google’s offerings, whether for price or logistical reasons.