Storage Stories April 26

AAPL: 104.35

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Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade. expand full story

Storage Stories March 18

AAPL: 105.92

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It was estimated last year that Apple takes home a stunning 94% of all profits made by all players across the entire smartphone industry. Its gross margin across all products hovers around the 40% mark. Apple knows how to make money from its products.

One way it does this is to sell its iPhones with a base level of flash storage that is just barely usable, and charge a hefty markup for higher storage tiers. Sure, you can buy a shiny new iPhone 6s for $649, but that gets you a measly 16GB. It’ll cost you another hundred bucks to get a more reasonable 64GB and another $100 again if you want to max out at 128GB.

I’ve touched on this topic before as part of a more general piece about whether Apple was getting a little too greedy, but it seems to me that when the company is supplying iPhones with 4K camcorders built into them, this is the point at which a 16GB tier becomes completely indefensible …

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Storage Stories March 11

AAPL: 102.26

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I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.

While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.

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Storage Stories March 8

AAPL: 101.03

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Today, aftermarket Mac upgrade specialists OWC announced that the long-awaited PCIe flash storage upgrades for late model Mac laptops are now available. MacBook Pro, as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle, are eligible to upgrade. Upgrades include a 480GB or a 1TB PCIe-based flash storage solution.

Considering that many of these Macs shipped with anemic 128GB or 256GB SSDs, this can be considered a major upgrade. For instance, with MacBook Airs that featured 128GB of flash storage space, a 1TB upgrade equals 8x the storage space, a significant increase in eligible storage. expand full story

Storage Stories February 3

AAPL: 96.35

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You can get just about anything at the Shenzhen market in China, and that apparently includes an on-the-spot internal storage upgrade for your iPhone (in addition to a long list of counterfeit Apple products). It’s a service that, save for perhaps the most hardcore DIYers, is unheard of stateside. expand full story

Storage Stories December 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.17

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Adding extra storage to a MacBook using an SD card is easy, but it works like a thumb drive or external hard drive and not like your permanent, built-in storage. That means you’ll have to manually manage the storage, dragging files to and from the drive. But TarDisk Pear lets you add extra flash storage to your MacBook using an SD card and 1-click setup to merge the storage with your internal drive. After a quick setup, the TarDisk SD card installed in your Mac will act as one fusion drive with your built-in storage. I’ve been testing the product to see if it works like it should…

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