Is 128GB Enough iPhone Storage?

The iPhone 15 offers "lots of storage for lots of photos," or at least that's what Apple boasts in its latest ad. Whether that rings true for you depends on what you do with your iPhone, and which storage option you choose. But before you open your wallet, here are some things to consider.

iPhone 12 128GB Feature
The entry-level storage tier for the iPhone 15 is 128GB. That's a notable increase from the 64GB baseline that persisted until the iPhone 13 in 2021. When you consider that 2018's iPhone X came with as little as 64GB, the base storage option for Apple's latest device might even begin to sound generous.

However, this generational upward shift simply reflects the growing demand for more storage space as our digital habits broaden to encompass everything from high-resolution photography and multi-gigabyte triple-A games to extensive app libraries.

With the iPhone 15's camera capabilities now including 48-megapixel photos and 4K video recording, the space required for these high-resolution files is substantial. These advancements undoubtedly enhance the quality of content captured, but they also eat up local storage capacity, rendering what once seemed like ample space insufficient for the needs of many users.

iCloud to the Rescue?

icloud plus storage tiers

Apple's iCloud service presents a solution to device storage limitations, offering a range of plans that extend beyond the meager 5GB of free storage – which, frankly, is insufficient for most users. Apple's paid ‌iCloud‌+ storage subscription plans offer 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB. All ‌the plans include additional features like ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay, Hide My Email, and Custom Email Domains. Currently, subscribers pay $0.99 per month for 50GB of cloud storage, $2.99 per month for 200GB, and $9.99 per month for 2 TB.

Recently, Apple also added options for 6TB and 12TB of storage, addressing the needs of users with extensive storage requirements. However, these come at a cost, both financially and in terms of the reliance on an internet connection for access to your files. The 6TB ‌iCloud‌+ plan is priced at $29.99 per month and the 12TB plan costs $59.99 per month. (For comparison, Google's 5TB and 10TB cloud storage plans cost $24.99 and $49.99 per month.)

iPhone Storage vs. iCloud

While the standard iPhone 15 models and the iPhone 15 Pro models start with 128GB of storage, Apple offers 256GB and 512GB upgrade options, with an additional 1TB option for the iPhone 15 Pro. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max models start with double the storage at 256GB, with 512GB and 1TB available when upgrading.)

By offering a maximum capacity of 1TB for the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is catering to users who prioritize having vast amounts of storage directly on their device. However, this option costs $1,499, which is $700 more expensive than the base model. Therefore it's worth thinking about whether opting for a lower capacity model and supplementing it with additional iCloud storage might be a more economical and practical choice. For example, five years of 2TB iCloud storage would cost $500 – that's $200 cheaper than a 1TB iPhone 15, and could well outlast the lifetime of your device.

Whatever your decision, it will depend on your usage patterns and the value you place on having immediate, offline access to your files versus the flexibility and potential cost savings of cloud storage.

The Future of iPhone Storage

Given the current trajectory, it seems only reasonable that Apple increases the starting capacity of all its iPhone models to 256GB in future generations. Hopefully it also reassesses the paltry 5GB of free iCloud storage it offers – a more generous allocation that reflects the reality of modern digital consumption patterns is surely overdue.

Top Rated Comments

coffeemilktea Avatar
1 day ago at 06:08 am
128 GB is great IF you hardly use your phone. But add a good music collection, some of the most popular games (Genshin Impact alone will eat up dozens of GB ?‍?), and suddenly 128 feels awfully constraining.

Or just be like me and insist on taking 4K 60-frames-per-second videos of your cat so you can capture all of your little kitty's majestic adorableness... 128 GB will vanish in no time. ?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ApplesAreSweet&Sour Avatar
1 day ago at 06:29 am
MR knows how to get us triggered.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
1 day ago at 06:15 am

128 GB is great IF you hardly use your phone. But add a good music collection, some of the most popular games (Genshin Impact alone will eat up dozens of GB ?‍?), and suddenly 128 feels awfully constraining.

Or just be like me and insist on taking 4K 60-frames-per-second videos of your cat so you can capture all of your little kitty's majestic adorableness... 128 GB will vanish in no time. ?
That makes no sense. I use my phone every single day and it's essential for doing so many things and I'd be completely lost without it. It's HOW you use it. As I said in my post above I'm currently only using 48GB. That doesn't mean I hardly use it lol.

I don't take a lot of photos/videos. If I do it's just of my cats which are saved to iCloud (currently using only 700MB iCloud storage). I keep all the photos on iCloud but even though I have plenty of storage I regularly download the videos and save them to my PC for storage. I stream music, movies, tv through Spotify, Netflix, AppleTV. Spotify might have a few GB of cached songs. I don't download games on my phone because I hate playing games on a touch screen. I might sometimes download a movie or some audiobooks but that's not going to add much.

I just looked at what's using my storage and Instagram is taking up 11GB of space :eek: so if I deleted that then I'd only be using 37GB lol but yeah I hardly use my phone... :p
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Viridian5 Avatar
1 day ago at 06:12 am
Need a 1TB iCloud+ plan
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gustaw94 Avatar
1 day ago at 06:25 am
Apple upgrade basic iPhone storage from 4/8 GB to 128 GB but free iCloud is still 5 GB like at the beginning. This is greedy.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PotentPeas Avatar
1 day ago at 06:16 am
I feel like 128GB is good for "most people". I'm glad we're finally out of the storage crunch. I still vividly remember trying to help people with 8GB or 16GB phones figure out things to delete so that it could update the OS or even just so it wouldn't be yelling all of the time. 128GB is enough for a decent photo/music collection and plenty of apps, and an iCloud storage plan removes the need to worry about running out of space for photos.

Power users can buy more space. I, for example, have found 512GB really nice to have when I want to store a lot of videos on my phone to have something to watch offline while traveling.

I rather wish they'd bump up storage on the MacBook Pro. That's where I want to keep my bulk stuff, and 8TB is a lot, but I still feel the crunch, have to rely on NAS storage, and I wish they'd double it again. They've been stuck there since 2019, so I keep thinking the next generation is when they will finally upgrade it......
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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