Today Apple made a number of announcements, including the year's major update to the iPhone in the form of the iPhone 7, and the second generation Apple Watch, known as the Apple Watch Series 2. One of the smaller announcements of the day was a shake-up of the prices and storage tiers on iOS devices. To a large extent this addresses one of the major criticisms of Apple's devices, which is that they've kept the base model at 16GB of internal storage for much longer than competing devices. I've compiled the changes that Apple has made to storage capacities and pricing across the iPhone and iPads lines in the charts below:

Apple iPhone Line
  Apple iPhone SE Apple iPhone 6s Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Old Price $399/499
New Price $399/449
Apple iPad Line
  Apple iPad Mini 2 Apple iPad Mini 4 Apple iPad Air 2 Apple iPad Pro 9.7 Apple iPad Pro 12.9
Old Price $269
$399/499 16/64GB $599/749/899
New Price $269

There are two parts to the changes made today. The first is that Apple has eliminated the 16GB storage tier on every device except for the iPhone SE. It would have been really great to see 16GB removed from the whole lineup, but I suspect that the iPhone SE's margins are already lower than Apple would like. However, to keep the upgrade pricing in line with the other devices, the 64GB iPhone SE now only has a $50 premium over the 16GB model. On every other device, the 16GB storage tier has become 32GB, and 64GB has become 128GB, with prices being kept at the same point. 

The second change pertains to the iPad Pro devices, where the storage already started at 32GB and had upgrade tiers of 128GB and 256GB which each required an additional $150 on top of the starting price. With these Apple has maintained the same base price and storage tiers, but the upgrade price has dropped to $100 to bring it in line with the rest of Apple's iOS devices.

While none of these changes are anything groundbreaking, it does address a longstanding problem with the iPhone and iPad. Even with cloud storage for music and other media, with new features like Live Photos and 4K video recording, the storage pressure on iOS devices has become much greater while storage capacities remained constant. Dropping prices on iPad storage upgrades also makes the larger capacity models more accessible, and bumping up capacities on the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4 make them more useful as media devices.

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  • michael2k - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - link

    Some of us are paying for 5 years of os updates. The 2012 iPhone 5 is going to get iOS 10.x updates into 2017.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - link

    yeah, amazing new OS versions, the biggest upgrade is probably the number 9 to 10, maybe emojis too. I'm an old school guy, sticking with :) and ;)
  • lurker22 - Thursday, September 8, 2016 - link

    That and security updates which you don't get with android after at best 12 months. Face it, its a huge issue for Android...
  • shadarlo - Thursday, September 8, 2016 - link

    Huge issue? Where are all these phone's being totally hacked and screwed with? I don't see them.

    I see reports that phones might be vulnerable... but no actual issues occurring.

    And I have never had a phone more than 2.5 years.... so I don't really care so much if it gets updates after that... but I agree it'd be nice if Androids would at least guarantee 3y of updates for their phones.
  • Morawka - Thursday, September 8, 2016 - link

    even when androids get updates, it takes months to get to the consumer. sometimes years. iOS updates come out and bypass all that cell carrier red tape. instant upgrades that have a huge impact on the device, and make it feel like a brand new device.
  • fanofanand - Friday, September 9, 2016 - link

    I hear this "I get updates for 5 years" argument but after 5 years of use the battery has what, 25% of it's original capacity? Yay, your 5 year old phone has 30 minutes of SOT and that's worth paying quadruple over a similarly specced phone?
  • Donkey2008 - Saturday, September 10, 2016 - link

    Agreed. Since iOS 7 they really aren't that different. But it sure beats running 2 generations behind the current Android version on your 2 year old phone and getting security updates 5 months after a zero day exploit. But hey, you can always stay on the most current Android version (which is what, Snickers? Fun Dip?) if you buy a new Android phone every year.
  • Bluetooth - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - link

    Whats wrong with new phone every year?
  • Valantar - Thursday, September 8, 2016 - link

    You mean besides the massive environmental damage caused by this, adherence to blind consumerism and paying through the nose for incremental changes? Oh, nothing much.
  • ingwe - Thursday, September 8, 2016 - link

    I can't agree more. Had my iPhone 5 for four years and plan on sticking with my iPhone SE for at least that.

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