Smartphones missing the cloud

Published in El Pais, 5 June 2018.

Cloud storage has really revolutionized the way we keep our documents. No matter where we are, no matter what device you are using, if you are connected to the internet you have access to your files. No emailing yourself, no carrying around a flash drive that you can lose or break. It is no wonder that most computer manufacturers utilize cloud storage into their device as a selling point but for some reason it still is not being utilized by phones.

Now to be fair both Apple and Samsung offer cloud storage for their products, but it is so limited that users mostly use it to extend the total storage on their device. Since its introduction in 2012, iCloud has offered no more than 5GB to its users for free. Samsung cloud is not much better with only 15 GB before having to pay for more. This seems puzzling for companies whose flagship phones being offered with no less then 64GB of storage and whose sophistication is becoming so complex that something as simple as a photo will still take up a few MBs.

This is an area that Google is trying to capitalize on. Realizing the frustration consumers are feeling, they are offering unlimited storage for photos and videos on their cloud server for Pixel users, telling anyone considering the Pixel as their next phone that they will never run out of storage. Google of course is no small company, but it is still a small player in the smart phone market, only selling 3.9 million phones in 2017, close to what Apple sells in a week, so it is unlikely to set a new standard anytime soon.

These companies are not deaf to these complaints, they simply have no incentive to increase the amount of storage being offered. Apple charges a huge markup for storage upgrades, charging $150 for a part that costs less than a third of that. Not to mention the positive impact iCloud subscription has had on its revenue.

Neither Apple or Samsung are going to follow Google’s model of unlimited cloud storage anytime soon, but its time for these two to at least consider upgrading the free starter package to a respectable amount. Given the rise of importance, the first one to do so may be given an edge over the highly competitive smartphone market.

About Matthew Glezos 81 Articles
Matthew is Canadian and has a Master in Business Administration. He has international experience in marketing and strategy. He has a strong interest in technology and combines it with the business side.

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