16GB of storage for a device just doesn’t seem like enough any more. A  new survey taken by the developers of the camera app IceCream polled users about their storage usage. 91% of people questioned admitted to using a device with 16GB or less of storage capacity, and 22% of the entire group claimed that they ran out of space at least once per week.

chart detailing how often smartphone users run out of space


That 16GB of storage isn’t entirely usable either. My 16GB iPad 2 shows that it actually has a capacity of 12.8GB when I connect it to iTunes. That’s 3GB that I can’t use that is reserved for the OS.

Macworld published an article where they crunched some numbers to figure out how much storage each  Apple device actually has and how much of each type of data that amounts to.

Some examples:

  • iPad Air – 16GB (12.5GB available – estimated): 3,125 songs OR 15.6 hours of film OR 8 Hollywood movies OR 417 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 32GB (28.3GB available – estimated): 7,075 songs OR 35.4 hours of film OR 19 Hollywood movies OR 943 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 64GB (56.6GB available – estimated): 14,150 songs OR 70.8 hours of film OR 38 Hollywood movies OR 1,887 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 128GB (114GB available – confirmed): 28,500 songs OR 142.5 hours of film OR 76 Hollywood movies OR 3,800 apps/games OR a combination of these

From these numbers 16GB may seem like a lot. On my 16GB iPad I have about 400 songs, 15 downloaded apps, and a few episodes of Game of Thrones but only about 3GB of free space. It would be even less if I didn’t use my Mac and Dropbox to store all my photos.

I feel that buying a 16GB device won’t be viable for much longer as the need for more storage grows with the average user. We’ll probably see this storage option phased out, just as 8GB devices were (Apple hasn’t had an 8GB storage option since its iPhone 5C).

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