Apple Unveils $60 iCloud+ Plan: Is More Storage the Future of iCloud?

Apple Unveils $60 iCloud+ Plan: Is More Storage the Future of iCloud?
Via Wired

Apple made several major announcements at its Far Out event yesterday, from new iPhone 15 models to upgraded Apple Watches. But one announcement that got consumers especially excited was the unveiling of two new premium iCloud+ storage tiers, including a top-end $60 per month plan that offers a massive 12TB of online storage.

As Greg Joswiak, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, revealed the new iCloud+ plans on stage, the crowd erupted with more enthusiasm than some of the iPhone announcements. This response highlights just how hungry consumers have become for more online storage, and how Apple’s new plans could position iCloud as the future of its cloud services business.

“For many users, the surge in high-quality photos and videos from newer iPhone cameras has filled up their storage quotas much faster,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Creative Strategies. “Apple’s new plans finally offer the kind of generous cloud capacity people need to keep storing all their memories and digital lives in iCloud.”

The iPhone 15 Pro models unveiled also pack major camera upgrades like 3D Spatial video recording, which produces significantly larger video files. As spatial media experiences like augmented and virtual reality become more mainstream through Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset, local device storage will continue swelling. iCloud will be a necessity for offloading content.

Beyond storage capacity itself, iCloud+ subscriptions provide extra perks like custom email domains, HomeKit Secure Video support, and the new “Hide My Email” feature. This sweetens the deal for users and creates more lock-in to Apple’s services ecosystem long-term.

However, analysts note that $60 per month is a major investment, even for Apple’s most devoted fanbase. “It’s definitely aimed at pro users and those who centralize all their work and personal lives in iCloud,” said Francisco Jeronimo of IDC. “For occasional users, the basic 5GB free tier may still suffice.”

So who exactly could benefit most from the top-tier iCloud+? Here are a few potential customer archetypes:

  • Creative Professionals: Photographers, videographers and other creatives constantly capturing huge volumes of rich media will appreciate the ample storage for client work and personal archives. Kunal Kushwaha, a popular YouTuber, tweeted he would purchase the 6TB plan immediately.
  • Families With Young Kids: Parents snapping countless photos of growing children will run out of storage fast. Paying just $60 to never worry about storage limits again could bring great peace of mind.
  • Businesses: Companies managing sales materials, projects and employee files may prefer consolidating in a centralized, professional-grade cloud like iCloud+ rather than a more consumer-focused option.
  • Power Users: Avid iPhone photographers, multiple device owners or those simply amassing huge personal media libraries will jump at never having to delete precious memories.

While undoubtedly pricey, Apple’s new flagship iCloud+ plan offers the kind of generous capacity usually associated with standalone cloud storage services. And by lock-in incentives like Hide My Email, it aims to become the comprehensive cloud alternative for the most committed Apple households and creatives rather than a mere phone backup solution. Only time will tell if consumers embrace this subscription-based vision as enthusiastically as Apple seems to. But for now, iCloud’s future looks brighter than ever.

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