At WWDC this year, Apple announced iCloud Drive to compete with the cloud storage offerings of other companies. Previous to this, iCloud did not offer the file and folder sync capabilities of other cloud storage competitors, and Apple is hoping iCloud Drive will be the answer. It is a very competitive market right now though, with some pretty major price cuts by the major players this year including Dropbox, Microsoft, and Google.

Apple has now announced the full pricing structure for iCloud Drive which is more competitive than before. Just a few months ago, Apple only offered up to 50 GB in iCloud, and charged $100 USD per year for it. Google Drive at the time offered 100 GB for only $24 USD per year, so clearly some price adjustments needed to be done.

Apple iCloud Comparison
  iCloud iCloud Drive
Free Storage 5 GB 5 GB
Lowest Tier (USD/year) 10 GB / $20 20 GB / $12
Second Tier (USD/year) 20 GB / $40 200 GB / $48
Third Tier (USD/year) 50 GB / $100 500 GB / $120
Fourth Tier (USD/year) N/A 1 TB / $240
Lowest Cost/GB $2 / GB $0.24 / GB

With the new prices, Apple is offering quite a bit of choice as far as storage tiers, and with a 20 GB option for only $0.99 per month, and Apple now offers tiers up to 1 TB which is in line with many competitors. Unfortunately they have not touched the free tier, which stays at 5 GB.

These new prices are much better per gigabyte than previously offered, with the 200 GB tier exactly the same price per gigabyte as both OneDrive and Google Drive, however none of the other tiers really come close. For $0.99/month, you can get 20 GB on iCloud Drive, but for only $2/month you can get 100 GB on both OneDrive and Google Drive. The higher tiers get even more out of sync, with Apple asking $240 for 1 TB of storage, but Microsoft offers 1 TB of storage and a full version of Office for $70 per year, or 5 x 1 TB and 5 installs of Office for $100 per year. Google comes in at 1 TB for $120 per year, and DropBox just lowered their pricing with 1 TB per year for $100.

It would seem Apple is hoping that users of its products will be willing to pay more for iCloud Drive to keep the experience all within the Apple ecosystem, and it might not be the wrong move. They have shown in the past that their customers are willing to spend more for the Apple products than competitors can accomplish, and Apple has traditionally not competed much on price so this may work out well for them, but it must be said, all of the consumer cloud offerings do support the Mac already, and several are available and popular on iOS as well, so it may be difficult to come to the game this late with a higher price than the competition.

Source: Apple

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  • whatsa - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Nice idea but other than the free 5gb it is a waste of money. If you use a lot of space you most likely have office 365 so you get 1tb included. For a family of 5 they all get 1tb for $99 and office too.
  • danjw - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Paying for an office suite, what a waste of money. ;-) I use LibreOffice. OpenOffice and google docs are another free choice.
  • dylan522p - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see you make a real professional slide show with one of those or a spreadsheet that actually does work. Even pure word processing Libre and Open are jokes compared to Word.
  • TheStu - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    If you're on an iDevice, or a Mac (the main drivers behind iCloud Drive), then why not use Keynote?
  • grahamwilliams - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Real professional Slide Shows need Keynote. I'll keep Excel, though Google's spreadsheet is rapidly fitting the bill there. Word is a last resort; Pages is a far better solution for short, stylish documents. If you need some serious documentation you can still pull Word out, but you get all the crashes and hassles that come with it.
  • krutou - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    The productivity software you mentioned are all pay to play. Keynote might be free on the App Store, and OSX might only be $20, but there's a large upfront cost to purchasing Apple hardware.

    Keynote makes pretty presentations (exceptional templates), PowerPoint makes functional presentations (highly specialized animations, effects, fine tuned positioning, etc). Neither is better than the other. Both are necessary to make an excellent presentation.

    Google spreadsheet is grossly inadequate. One of the simplest functions, linear regression (with equation and R^2) isn't available.

    I don't even remember the last time Word crashed on me. Maybe your knowledge is outdated and/or you're using an obsolete computer/version of word.
  • akdj - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    OSx costs nothing any longer. It's a free update. There's no 'large upfront cost to purchasing Apple hardware.' Perhaps it's your information that's outdated? (Though I'm with ya, Word hasn't crashed on me in years)
    Not sure how long it's been since you've played with Keynote, but ya might give it a try. Pretty powerful and certainly preferable for me for presentations
    With you on excel and word and it's essentially a 'bonus' to 5TB of family 'cloud' storage for ten bucks a month;). I honesty prefer Pages but Numbers I'm ignorant to. I stick with Excel

    As to your first comment, it's no longer true. There's not an example of an overpriced model in their lineup. Computers, phones or tablets. Hell, they're the only option if you want 128GB on your mobile phone or tablet (Surface, more of a laptop IMHO aside). And without the carrier and manufacturer bloat, iOS actually has 'real' room available.
    There's not a computer on the market that compares to the 13 & 15" retina MBPs. Period. If you're a 'gamer' okay ...I give it to ya, Alienware is going to smoke the rMBP at about 20-100% the price playing BattleLand or whatever ...for 45 minutes unplugged. If you need a portable graphics powerhouse workstation for rendering CAD or 4k RAW I believe natively from RED is the only format w/o necessary prerender playback on the rMBP. Rocket fixes that though. Again, CAD/AE and nVidia Quadro/32GB rigs they aren't. Nor do they only last an hour unplugged doing their 'tasks' their built for. They're display and third generation technology with the iGPU IrisPro from Intel, quad core fast Haswell processing and PCIe SSDs ...mine is hitting consistent 1,000/1,100mb read/write. Truly amazing and paging necessary in After Effects because of used RAM runs fast as hell! Thunderbolt II & several inexpensive peripherals, including BluRay decks/recorders (w/software) Ethernet x2 and separate USB outboard audio DACS, USB3 2-6 extras and VGA, DVI, HDMI, even serial and parallel ports for older connectivity with a second T.bolt port, so your NAS, printer snd displays are daisy chained to a single line. In thirty years I've never been a happier computer knee and as an OSx and Windows user, the rMBP is hands down the BEST experience I've had to date computing. Even work 'stuff' I smile firing it Up! Four pounds of incredible display, power and speed, IO & craftsmanship, and longevity to boot. My two year old rMBP is on every day, sometimes not sleeping for a week. Still showing over 92% battery health. Still gets a good 7 hours unplugged at 70% brightness ...we just bought another pair for the business. The newly updated, this summer model, essentially last fall's release with an updated Haswell CPU. A TB of solid state storage, over five million pixels and the GPU(s) to handle them fluently and quadcore i7 performance with 16GB of RAM & OSx'es management and compression algorithms they're using, I've not dealt with the limits yet. Even on the 2012
    Again, please show me a competitive computer to the 13/15" rMBPs. Keeping in mind as well the limitations imposed on today's customers at the box stores with Win 8 and ½ with touch, ½ without as well as build quality of competing Ultrabooks to the 'MBA'. While the display isn't 'retina' yet, it's now starting at 8/999 for the 11/13". As well with fast PCIe storage. Intel 5000 graphics, the 1700 dollar option on Surface 3 & probably mandatory to keep up with the pixels. On these ULV CPUs, power and TDP are limited. Intel and Apple have worked closely on iGPU progress, Thundebolt and I'm sure plenty we're not privy to. They're intelligent enough to realize what will and won't work without throttling performance in a two pound package. Toshiba, Acer, HP ...all still making the standard 1366/768 or whatever they've decided for their hybrids, 2in1s, etc. But similar pricing and minus the bloat when you buy OSx. You get excellent, free software that if you decide you can or don't have to download and use. iWork Pages Numbers & Keynote and iLife with GarageBand (very powerful and enjoyable DAW/music production program) with iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie most of today's population will find these to be exactly and all they need for their tasks.

    The new Mac Pro. Seriously? It's been documented time and time again you can NOT build the computer for less. Period. It can't be done. It's an incredible design in engineering and a very powerful, TINY Monster. If you've not used one and/or seen one you're in for a treat (unless your mind is that closed) with, once again PCIe SSDs, twin GPUs, one dedicated to computational tasking ...After Effects, FCP 7 and 'X', Premiere and Encore, it's a dream machine not much larger than a big coffee cup. If you've not seen it you'll smile about the 'trash can' comments as it's truly a remarkable, space saving and brilliant price of engineering.

    The iMac? What is there to say? The best selling AIO in history (& year to year for a decade)! True game changer.

    And hard to believe the iPod was introduced just 13 years ago. Look at what's been done with that product? It created an empire. And back n forth the most valuable company in the world. iPhone. And Tuesdays presentations. And a second generation 64bit mobile SoC with display size increases and even higher dpi 6+ with a development community providing us with the largest selection of software in history ...not JUST for our phones but our tablets now too! The iPad Air and retina mini are very ..very special devices. Game changing and continuing to dominate the market ..despite price parity with Samsung's latest offerings, minus the subsidized and 'joke' of a usable tablet(s) like the Amazon and Nexus crap. After doing the Xoom I was pretty happy. But the Nex 7&7.2 we're extreme let downs. Especially using it for anything in portrait.

    Routers? Yeah, maybe a bit high with AC now, it's ease of setup and functionality there are plenty of choices that are a hundred bucks more. Something to be said for ease of set up, time machine and plugging starting to the router ...Apple TV is right on par with most competitive steaming boxes (not the limited sticks and nightmare attempting to mirror your display).

    Yep. Nope. There isn't an 'Apple Tax' any longer. All pricing across mobile, lap and desktop, peripherals and 'hobbies' all pretty much in line with the market but in most cases 'exceeding' the market today in price vs 'what ya get'. I've detailed the hardware. The plethora of software but don't forget security or spyware, malware or Trojans to dick with. No manufacturer bloat. Just usable (& with choice, you want em or don't)--unrivaled support, free OS Updates. Continuity and Handoff. New code: Swift. New low level graphic programming stripping the overhead of OpenGL (Metal)

    You're missing the forest through the trees n I thing it's time you actually spend some time with a current Mac. Lap. Or desktop. Neither disappoint ...nor have their mobile choices. Just continue to get better and better while updating ALL devices simultaneously, keeping exploits safe while advancing everything from the silicon to the OS, XCode for developers and losing NOTHING with their desk/laptop OSx. In fact gaining and in a way I believe most Apple users were terrified of, but are at peace now with's integration and aggregation with iOS

    TL/dr. Just responding to a silly comment comment and watching sports center getting ready for some football!
  • danjw - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    I use LibreOffice Calc for many page sheets for my LOTRO cooks. As far as presentations, I could care less. We are talking about home office use here. A personal budget plan isn't going to be a problem for most users. My point was there there are free options for what he was saying he pays for to get "free" storage. It seemed pretty pointless to me.

    I am in no way defending Apples pricing, I just thought his comments about iCloud were pretty silly.
  • krutou - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    If you're not professional/productivity/enterprise focused, you probably don't need to pay for cloud storage.

    Free offerings (iCloud 5GB, Dropbox 2GB, OneDrive/Google Drive 15GB, etc) are more than sufficient for "home office use".
  • ThreeDee912 - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    If you're on a recent device with OS X or iOS, you get Pages/Numbers/Keynote for free. I know some people hate the new versions because they changed the UI to make it look cleaner, but 99% of the functionality is still there if you look for it.

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