How do Apple’s new 2TB iCloud storage plans compare?

Alex Kidman 31 August 2016


If your iOS photo backups are straining your iCloud resources, Apple’s got a new storage tier for you -- for a fee.

Apple has been significantly pushing iPhone and iPad users towards using iCloud for everything from photo backup to document repositories over the past couple of years, but a significant issue for users has been the quantity of storage offered. By default any Apple ID scores a free 5GB of free storage, but it’s all too easy to fill that rapidly. If you want more storage than that you incur a monthly charge from Apple with storage options up to 1TB available. If you’re a really heavy data user, Apple’s now upped that storage limit to 2TB.

In terms of pricing, Apple now breaks down its iCloud storage tiers as follows:

  • 50GB: $1.49/month
  • 200GB: $4.49/month
  • 1TB: $14.99/month
  • 2TB: $29.99/month

Compared to the US pricing, Apple’s 2TB iCloud tier in Australia is fairly priced; in the States you’d pay $19.99 for the same amount, but taking currency conversion and GST into account (US prices never list sales taxes, because they vary from state to state) it’s essentially equitable.

If you leave specifically iCloud-centric features such as Photo Streams aside, however, you have a number of choices in the cloud storage market if all you want is a repository for your documents to access from anywhere or share with others. So how does Apple’s 2TB deal compare against the likes of Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive?

Cloud StorageCostStorage
Apple iCloud$29.992TB
Google Drive$US9.991TB
Microsoft OneDrive$250GB

Apple’s 2TB is a relatively unique tier, although Google does dwarf it with plans that come with up to 30TB if you’re especially keen. Dropbox also offers a slight discount if you pay upfront for an annual subscription. Microsoft’s OneDrive picture is a more complex one than a simple table can easily convey. If you have an Office 365 subscription you automatically qualify for 1TB of storage for no additional cost; within Australia if you’re not an Office 365 customer you can optionally pay a flat $2/month for 50GB of storage.

Your other option for cloud storage if you’re a heavy user would be most of Telstra’s postpaid contract plans, which currently come with a generous 200GB of OneDrive storage automatically applied as a bonus extra. You can check out those plans below.

Ellica /

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