Amazon has had one of the more appealing cloud storage plans for the last few years with Amazon Drive, a service which offers unlimited cloud storage. Unfortunately, it looks like the company is going to start moving away from it.
Going forward, Amazon Drive will no longer offer unlimited cloud storage to subscribed Drive users. The plan offered for the last few years had been unlimited cloud storage for $60-a-year, making it one of the most appealing storage plans available on the market. Now, Amazon will offer two options for Amazon Drive: 100GB for $11.99-a-year and 1TB for $60-a-year. If users want to add an extra terabyte to their storage plans, it will cost an extra $60 and caps at 30TB.
While the change is abrupt, Amazon isn't forcing existing customers to switch to the new plans immediately. Instead, users who already paid for a year of unlimited storage will get that offer through the end of the subscription. Once the year is up, it will automatically switch to the new 1TB plan if they're signed up for auto-renew.
Amazon also made sure not to leave Prime members out in the cold. Anyone who signs up for Amazon Prime will get unlimited photo storage and those who sign up for Drive gets an extra 5GB free.
Users who opted out for auto-renew and don't plan on signing up for the new plan will have a 180-day grace period to download or delete anything stored on Amazon Drive. If there is still anything there after that period, Amazon will delete it automatically.
While this may be a bit of a disappointment to Amazon customers, it's not that surprising that Amazon pulled the plug on the offer. Most companies that have set up cloud storage services started out with unlimited plans as a way to entice new customers to sign up. However, this sort of model doesn't lend itself to any kind of growth.
Microsoft had offered something similar for its OneDrive service, offering unlimited storage when it was first made available in 2014. That would get cut down to 1TB a year later.
Amazon offered it to get Drive off the ground and compete with other services such as the Google Drive back in 2015. The new plan, though, will put Amazon in direct competition with Apple.
At WWDC, Apple announced a new 2TB plan for iCloud that could run for $120-a-year. So for anyone looking for 1TB or 2TB of storage, it comes down to a flip of the coin between Amazon and Apple on the cheap end.