In what could be called a Band-Aid solution, Apple is now offering its users a month of upgraded iCloud storage free of charge.
One problem that, say, iPhone owners face is they don't have expandable storage. For instance, in the case of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, they'll be stuck with either 64 GB or 256 GB, depending on the configuration they pick.
The solution is the iCloud, which allows offloading content from the device to the cloud to free up local space. The thing is, it provides only a paltry 5 GB of storage, and it's clearly not enough to cater to users' need for more space for pictures, videos, and whatnot. Apple doesn't see that as an issue, as that has been the base amount since the service went live back in 2011. To get a decent amount of storage, users have to fork over at least $0.99 a month.
First Month Is Free
As spotted by AppleInsider, the Cupertino brand is now giving iCloud users who've hit their 5 GB limit a free trial to any upgrade — $0.99 a month for 50 GB, $2.99 a month for 200 GB, or $9.99 a month for 2 TB. It should be noted that this is available only to those who don't have an ongoing subscription.
These users will get this pop-up message when they try to perform an iOS device backup:
"You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up your iPhone. A 50 GB plan gives you plenty of space to continue backing up your iPhone. Your first month is free and it's just $0.99 each month after."
As The Verge points out, what Apple presumably wants to happen here is for users to get on board an iCloud plan, enticing them with a one-month free trial. There are two scenarios that could play out here: users will be convinced that the service is so worthwhile that they'll continue paying for it, which is admittedly one of the main purposes of free trials, or they'll just forget all about canceling it and continue getting billed for it.
With the advent (term loosely used) of 4K among consumer tech such as the iPhone X, high-resolution pictures and videos are taking up more space than ever before. For some users, 5 GB of cloud storage isn't anywhere near enough to be considered useful nowadays. In other words, while Apple continues to enhance its mobile camera technology and displays for a better viewing experience, it's not exactly giving users much of a choice when it comes to storing content.
Is Apple obligated to provide free storage for users? Yes and no, but looking at what rivals such as Google (that recently announced the new storage solution Google One) offer, it shouldn't be irrational for users to expect better storage bundled with a smartphone that costs north of $1,000.
At any rate, the one-month free trial to iCloud is a good sign, and it could be seen as a way that Apple is trying to fix the problem.