iPhone 14 Pro should have come with more storage — and this sales data proves it

iPhone 14 Pro shown from front displaying iOS16 home screen
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 14 series is a fine quartet of smartphones, but it's become clear that Apple could have done better when it came to storage capacities.

A new iPhone sales data report from CIRP (opens in new tab) has lots of fun findings, such as how the majority of iPhones sold this quarter were still iPhone 13 models, that the iPhone 11 continues to be surprisingly popular, and the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini continue to not be. But what caught my attention was the model breakdown, which shows what percentage of each iPhone version's sales were for each available storage option.

Last year, 128GB seemed to satisfy the majority of iPhone 13 Pro buyers, with 60% of purchases being for the standard model according to CIRP's data. But apparently this year, 50% of iPhone 14 Pro buyers went with the 256GB option, the next rung up, which costs an extra $100/£200/AU$150 on top of the basic price.

This year 50% of iPhone 14 Pro buyers went with the 256GB option.

Apple last upgraded the base iPhone storage in 2021, giving the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini 128GB by default. This had happened the year before for the Pro models, with every Pro since the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max also getting a minimum of 128GB. And going by current customer demand for higher-capacity iPhone Pro models, perhaps Apple should have given the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max 256GB storage as standard.

Give me (storage) space

More space is always needed to help fit a phone user's growing collection of apps, files, music and photos, but it's becoming increasingly necessary as Apple continues to advance its Pro-grade camera systems. With 48MP ProRAW images taking over 37 times more room than a regular 12MP photo according to Apple's estimates, users trying to make the most of their iPhone's cameras are going to fill up their storage even faster than ever.

I'm aware that my pleas to Apple are most likely going to fall on deaf ears, particularly since everyone speccing extra storage makes the company a little extra money on each sale. Plus, the same solutions to finite on-board storage are available as always. But I don't think users paying up to and over a grand for a phone already should effectively be forced to pay for a Lightning-compatible flash drive, subscribe to cloud storage or have to continuously offload photos to a different device. 

It's too late for the iPhone 14 to change, so you'll either have to make do with 128GB or cough up for more. But the iPhone 15 is all but an inevitable release for next fall. So, Tim Cook (since you're definitely reading this), how about directing Apple ahead of the curve and making 256GB the new default for the iPhone 15 Pro and rumored iPhone 15 Ultra? Your customers will thank you.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • joeroyhud
    Putting in a 256GB chip instead of 128GB probably costs them .... what, maybe ten bucks? In any case, nothing remotely close to $100. Nice little profit margin there. This is why so many phone makers ditched the SD card slot. Cha-ching!
    Reply