Does iOS 8 Take up Too Much Space on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod?

Yes, according to two plaintiffs in a recent suit brought against Apple.

Posted by Michael Bordash on Sun Jan 4, 2015


Two Miami, FL-based Apple device owners claim foul over the latest iOS 8 release:: it takes up too much storage leaving much less space available for videos, photos, music, and apps. The suit claims that Apple has not done enough to warn buyers of 8GB and 16GB iPhone, iPad, and iPod models that they will be left with much less space than anticipated.

The plaintiffs allege that Apple "fails to disclose to consumers that as much as 23.1 per cent of the advertised storage capacity of the devices will be consumed by iOS 8 and unavailable when consumers purchase devices that have iOS 8 installed" and "Reasonable consumers do not expect this marked discrepancy between the advertised level of capacity and the available capacity of the devices, as the operating system and other storage space unavailable to consumers occupies an extraordinary percentage of their devices’ limited storage capacity."

They are targeting California's truth-in-advertising laws and hope to net around $5 million for American buyers with a 8GB or 16GB iPad, iPod, or iPhone and who upgraded to iOS 8 or bought a device with iOS 8 installed. 

Let's look at an example.  If you're upgrading your 16GB iPhone to use iOS 8, you could expect up to 5GB of storage to be snatched by the new operating system files, leaving you with about 11GB for your media. While there are a ton of ways to compress your audio using a variety of formats, let's keep it simple and assume your music files are encoded with a bitrate of 128Kbps. That equates to about 1MB per minute of audio.  

If we believe the average length of a (non-EDM) song is 3 minutes, you'd be able to fit about 3,600 songs on your device. That may be more than enough for most consumers buying an 8GB & 16GB model.  I have several hundred thousand songs in my libary (purchased downloads, InternetDJ song downloads, and CD conversions). While I don't store every track I own on my iPhone, I do keep about 10,000 with me by syncing playlists.  The average size of a photo using my iPhone 6 plus is 2MB which equates to about 5,500 saved images. The average size of a minute of video is 130MB which equates to over an hour of video capture.  

With proper syncing and cleaning up of your older photos & videos, 11GB seems to be more than enough for users who are buying entry level Apple devices. Does this merit a lawsuit?  I think not.

For those of you who have not yet made the leap to iOS 8, MacWorld published a great article on how to do it. They also describe how to upgrade without deleting anything.

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