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Who's getting the 64GB iPhone?

Does a phone, even the iPhone 4S, need that much storage?

The Verge

At 7 a.m., I woke up and preordered an iPhone 4S. I got the 32GB version, but I'll admit I was tempted to get the 64GB one.

Apple has introduced a new price to the iPhone that hasn't been around for a long while: $399. In fact, there hasn't been an iPhone that expensive since the original 8GB iPhone after its price drop in 2007-2008.

The 64GB iPhone 4S sits atop the iPhone food chain like a threat to any consumer's sanity: is 32GB enough? Should you pay $100 for more storage? In that clever Apple math, you might reason, if you already considered paying $100 for a measly 16GB of extra storage, $100 on the next step up nets you 32GB. Double the extra storage for the same money.

Of course, locked-in flash memory has been the source of clever margins on Apple products for years. In fact, despite dropping prices for flash storage, iPhones haven't changed their storage capacities over the past couple of years. It's a debate iPad owners have had as well, except with the iPhone 4S, there's the important added consideration/concern of its improved camera: 8 megapixels for still photos, and bumped-up 1080p video recording. And, for the first time in the iPhone's history, there are three price/storage tiers (four, if you count the 8GB iPhone 4).

I actually enjoyed using a 60GB iPod years ago because it was the only size that fit my entire music library. No flash iPhone ever reached that same storage capacity. Now that one has, I am also wondering how much cloud music or iCloud services will result in needing less storage space. On the other hand, will the iPhone 4S' improved-graphics games eat up more app space, and will that camera--which I already tend to use a great deal for photos and videos of my kid--chew up increasing amounts of my free space?

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Speaking with Lori Grunin here about the possible file size of the iPhone 4S' photos, it's impossible to tell right now what the compression will be and what the true file sizes will end up being, but it's a certainty that they'll exceed the iPhone 4's. Anyone shooting video for a few hours will probably easily hit the wall on storage size, though we have no idea to what specific degree until we get our hands on the phones next week.

I stand by my 32GB selection, but it makes me uneasy. So does paying $400 for a subsidized phone with a two-year contract. Are you feeling any compunction to get the 64GB model, or am I alone? Have you learned, like many people I know, to live with a smaller amount of storage? And does media streaming--and music streaming in particular--make local file storage a nonconcern?

We'll find out soon.