Why You Might Actually Need a 1 TB iPhone

Storage, anyone?

Key Takeaways

  • Rumors say the iPhone 13 will come with up to 1 TB storage.
  • Professional videographers and photographers will love this option.
  • Most people are fine with 128 GB.
A person outdoors, during winter, holding an iPhone 12.
Malte Helmhold / Unsplash

The iPhone 13 will, according to rumors, offer a 1 TB storage tier. That’s nuts: compare this to Apple’s own M1 MacBook Pro, which starts at just 256 GB.

The current iPhone—the iPhone 12—can be had with a maximum of 512 MB. That’s already a lot of storage for a phone. So what on earth does Apple have in mind? What kinds of uses could require such a bottomless pit of storage? Two things: photos and videos.

"The photos and videos we're taking and sharing on our phones are higher resolution and larger file sizes than ever before," Naomi Assaraf, co-founder ofcloudHQ, told Lifewire via email.

"We don't think of it much, but most of us have a huge number of media files on our phones, despite the fact that most of us also back them up to the cloud, as well."

Pro Means Pro

Apple is dead serious about the iPhone cameras. The current top-of-the-line iPhone Pros can shoot RAW images and capture Dolby Vision HDR video at 60fps. Even the base iPhone 12 and 12 mini can shoot 4K video at 60fps, which requires 400 MB for a single minute of footage.

Closeup of the iPhone 12 Pro cameras.
Denis Cherkashin / Unsplash

As the iPhone gets better, it is used more often for pro-level video shoots, including Hollywood movies. People shooting all day long with the iPhone in a special movie rig don’t want to run out of space every few scenes. For them, even an 8 TB iPhone probably wouldn’t be too much.

It’s not just video, either. Some musicians use their iPhones as their primary computer for making music. While the iPad Pro has had 1 TB storage for several years, the iPhone hasn’t. And if you’re using an app like GarageBand, Cubasis, or a sample-based instrument, then you will fill an iPhone just as quick as an iPad.

There are many professionals, then, who would appreciate and use the extra storage of a 1 TB iPhone. 

Games, Movies, Media

There are plenty of non-pro uses, too. Maybe you just had kids, and can’t help but shoot endless videos and photos of your offspring. Or maybe you’re an enthusiastic vacation shooter (or will be, when the lockdowns ease up).

What about folks who don’t create anything, but love to watch movies and TV shows, or play video games? 5G might eventually make mobile movie streaming practical, but even then, unless it offers truly unlimited data plans, you’ll be downloading video at home and storing it on your phone. That takes up a lot of space. Video games are equally huge, occupying multiple gigabytes of space.

"We don't think of it much, but most of us have a huge number of media files on our phones despite the fact that most of us also back them up to the cloud as well."

More storage is also good if you have terrible cellular coverage, or a low-speed connection. Working out of the cloud is fine in Silicon Valley or Singapore, but what if you turn up to a presentation, hook your phone up to the projector, and can’t get a signal?

Last Longer

More storage also makes your phone last longer. If you opt for a 64 GB phone, then it’ll fill up fast and you can’t do anything about it. Android phones come with microSD card slots to add more storage, but that’s not possible with the iPhone.

"People are keeping their phones longer," says cloudHQ’s Assaraf.

"It used to be almost necessary to upgrade every two years, but not so much anymore. Having 1 TB would let the average user keep their phone for years and never have to worry about running out of local storage."

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