How Much Storage Do You Really Need On Your iPhone?

So you decided that it’s time to buy a new phone. You’ve came to the conclusion that you want an iPhone. But now you may be asking yourself, “How much space do I need on my iPhone?”.  You want to buy enough space to suit your needs, but you don’t want to spend more money then you have to. Fortunately, this article will help you decide the right model for your needs.

“How Much iPhone Space Do I Need”

The iPhone 5 is available in a 16, 32, and 64 gigabyte version. The 16 gigabyte version is $199, the 32 gigabyte version is $299, and the 64 gigabyte version is $399.  Now for a second, let’s assume that the cost is simply for storage. That would bring the 16 gigabyte version to a cost of about $12.50 per gigabyte, the 32 gigabyte version to $9.34 per gigabyte, and the 64 gigabyte version to $6.23 per gigabyte. As you can see, the cost per gigabyte goes down as you purchase more space, which to some people, is a valid reason to purchase more. It’s also important to note that not all of the space is available to fill, the operating system and other base-level stuff takes up some of your space also (although not very much.)


Photos And Video

The new iPhone 5 can take high quality pictures with an 8 megapixel camera, and also record videos in 1080p. If you plan on using the camera function fairly often, you may want to consider purchasing an iPhone with a higher storage capacity. You may find that just an hour of HD video recording can take up between 8-10 gigabytes of space. Of course, the videos can always be removed or moved to another storage unit (such as a computer), but that can be inconvenient and annoying. iCloud will certainly help free up some storage if you use it, but not a lot.


There are currently over 500,000 applications ready to be downloaded on Apple’s app store, serving a enormous variety of purposes. Some applications can take up large amounts of space. If you have a lower capacity device, you’d need to pay close attention to the space of the apps that you’re downloading. You’re also limited to the amount of apps you can download, and you may end up wanting to download more apps then you think. Within two weeks of receiving my iPhone, I have already downloaded around 300 apps.


Music And Miscellaneous Content

If you have a large amount of music, you may find your space filling up very quickly. This can depend on a lot of factors, but I think it’s safe to assume that one gigabyte of space is equal to 200 songs. Additionally, small things such as saved text messages or emails, completed reminders and calendar events, and other small things can take up a small amount of space as well.


You Have To Keep This Phone For A While

Remember that when you purchase the iPhone 5, you also are signing up to a two year contract (with the exception of T-Mobile).  You’re going to be stuck with the same phone for two years (assuming you keep it). Over those two years (or more) you will have your phone, you’re going to notice your space gets fuller and fuller. More events will happen in your life that you will want to capture with the video camcorder. There will be more events where you will want to take pictures.  If you’re a big app downloader, new apps come out everyday. Every app you download will add up.


“I Need More Space On My iPhone”

If you’ve concluded that you need more storage capacity on your iPhone, don’t worry, it may not be a big deal. If you’ve just gotten your iPhone, you may be able to exchange it. It’s important to lookup how much time you have to exchange your phone from where you bought it. Act quick though, because some stores have a limited exchange time.

I got the 64 gigabyte version, and I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be using almost all of it.


If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Hey James….Just read your article….biggest mistake I did was only getting a 16GB….I transferred from a Blackberry and the 16GB extra storage scandisk was plenty…..I never realized the addiction I would incur with Iphone Apps and never knew that extra cloud space I was told about from my sales associate didn’t include apps. I have created a screen on my Iphone where I move apps that I find I am not using that much at that time….as I add more apps I do a swap out and send the using less often apps back to the cloud storage so I free up room for the new apps.
    Any idea if/when icloud storage or something similar will be available? I have another year-ish till my upgrade is available.

    • Hello Belle,

      First of all I must say, that is a very smart way to organize your applications and see which ones you could live without, and a great way to utilize the storage space available to you.

      Although more iCloud space is available, it’s comes with extra charges. ($20 a year per 10 extra gigabytes), and who likes extra charges? Certainly not me, and I doubt you do either.

      Depending on your cellular provider, you may be able to renew your contract and get the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 5S, when it comes out) for the same reduced price. You may want to check with that – it would be less stressful than waiting out for your contract to end.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and if you ever have any questions regarding iOS or your iPhone, feel free to let me know. I’m glad to help!

  2. Tzvi Filler says:

    MY have a 64 gb iPod touch, and these days I’m constantly deleting (or compressing) stuff to make more room for more
    And If apple would make a 1000 gb version, I would probably save up my money and buy it because I think it’s worth it over time

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