Apple's lower cost 8GB iPhone 5c scales down its entry cost by dropping 8GB, but ends up with only 3.7GB less available room for apps, pics and other user data as Samsung's 16GB Galaxy S4, thanks to more efficient storage use and the lack of third party bundles and offers.
The new 8GB iPhone 5c creates a new, lower price point for sensitive markets including the U.K. and China. It ships with 4.9GB available to users, which will be easy to fill. Apple's newly free Garage Band, iMovie, iPhoto and iWork apps together weigh in at nearly 3GB, and user photos and email can also quickly add up.
Apple has addressed mobile storage issues for users with its free iCloud service, which lets users store music, videos and App Store purchases in the cloud so they can be downloaded only when needed. PhotoStream also captures the pictures users take, creating a iCloud backup that allows mobile users with limited storage to delete photos from their phone.
Of course, having extra local storage is ideal, particularly for users who download sophisticated App Store games and other apps that can easily take up 1GB or more of space. Apple has long used different RAM capacities to create different price tiers of products, from the original iPods to every edition of iPhone and iPad, as consumers are well aware that more room for storage is something valuable enough to pay extra to get.
However, a device's advertised installed figure of gigabytes for storage isn't as important as how much is left over after the operating system, featured apps, trial ware and other content are all figured in.
Get what you pay for?
For example, Microsoft's Surface Pro hybrid tablet shipped with an impressive sounding 64GB of storage, but outside of Windows and other preinstalled software, the device only left around 36 percent of its installed storage capacity for the user.
In contrast, Apple's more efficient iPad leaves around 85 percent of its installed storage memory free for apps and other user content.
Among phones, Apple's iPhone 5c outperformed a series of smartphone devices in leaving available storage for the user in a report from January. Despite all being advertised as 16GB models, Apple's iPhone 5c left 12.5GB available, while Android phones from Sony, HTC and LG ate up more than an extra gigabyte or two.
The worst offender in the bunch was one of the best selling Android phones: Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship, which ships with just 8.56GB free for the user. A primary reason: Samsung's TouchWiz custom package of extra software designed to differentiate and brand the generic Android experience.
"While it looks pretty and grabs headlines, most of the stuff is next to useless," wrote Which. Samsung's "Eye tracking technology that pauses video when you look away from the screen sounds attractive but in reality it works badly, gulps down your battery and monopolises your internal storage."
Samsung wastes so much space on its 16GB Galaxy S4 that users are left with just a bit more space than Apple's new, lower end 8GB iPhone 5c, despite Samsung boasting twice as much storage as Apple's newly introduced model.