back to article Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

So, Apple charges £539 for a 16GB iPhone, £619 for a 64GB device and £699 for a 128GB jeesus! Phone. Which means that if you buy your memory in the form of a more expensive iPhone, you pay something on the order of £1.60 for a gigabyte. Which, in turn, might just be why the Jesus mobe doesn’t come with an SD slot. A little …

  1. Alan Denman

    "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

    Come on Simon, at least learn to rock man.

    Those cards are all fakes.

    1. Bassey

      Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

      Yeah, I bought one of the 64GB ones dirt cheap when they first came out. The FAT tells the OS it is the correct size but if you try to write data to it it get's to about 2GB and then fails with an "Out of Memory" error. Needless to say I got my money back.

    2. MrXavia

      Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

      And always go for a big brand MicroSD, or they fail...

      Even SanDisks have issues, (although I suspect I had 3 x 32gb from a bad batch)

      the only ones i've had that never fail on me are Samsung ones

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

        "Even SanDisks have issues, (although I suspect I had 3 x 32gb from a bad batch)"

        There was a known issue with Samsung devices and 32Gb Sandisk cards, and Sandisk are still happy to replace them more than a year after they were bought. I had a near two year old card replaced without fuss a couple of months ago.

        Raise an issue via their web site, they'll ask a few questions via email, and then direct you to an on line form to fill in, after that they'll send you and RMA, and you send your card off the (IIRC) Czech republic (cost of about £1.40) then a few days later you get a new one back.

      2. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

        "Even SanDisks have issues"

        SanDisks are also some of the most counterfeited cards on the market. The situation is so bad I believe they even have a system for you to check the serial numbers. I'd never buy a SanDisk anywhere but from a reputable retailer it really is that bad.

    3. tony72

      Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

      Yes, although even at a more realistic £80 for a 128GB card, Apple is still 2.5x more expensive, so I guess the point of the article still stands.

      1. eSeM

        Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

        Genuine Sandisk 128GB Micro SD cards are now selling for around £50 on Amazon. By the end of the year they will be under £40.

    4. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

      Caveat Emptor for very low priced ebay goods, especially newer stuff like 64GB+ cards!

      The cheapest good 32GB SDHC card is probably about £10, 64GB card about £23 to £30; 128GB about £70 to £80.

      Apple are still seriously taking the piss for a 16GB to 64GB difference of £80, and a 16GB to 128GB difference of £160 for well over 100% pure profit!

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

        Is an SD card as quick as built-in memory? I assume it is, if you get a decent card?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

          Yes, it is.

          Mostly because it's the same chip with the same interface.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            @Richard 12

            > Yes it is. Mostly because it's the same chip with the same interface.

            Neither the same chip nor the same interface actually. And that's part of the reason why it's not (even remotely) as fast. But again, it doesn't really matter for the expected uses of a smartphone, except perhaps way-too-high-pixel-count video shooting.

            1. Suricou Raven

              Re: @Richard 12

              It is on android - the internal storage actually is an SD interface, just soldered to the board. Apple may be quite different, though.

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

          "Is an SD card as quick as built-in memory? I assume it is, if you get a decent card?"

          Not even remotely close, but a decent speed class card is usually fast enough that you won't notice the difference on a phone, unless perhaps if shooting insanely high-square-pixel video directly to card.

          AFAIK as a rule of thumb the speed for such devices is internal flash>CF card~USB drive*>>SD card

          The internal memory of the iPhone is compact flash, and with a high-speed interface I would expect, so it's expected to be massively faster than a SD card. By a factor 10 at the very least I would guess. Again, for most uses it probably won't be noticeable very often especially on a phone. For example my Pi can stream 720p video seamlessly from a relatively low-speed (class4) SD card.

          *both USB devices and CF cards speeds vary enormously depending on the interface, the storage hardware and the iteration, so they leapfrog each other on a regular basis; they are not usually direct competitors though, so the comparison is not really relevant)

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

            CF is IDE (PATA). It's actually pretty slow by modern standards!

            There are other parallel-interface flash chips, but they are rarely used these days.

            See iFixit for details - the chip name even starts "SD"!

            Looks like a SanDisk iNAND family chip, which has an eSD interface. I leave it to the reader to figure out what the "e" stands for!

            Almost every Arm device with decent amounts of Flash uses an SD interface. The silicon is cheap, fast, reliable and well documented.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

              Go on then downvoters and Pierre - tell us what interface Apple have used!

              If you are so utterly certain of your superior knowledge, enlighten us!

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        "...pure profit!"

        "...pure profit!"

        Nope. They're *obviously* using these price differentials to 'Robin Hood' the public, in a good and proper left wing sense. They're overcharging the rich and handsome that can afford it, to subsidize the unwashed masses that can't afford the 128 GB version and couldn't afford the cheaper one without the built-in subsidy.

        Think about it. Do you think that Apple tracks 'normal' profit and even more 'pure' profit in separate columns? Of course not. That would be silly. They have an overall plan and an overall profit margin target. Therefore, logically, the overpriced one subsidizes the other cheaper one.

        There is no other rational explanation. Plenty of irrational explanations, but only one rational explanation.

        No wonder they call it the 'Jesus Phone'.

        1. Si 1

          Re: "...pure profit!"

          In fairness Apple also solder the chips to the mainboard for you so some unscrupulous type can't eject and steal the memory card and put your naked pictures of Jennifer Lawerence on the internet....

    5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

      "Fake?" So is my iPhone.

      It said "32GB" on the tin. It was only about 26GB in practice.

      ;-)

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    FAIL

    And this is something we didn't know?

    Sheesh!

  3. Yves Kurisaki
    Thumb Up

    All nice and well..

    but great phones though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All nice and well..

      For 2012, yes.

  4. Shippwreck1

    Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

    Incidentally when they announced the iPhone 6, me and a mate did a bit of a memory cost comparison. With a Nexus 5 16 Gb costing £299 and the 32 Gb costing £339, you are paying £2.50 per Gb for the extra 16 Gb.

    So although I wholeheartedly agree that the cost per Gb is extrotionate, it's not like it's an Apple centric issue... they are ALL as bad as each other, so wouldn't it be better to bash the industry as a whole and not just Apple?

    (For the "bias" record I used to own an iPhone 4, before moving to the HTC One X+ and am planning on getting the Nexus 6... if it is ever announced...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

      Amazon UK: Moto G 8GB £130, Moto G 16GB £170 -- so £5 a Gb...

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

        But on the positive side, the latest model of Moto G has an SD card slot.

        1. CJatCTi

          Re: Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

          It the same when buying a new car they make the big money on the upgrades built in SAT nav £1000 CoPilot on my phone £25

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Re: Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

        Sadly, Nexus (Nexii?) don't have MicroSD slots.

    3. SamuraiMark

      Re: Sigh! ...Industry issue... not an Apple one...

      At least part of the point of the article was "no memory card slot". I can add whatever amount of storage to my 16GB S3. I don't need to base my choice of device on a fixed level of storage.

  5. PerlyKing
    Boffin

    Apples and oranges? (Sorry about that...)

    Don't forget that the cheapest SD cards are in the lower speed classes. How does Apple memory compare in price (and quality) to top of the line cards?

  6. Ed Cooper

    A tenner?

    There is no way you found an actual* 128GB microSD for a tenner.

    * excluding 1GB cards thats have "128GB" printed on them and have been formatted to appear as 128GB.

  7. Richard Barnes

    Paying 50 times the price

    How about the cost of a cup of coffee made at home (about 6p) with the cost of a cup of coffee from Starbucks (about 3 quid, or more if you're at an airport / motorway service station)?

    1. SamuraiMark

      Re: Paying 50 times the price

      Are you comparing coffee to coffee or coffee to specialty coffee drinks? SBUX coffee tends not to be any more expensive than any other typical modern coffee shop. People where I live call it "TenBucks" and always complain about the cost of coffee. When I ask what they usually get: "Triple Grande Caramel Macchiatto with extra ..." ... uhm, that is not a "coffee".

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Paying 50 times the price

        Starbucks IS indeed much more expensive than say, costa coffee (a better known name, at least hereabouts)

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Paying 50 times the price

        For unmolested (black) coffee, Starbucks is around twice as expensive as the convenience store, or around twenty times as expensive as brewing it at home.

        Of course, Starbucks coffee is subsidizing their various costs, particularly the physical plant which houses a bunch of students, bloggers, hipsters, and the like who buy a single cup and then sit around all day taking up space, electricity, and wi-fi bandwidth. But it's still a lot to pay for an over-roasted indifferent blend.

  8. Moosh
    Boffin

    If I may interject...

    Storage.

    You're not buying memory. You're buying storage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If I may interject...

      It's called "flash memory". You are buying memory.

    2. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: If I may interject...

      You're not buying memory. You're buying storage.

      It's still memory - it seems these days there's a tendency to assume that typical usage in relation to conventional modern computers must be some kind of universal truth, so you end up with that kind of false distinction being made or even claims along the lines of "by definition, secondary storage is non-volatile..."

      I recall at one employer they retained a machine from the 70s, mostly as a curiosity, which completely dispelled that myth. Main memory was non-volatile (plated wire memory) but the secondary store was an electrostatic drum store and yes, it was volatile. Showing that machine to some people was enough to make their heads spin.

  9. Adam Jarvis

    Surface Pro 3 mSATA Prices

    Microsoft's has joined Apple, with the Surface Pro 3, but even worse mark up an industrial standard mSATA Hard disk ridiculously, as you go up through the range. Trouble is, the is no way to get inside to change it.

  10. Haku

    Genuine 128GB card for under a tenner?

    Proof or GTFO.

  11. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    One more...

    Wiping your bottom with a iphone 6?

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: One more...

      Or with pound or euro "bills".

      1. mccp

        Re: One more...

        s/Dollar bills/Pound notes/

  12. David Gosnell

    h2testw

    h2testw - everyone's favourite friend when buying any flash memory product... or should be, anyway!

    (yes, it does work in Wine)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Ian Watkinson

    "A little eBay shopping and you can find 128GB Micro SD cards for under a tenner"

    Slow fake ones maybe.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-SDSDQUAN-128G-G4A-128GB-UHS-I-Class/dp/B00M562LF4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1&keywords=128gb

    Decent ones:

    RRP: £135.78

    Price: £90.81

    So same point...but with some facts.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Rosco

      It's actually this petty anti-Apple agenda that stopped me reading The Register anywhere near as regularly as I used to.

      I'm no Apple fan - I own some kit and find it flawed to broadly the same extent, in different ways, as kit from other manufacturers.

      But this relentless campaign of demonising Apple is just so very tedious.

    2. Mike Bell

      They charge more, BECAUSE people WILL pay more.

      They will indeed. And if you can afford an iPhone, you can probably afford to pay a tad more for extra flash memory, which you will do at most once a year.

      Some of the cheaper DSLR cameras that you see effectively have nobbled versions of the sensor that appears in top pro models. If everyone had full access to the sensor, cheap models included, they wouldn't be able to charge the price premium to pros.

  16. Frederic Bloggs

    Camels Milk

    Is by all accounts is not only expensive, but may be a premium source of MERS as well. Still, after decontamination, the Jesus Phone that you had just bought earlier will make a nice heirloom.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wedding on the cheap

    The M&S wedding dress in question was actually on sale at £15, down from £150. So that's around a 90 fold markup.

  18. William Boyle

    Blowing nose

    Blowing your nose in a spider silk hanky and then tossing it away after one use?

    1. The_H

      Re: Blowing nose

      Kudos, sir. The words "hanky" and "tossing" in the same sentence - pure Friday afternoon gold.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blowing nose

        To "blow one's nose" obviously has a meaning other than I'd have guessed.

  19. Mondo the Magnificent
    Trollface

    Loving the comments...

    ..and the comparisons, branded SD vs. generic, Nexus vs. iPhone, home made coffee vs. Starbucks..

    Reading this armed with a big stash of popcorn, the microwave at home stuff, not the overpriced stuff from Vue cinemas

    1. bex

      Re: Loving the comments...

      touting Starbucks as quality coffee, really?

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: memory...or "disk"?

      you can get a 2TB portable wireless disk for around a ton. Specs seem to indicate it would work fast enough for full HD to the phone. 10hrs use too. I guess you could have 1 in each pocket too...

  21. mafoo
    Joke

    Bargin!

    I remember paying £14 for a 100Mb zip disk.

    The iPhones are a bargain!

    PS: if you think the iPhones space is at a premium, look at the retina iPad mini. £80 for an extra 16Gb

  22. Herby Silver badge

    Don't look at me.

    I still have a nice fully functional StarTac phone that serves me well.

    As for overpriced stuff, just look for the word "Audiophile" for a multitude of examples. They range from power cords to outlets to speaker wire. In all cases the stuff you pick up at a local Radio Shack (as long as they stay in business), or hardware store are perfectly acceptable, and do the same job. These people don't believe in A-B tests (double blind!) at all.

  23. John Tserkezis

    "Can you think of any more? - Ed"

    Yes, if you're going to piss your money up against the wall on fake cards, my last check has a 128Gb MicroSD card at a nice AU$0.99 each.

    Your bargaining powers must be waining if you're willing to part with a tenner for what is probably 2G.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      128Gb = 16 GB ??

  24. Hi Wreck

    Speed isn't everything

    The cheap SD card probably won't tolerate many write cycles before crapping out.

  25. Maltese Phil

    or pretty much anything you can buy in Malta

    in the UK there is poundland, in Malta Tal Lira or everything at least €2.00, but usually more

  26. Carbon life unit 5,232,556

    Someone has to pay Tim Cook his ~$300,000,000+ bonus

    :-Q

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty much all branded inkjet cartridges.

  28. boatsman

    introducing democracy in Iraq (or controlling a lot of oil)

    is also quite expensive.

    10's of beeeelllions spent, and no result whatsoever......

  29. NeilPost

    Not just Apple

    it's not just Apple, but as memory is so direct cheap, wondering why a just out of the door Nokia Lumia 635 has a piss poor 8Gb is base memory., or similar for entry level phones from Samsung, LG, HTC etc...

    Surely stop putting shite headphones in the box and all mannar of other tut, and have 32Gb as the defacto base memory

    -

    Unsure why Apple has dropped the previous sweetspot memory phone of 32Gb, to rake in more 64Gb cash ?

  30. bpfh Bronze badge
    Stop

    Bottle water vs tap water...

    Tap water prices from my local utility compared to a 6 pack of Evian in my local supermarket:

    Evian: 0.52 € / litre

    Tap water: 0.0012 € / litre

    Or...

    Evian : 520.00 € per cubic metre

    Tap water: 1.20 € per cubic metre

  31. lauren

    Now you don’t need to worry for SD card for your I phone. Because easy replication offers Micro SD cards with high performance and at affordable prices. To know more please visit http://easyreplicationuk.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-notch-quality-control-cd.html

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