back to article Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

Apple is being sued by fans upset about how much storage space iOS takes up on their iPhones, iPads and iPods. A class-action lawsuit (PDF), filed in California by Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara, alleged the OS uses so much flash memory that the advertised device capacity is misleading. The sueball was lobbed at Cupertino …

  1. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    You're GigaByting it wrong

    Lets start 2015 off the same way it's always been, eh suckers?

    1. SQL God

      Re: You're GigaByting it wrong

      A little like a bull in a china shop, Bob? Apple has always been know for its Mother-Hen attitude in protecting its users, vetting everything that goes on an iDevice and charging a premium for the service. The folks that cling to Apple, it's exorbitant prices and its censorship do so for a reason.

      These poor saps that thought they could use 8 and 16GB iDevices for storing large libraries of music are either playing stupid, or they are are stupid. If you want to have the freedom of buying large storage at reasonable prices or doing what you really want to with your device, you need to be brave enough to break away from Mother Apple.

      1. jzlondon

        Re: You're GigaByting it wrong

        "If you want to have the freedom of buying large storage at reasonable prices or doing what you really want to with your device, you need to be brave enough to break away from Mother Apple."

        I bought a 128GB iPhone. The price was reasonable, in the sense that I was happy paying it. Perhaps it was higher than other 128GB phones, but none of them come with iOS.

        And as for the freedom to do what I want with my device, well I can. Everything I want to do with it, I can do. I tried an Android once. It was 1000 questions every time I used it, fifteen different apps for each function, no UI consistency. I had less freedom to use it because the damned thing was so fiddly.

        Point being, you may not see the point of Apple devices and consider them overpriced, but there are many who disagree with you and are happy to pony up. Not all of us see our phones as pocket computers and toys - some of us want to use them like appliances and are happy to pay a premium for that experience.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're GigaByting it wrong

        "The folks that cling to Apple, it's exorbitant prices and its censorship do so for a reason."

        Yes, they don't want to admit they made a tragic mistake.

        1. Ian Joyner

          Re: You're GigaByting it wrong

          AC: >>"The folks that cling to Apple, it's exorbitant prices and its censorship do so for a reason."

          Yes, they don't want to admit they made a tragic mistake.<<

          No, they got it right. You seem to think that people who buy Apple are stupid or something. Well, I know computing theory and what goes on in the industry really well along with a lot of others who are certainly not just 'dumb' users. We know that computing systems should be designed to not burden the user with the details of running a computer - that is just moving work from one place to another.

          Many IT people who have a job running round after IBM and Windows junk don't like that and put up all of this nonsense against Apple and equivalents.

          You assessment of tragic mistake is tragically wrong.

      3. Ian Joyner

        Re: You're GigaByting it wrong

        SQL God: >>Apple has always been know for its Mother-Hen attitude in protecting its users, vetting everything that goes on an iDevice and charging a premium for the service. The folks that cling to Apple, it's exorbitant prices and its censorship do so for a reason.<<

        Garbage. What Apple is known for is making computers directly useful to non-technical people, not to tech heads or to non-techs with an army of technical support to fix up the mess.

        Apple protects its users from malicious people - that could be overt as one who wants to put viruses on your system, compromise your data, or more subtle ones, such as those who want your details for marketing campaigns.

        Apple does a good and successful job at that - their users are not inflicted with numerous viruses and worms, etc.

        As for exorbitant prices? You can't buy cut price machines which you then have to add so much to and then pay for expensive software like Microsoft Office. You get iWork (a very capable package which does 99% of what you want) for free. If you look beyond the purchase price of the box, Apple will most often work out a cheaper buy.

        Then there is TCO. You spend less overhead time in running and maintaining your computer - that's things the OS should do. Then you are far less likely to be affected by malicious software as I have already explained.

        So there is a very good reason for sticking to Apple - it IS far better. You can get on with your work and life and NOT have to be a tech nerd.

  2. cyke1

    Sadly if they win this lawsuit it owns up lawsuit against pretty much any phone makers, computer makers, etc. Anything that has storage in it cause there is what its max space is but OS for said device takes some some of it.

    1. cambsukguy

      Mine said...

      "Note: OS and installed applications consume significant storage", followed by the numbers.

      Clear and unambiguous, on the web page I bought it from.

      Shan't bother saying who, that's not the point, wasn't Apple though.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Mine said...

        you mean it will force manufacturers to claim how much bloat will be taken up? whilst the suit is pretty silly it is a bit of a stiff for some people with ipods to lose almost a quarter of claimed space with no way to expand it. Other MP3 esque devices might have uSD cards so at least it isn't a problem, same with most other phones - sure some wont have uSD slots so they are boned too.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Mine said...

        What's worse is memory bloat.

        My iphone 3g no longer runs Stanza. After an OS upgrade, stanza loads, freezes and then crashes.

        Maps takes several minutes to register key-presses and pretty much nothing runs afterwards.

        Yes its old, but it used to work just fine before the OS upgrade.

        I'd like to see RAM figures included in the specs, on the websites.

    2. Cede

      The difference from ost is that it is impossible to increase storage on Apple devices.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        It is impossible to increase the storage on my non-Apple phone as well, what is your point?

        New versions of operating systems have normally brought new features, which means more code, which means less space... This is nothing new and nothing specific to Apple.

      2. Otto is a bear.

        Apple aren't alone

        I have several devices that don't let you expand your memory, or limit it to a fixed amount.

        But, then pretty much every OS release on every device I have ever come across since the 90s takes up more memory than the previous version, long gone are the days when vendors released performance updates with more efficient code, taking up less space.

        Come back assembler, all is forgiven, I'll gladly pay $10,000 for my next iPhone tightly coded in machine code.

    3. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

      a reasonable compromise

      Apple should offer to remove the OS for them. Then they can have a nice big, shiny 8 or 16 GB flash storage drive.

  3. Infury8r

    Tim Cooks car ......

    I other news, Ford sold Tim a car, claiming its storage space was 10,000 ltrs.

    Cook complained he could only get two golf bags in the back.

    Ford countered that the engine & operating system occupied 9,500 litres.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Tim Cooks car ......

      don't forget though that you pretty much have to update the ios otherwise previous programs might not work - certainly updates wont. Whilst reasonable to expect what isn't reasonable is to lose another 5% without a choice.

      That being said, watch what happens to windows when it gets hold of updates, good luck to those with 32Gb windows tablets - not much room left on those after full updates (especially if office is installed!)

      1. Cede

        Re: Tim Cooks car ......

        I don't know if Microsoft has joined Apple in precluding updates adding memory. If so, they need to be joined to hte lawsuit

    2. ravenviz
      Trollface

      Re: Tim Cooks car ......

      Ford said no such thing, they quoted 600,000 cubic inches!

  4. stolennomenclature

    If only Apple knew about flash memory technology, then they could put a Micro SD card slot on their products, and users would not be limited to the memory supplied with the phone. Most other manufacturers seem to know about it. I suppose its possible that Apple does know of it, but wants to make a killing on over charging for the internal flash memory. No. Surely not. This great company worshipped by millions would not do such a crappy thing to their loyal customers? Or would they?

    1. Mike Bell

      Maybe they should fit an electric toothbrush attachment while they're at it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is par for the course with how Apple designs products. It is far more important that they maximize their profit than to make the product useful and usable. So no SD cards as then people wouldn't pay the exorbitant Apple storage tax to move up to larger storage. Similarly there are the proprietary connectors so that you can only use overpriced accessories due to the the Apple accessory tax.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>So no SD cards as then people wouldn't pay the exorbitant Apple storage tax to move up to larger storage.

        Nonsense. Even the fastest uSD cards have pathetic random-write speeds (think ~3 MB/s) which is something apps do frequently, and they burn out after only a few thousand rewrites, so it's no mystery why you run into so many Android users complaining about failed SD cards. And left to their own devices, consumers are NOT going to buy the fastest and best SD cards, they're going to buy $5 cards from the Fry's check-out bins which will be even slower and fail even faster.

        So why would Apple open themselves up to a situation where users can install their own s****y memory which will almost certainly result in unacceptable performance and probably data loss?

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Lame excuses are for cult members.

          Apple products alread aren't exactly speed demons. So your excuses about lack of external storage really don't hold any water at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lame excuses are for cult members.

            >>Apple products alread aren't exactly speed demons. So your excuses about lack of external storage really don't hold any water at all.

            Citation needed.

      2. Randy Hudson

        Apple uses standard plugs when they are not shit. For example, the headphone/microphone jack is standard 1/8th inch plug. Micro USB is crap!

      3. Ian Joyner

        Anonymous Coward wrote :"This is par for the course with how Apple designs products. It is far more important that they maximize their profit than to make the product useful and usable. So no SD cards as then people wouldn't pay the exorbitant Apple storage ta..."

        No wonder you post as anonymous coward - what you write is complete and utter rubbish. I have written elsewhere in this thread that there is no shortage of idiots like you who want to hold on to the old industry where computers rule people. Apple changed that to people rule and use computers. There are still many people who resent that.

        The power of the IT professional is broken - get over it.

      4. Lallabalalla

        Would that include the proprietary connector that allows you to connect ..... a 32Gb SD card?

    3. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

      I have android devices (as well as an iphone 6+) and yes, they have a microSD cards but they're not that useful:

      - Google Play Music claims to store my tracks on the SD card but I regularly find it's been using 1GB or more of the main flash storage

      - Apps can't be stored on the SD card

      - Apps that download data after downloading the app don't always seem to ask where I'd like it stored.

      Consequently, my Sony tablet for example keeps telling me my device memory (the 10GB or so left of the 16GB that Sony advertises) is more than 75% full and I should move items to the SD card. It offers a little app to do it for me, and it moves precisely nothing, because it can't.

      My samsung phone is so cocking awful (Galaxy s3) that it always has free storage, mainly because I try to use the phone as little as possible anyway. I'm now on my third SD card, and I've given up as all of them are now "damaged or corrupted" and the stupid phone refuses to ever use them again, and plugging them into a PC confirms that they're now faulty.

      So they all do it. Look at Windows (!). I installed Windows 8 on a 64GB SSD and it gradually filled up with temporary files, bits of service pack, bits of update and basically crap.

      But yes, all manufacturers should say how much space their OS takes up. In the case of Windows, Microsoft should fess up and say it needs at the very least a 120GB SSD to work properly for more than a few months.

      1. JaitcH
        WTF?

        NO SD - NO SALE

        Any equipment I buy must have external storage - and excludes CLOUD, I don't want to share my stuff with the NSA and GCHQ.

        @Anthony Hegedus:

        "I have android devices and yes, they have a microSD cards but they're not that useful:"

        What a crock. SD memory configuration is established by the manufacturer. Note 4 can handle up to 128Gbyte.

        You shouldn't be so cheap when buying SD cards - a couple of percent more can buy you a lifetime warranty.

        My wife loads her Note with Bittorent movies, leaves her Note in Hotspot mode in the dining room of our hotel dining room and the guests can down load their choices for the next leg of their journey.

        SD work well, if you know how to use them.

        1. TheWabbit

          Re: NO SD - NO SALE

          In the Android world SD-support seems to be getting worse and worse due to explicit steps taken by Google. As of 4.4 for instance, it takes some non-trivial preparation (partitioning SD, formatting specifically, etc.) to get programs like Link2SD and others to work (these apps move/manage items to SD; the builtin support just isn't there anymore). Google seems to have figured that Apple gets away with such ahole-ery and makes boatloads of $$$ doing it, so why not....and the changes don't seem to be something custom ROMs (another non-trivial thing to do for 99% of users) can make go away...

      2. cambsukguy

        WinPhones can install and move Apps and data to SD cards if required.

        I am sure it works.

        Not sayin' anything 'bout 'droid of any type though.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          that's odd, my galaxy S2 with cyanogen seems to have no issue at all using half of its 8gb internal and 26gb of its uSD card for apps. Only "co-pilot" and a racing game had a hissy fit about not living on the uSD everything else is fine on the uSD - even music and video.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge

            >that's odd, my galaxy S2 with cyanogen

            Well, I think we are talking vendor android, here. Not everyone has the time or expertise to do that.

            Since you installed cyanogen, you damn well knew that the vendor android version does not like using the sd card for apps. So, cut the crap. Android is cool for techies, sucks for the rest ... serious business users go with Blackberry 10, the rest use iPhones ...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This..

        "My samsung phone is so cocking awful (Galaxy s3) that it always has free storage, mainly because I try to use the phone as little as possible anyway. I'm now on my third SD card, and I've given up as all of them are now "damaged or corrupted" and the stupid phone refuses to ever use them again, and plugging them into a PC confirms that they're now faulty."

        Means you have bought cheap shitty fake cards...

        Fail to see how that's Samsung's fault...

        1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

          Re: This..

          Actually I buy Kingston and sandisk, never cheap sd cards. And that's not the reason my s3 is cocking awful. It's just cocking awful. I could explain why if enough people really want to know.

          But my point is that as it comes, you are limited in what you can actually store on SD cards in android. Yes, you can store torrented movies but why does google play insist on using main storage when it even has a setting to use the SD card? And why do games not let you store their huge data files on SD card? Why can't programs be stored on SD card?

          1. Vic

            Re: This..

            my s3 is cocking awful. It's just cocking awful

            I'll give you £20 for it...

            Vic.

        2. Lallabalalla

          Re: This..

          No. Both my kids' phones have trashed their SD cards and they were reputable branded cards from a reputable source. SAMSUNG galaxy fame. SAMSUNG is to blame for this.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>I have android devices (as well as an iphone 6+) and yes, they have a microSD cards but they're not that useful:

        I'm glad somebody said this.

        A friend of mine with an Android phone was running out of memory. No problem, his phone has a microSD card slot, so he picked up a card. After probably an hour of fidgeting, the best we could do was get the phone to store new photos on the card. No music or apps or anything else. Supremely disappointed with this supposed advantage of Android phones.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          'A friend of mine with an Android phone was running out of memory. No problem, his phone has a microSD card slot, so he picked up a card. After probably an hour of fidgeting, the best we could do was get the phone to store new photos on the card. No music or apps or anything else. Supremely disappointed with this supposed advantage of Android phones.'

          You probably shouldn't be on an IT site then, I found it trivially easy and haven't actually worked in IT in over a decade and my Dad, who normally calls me before pressing print in Word just in case, has also managed it without any assistance.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >>You probably shouldn't be on an IT site then, I found it trivially easy and haven't actually worked in IT in over a decade and my Dad, who normally calls me before pressing print in Word just in case, has also managed it without any assistance.

            Managed what, exactly?

            Moving e.g. Google Play music to the "external" SD card? I see that's now officially supported in Kit Kat, which my friend doesn't have and there's not an official update for his phone yet. So, great. Thanks for your insight.

            1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

              Yes you've hit the nail on the head here. But I think that Android should go a several steps beyond what it's currently doing: how about you plug in an SD card and the OS works out which apps to move, informs the user and then actually moves them and their data (and their caches) over to the SD card?

              Now someone is going to tell me that that's something that microsoft's thing does.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                >>Now someone is going to tell me that that's something that microsoft's thing does.

                Funny you mention that, because Windows Phone does (or at least did) merge its main memory with the SD card memory.

                Problem was, it caused no end of problems and a jillion customer complaints because the phones with SD cards installed would "crash" all the time.

                Turns out the SD card memory was performing so poorly that the OS's watchdog timers for performance were being triggered and the OS was force-quitting apps to try to get things running again.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "Funny you mention that, because Windows Phone does (or at least did) merge its main memory with the SD card memory."

                  Nope - Windows Phone has never done that. External storage is selectable, not merged.

                  "Problem was, it caused no end of problems and a jillion customer complaints because the phones with SD cards installed would "crash" all the time."

                  Never heard of this or had any issues with uSD cards and have been using Windows Phone since launch - Citation needed...

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                    Devil

                    Do we really have to wade through a deluge of pro-MS ACs with every story remotely connected to MS...?

                    http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/17/windows-phone-7s-microsd-mess-the-full-story-and-how-nokia-ca/

                  2. Ian Joyner

                    Anonymous Coward >>"Funny you mention that, because Windows Phone does (or at least did) merge its main memory with the SD card memory."

                    Nope - Windows Phone has never done that. External storage is selectable, not merged.<<

                    That is exposing the memory hierarchy - which is an implementation detail - to the user. You probably don't understand what Apple has done (or is doing) or will argue against it as an old techie. Apple stores you data safely where ever. The user does not have to think about where or more importantly, how. Users no longer think in terms of lower-level abstractions such as files to store entities.

                    On iOS, there is no 'save' - whatever you are working on is automatically saved to SSD. Save is being deemphasized on OS X.

                    Programmers also should not think about memory hierarchy - they should not think about moving data from main memory to registers or where data gets allocated. That is a real backward move in Dalvik (Android's OS), where Google has exposed registers in the memory hierarchy.

                    Apple is going in the right direction here.

              2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Ten years ago Symbian gave you the choice of where to install, including directly to the SD card without any need to link to the internal filesystem. You could change SD cards and the menu would update accordingly. If an SD card corrupted it would tell you, you could remove it, and the phone returned to its normal speed and operation.

                The only thing that perhaps needed improving was you couldn't move apps, just uninstall from internal memory and reinstall to SD card.

                I refuse to believe Google or Apple have tried their best to sort this problem out.

        2. PsychicMonkey
          FAIL

          Well...

          Your friend chose the wrong person to try and help then. If you can't get your music on to the SD card you have no business touching hardware.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well...

            >>Your friend chose the wrong person to try and help then. If you can't get your music on to the SD card you have no business touching hardware.

            I can fill the SD card to the brim with MP3 files no problem. How do I get my friend's pre-Kit Kat Google music app to play them? Oh, you can't? I guess you might not be as helpful as you thought.

            1. thesykes

              Re: Well...

              @AC

              "I can fill the SD card to the brim with MP3 files no problem. How do I get my friend's pre-Kit Kat Google music app to play them? Oh, you can't? I guess you might not be as helpful as you thought."

              Took the micro SD from a broken MP3 player, inserted into my old Orange San Francisco, 4 years-old and running Android 2.2, turned it on, opened Play Music, and the songs and audio books appeared instantly. Music on the root of card, books each in their own folders. Absolutely no problem at all.

              Not sure how it could be any easier.

            2. PsychicMonkey
              FAIL

              Re: Well...

              On my pre kitkat S3 mini just loading the music on the card is enough for the music app to pick it up...

              But just for shits and giggles I've just installed the google music app. All of my music is on the SD card, copied there using a card reader not the phone. Open Google music app. Press the little three line menu button. Press "MyLibrary" button. All my music available.

              Wow. Very difficult.

              Oh, guess I might be helpful after all, but my previous assertion was wrong. It's not just hardware you shouldn't touching.

      5. cdnexpat

        I use Samsung products, with external USB extensions. I was faced with this lack of space problem when downloading updates. Most Apps would not move to the USB storage, so I connected to the computer, then cut and pasted all of them from the internal USB to the external one. Then, I saved my contacts on the SIM, and I did a reformat, and reset to factory settings, like if I was selling my phone.

        Then, I downloaded the Apps that did not stay on the external USB, without problems!

        I have international phones and tablets.

        Cheers,

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I installed Windows 8 on a 64GB SSD and it gradually filled up with temporary files, bits of service pack, bits of update and basically crap."

        The vast majority of which it will offer to clean up for you if your disk space becomes low.

      7. Hans 1 Silver badge

        @Anthony Hegedus

        Amen, I upvoted! Fanboys have been downvoting you ... maybe because they claim you can install a non-Sony Android firmware, but come on guyz ... as for 64Gb SSD, that was a silly mistake ... but don't worry, you are not alone ... I believed what the android fanboys say on el'reg and got my son and wife Sony Xperia M's ... 2 Gb internal storage, but a beefy sd card would make up for that ... I had to download the SDK to issue some kung fu to get the phones to use the sd card as application storage ... did not work :( ... it worked on a no-name tablet, so I did the kung fu right.

        Yes, I can go through the hassle of downloading a standard android firmware for the phones ... Not really what I hoped for ...

        Sony will never see any of my cash again - 2Gb storage and lockdown is pisstake.

    4. regredit

      Nexus line does not have a microSD slot either. Why? Because of security. If the device is used in the enterprise with proper mobile device managment policies enforced there is a certain degree of certainty that said device can be locked if not completely wiped when it beacons home. If an individual kept privy information haphazardly on a microSD card there is no way to ensure the safety of the data stored on it.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Somehow I doubt that security is the primary reason why there is no microSD slot on the Nexus range; it's just a convenient side effect of saving fifteen cents on the connector.

    5. Lallabalalla

      That's only partially helpful. Yes, you get lots of storage for music files and photos. No, you don't get any more room for apps on most (not all) handsets as they are forced to store in main memory. My kids are constantly having to delete apps to make room for some new game or other, and moan mightily about being unable to remove bloatware that they never wanted or use.

  5. Bloodbeastterror

    Who cares?

    1) Apple sells a lot of phones and therefore attracts more attention.

    2) Apple is an American company and has more buyers; and more litigious buyers.

    3) Apple attracts computer-illiterate buyers who wouldn't know a byte if it bit them on the ankle.

    4) Apple doesn't give a stuff about what you think. Just gimme the money...

    I go for 4, myself. Maybe 3...

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Who cares?

      Californians. That's who. They have some pretty demanding consumer protection laws.

      it's odd that those people sitting in northern California never considered this problem. Perhaps the droning of the fanboys drowned out anyone who could have suggested that Apple was making a mistake.

  6. Quintius

    I have a 32 GB iPhone. Strangely enough, it actually has 32 GB of storage--exactly as advertised. The OS does use some of the space, but I'd rather have the phone with an OS rather than without.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, what it SHOULD be is that you have 32GB (ALL 32GB) available to you and the OS resides in its own dedicated space or whatever. Yes, I consider the PC analogue to be deceptive also. At least with a hard drive, you don't expect 20% of the space to be stuffed with programs, and I hate shared-memory graphics chips.

      1. Ceiling Cat

        Strangely enough, I have an Android tablet (Polaroid PTAB-800) that does it exactly the way you describe it. EXCEPT that it doesn't, as the OS and all installed apps need to fit into the dedicated space. If your apps use any extra space for app-specific data, it's stored in the OS section, not in the user section, which is brilliant unless you want to have more than two large apps installed at once. On the other hand, I still have a full 8gb of space, and can add an SD card for more storage, but can not get more app space. If you root the PTAB-800 you can *technically* run apps from the SD, but it tends to glitch badly more often than not, which cost me several months of progress in Valkyrie Crusade.

        It's a first-world problem, and one of the reasons I will never buy a cut-price tablet ever again, but it also points to why Apple did what they did. I'd love to see the plaintiff's reactions when they realize that they can only have a handful of apps installed in their "separate OS partition", but they still have 16 (or 8, or 32) GB left for porn and MP3s.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          The counter would be, "You're doing it wrong."

          Apps installed by the user SHOULD go into the user space, NOT the OS space (which should be reserved for system apps and their updates).

      2. Ian Joyner

        The Anonymous Coward writes: >>No, what it SHOULD be is that you have 32GB (ALL 32GB) available to you and the OS resides in its own dedicated space or whatever. Yes, I consider the PC analogue to be deceptive also. At least with a hard drive, you don't expect 20% of the space to be stuffed with programs, and I hate shared-memory graphics chips.<<

        That is much too confusing to users. Which version of OS do you have - they all take different amounts of memory. With 16GB OS takes up proportionately more that 32GB and that more than 64 or 128GB.

        This really is still a non story.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Untouchable

    Will get thrown out. Apple have shown they are untouchable in courts in the us. It's as if everyone has free stuff they should be declaring

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Untouchable

      I would hope that if Microsoft was sued for Surface or Google was sued for Nexus it would be thrown out just the same. It has nothing to do with Apple being "untouchable", it has to do with this being a mind numbingly stupid lawsuit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Untouchable

        What about if Samsung were sued .... surely they'd lose since they'd clearly just copied Apple

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Untouchable

      You're inventing false claims from thin air.

      In the US courts Apple has: been found guilty under antitrust law of ebook price fixing; lost the attempt to establish that Amazon can't call its an 'App Store'; lost an attempt to compel various rumours sites to reveal their sources; been successfully forced by Creative Labs to pay royalties for use of hierarchical menus in iPods; failed to win a patent case againt HTC; failed to win a patent case against Kodak; failed to win a patent case against Motorola.

      Apple has ended up settling rather than going to court in the US: with resellers who argued that Apple were illegally driving them out of business; an antitrust case about cold calling employees of competing companies; a class action over the reliability of early MagSafe power adaptors; a class action about price switching, where gift cards couldn't buy the number of songs indicated due to a price change; the trademark case with Cisco about use of the iPhone mark; a class action over iPod battery life.

      So Apple has been successfully prosecuted by the US government. It has lost cases started against it by other companies. It has lost cases it started against other companies, it has had to pay out for cases started against it by groups of consumers.

  8. ST Silver badge

    truth in storage

    Apple's iPhone 6 Tech Specs page:

    https://www.apple.com/iphone-6/specs/

    Apple advertises 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacity. Arguably, capacity is different from available capacity. No mention of "The operating system takes up about 3GB out of the advertised capacity" on that page.

    Misleading? Definitely. I do not expect a non-techie consumer to anticipate these kinds of storage capacity semantics shenanigans. Neither should Apple. And it shouldn't be that difficult for Apple to add that disclaimer to their Tech Specs page.

    Don't know if it will hold up in a US court, though.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: ST Re: truth in storage

      "......And it shouldn't be that difficult for Apple to add that disclaimer to their Tech Specs page......". Previously, when writing RFP responses, I have been instructed to calculate the exact amount of memory and diskspace space available in a system after the OS, apps and patches will have been loaded and the system has the apps running at idle, then put those figures into the response, eg "the system will have 16GB of RAM of which 14.3GB will be available for application use at system idle with the application stack listed in Appendix C". We had to do so for legal reasons as our customers could sue if we delivered the kit and it actually only had 13GB at idle. That was several years ago, so if we were worrying about that then it would suggest Apple do have something to worry about today.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: ST truth in storage

        true, apple also place themselves as easy to use so hiding information isn't in the perception of their products. Afterall you should expect anyone to be able to use an apple device easily, not have to figure out why 16gb isn't 16gb afterall.

    2. PJI

      Re: truth in storage

      Ignorance, naivety or just blind prejudice and mendacity seem to be the rule in this comments section.

      I suspect even most non-technical buyers must be aware that the essential computer software (e.g. operating system, file system, management software, application libraries) take up space. I seem to recall Apple even brings this to people's attention, such as when giving advice about the IOS 8 update.

      What is all this nonsense about Android (some) hardware being OK because one can insert external storage? So a Samsung ad. claiming 32 GB of storage is all right, even though it does not warn of the available storage, because you can spend more money on a SD card (but be sure to buy a top quality one)? If you buy a mini when you want a six seater car, is that all right because you can attach a trailer? Or perhaps you buy a four seater car and imagine that it will carry four passengers and not know it needs a driver.

      Ever bought, say, a 256 GB SSD drive and noted that, with NOTHING of yours on it, the available space is several GB less (with the Samsung drive I have got, it is 249.2 GB) than the quoted 256 GB? Perhaps I should pretend ignorance and make a claim against Samsung.

      So, how would you quote capacity? A table of numbers against each past, present and possible future OS and and app sizes?

      I note that Samsung also quotes just "storage" size, e.g. 16 and 32 GB for the Galaxy, no mention of size available to the user.

      Are these complainants saying that they were silly enough to buy a mobile telephone without finding out, e.g. from the seller, a little, basic detail such as what that capacity means? If they are sufficiently aware to understand how many hours of music or films or whatever the capacity represents, then I suspect that they also knew that the device needs system and application space. On what basis did they decide to get 16GB rather than 32 or 64? Just price or did they ask the salesman (or search the internet) for some practical advice and details?

      No, this is just another set of litigious Americans thinking they've found a short cut to some easy money from a very rich, very successful firm.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: truth in storage

        > Ignorance, naivety or just blind prejudice and mendacity seem to be the rule in this comments section.

        Had you not started your rant with such an idiotic and unnecessarily snide comment, I might have read past the first paragraph.

        I am a techie. Guess what: it is not obvious to me at all that the iPhone has only one physical storage device available, and that its Operating System is installed on the same physical storage device as the one dedicated to general-purpose storage. The Tech Specs do not mention any details about the physical storage device layout, nor do they mention anything about how many I/O channels are available on the iPhone's motherboard. And assuming that a mobile phone has only one physical storage device available is just as dumb and ignorant as assuming that a laptop or a PC has only one hard drive available, or that a laptop or PC motherboard has only one I/O channel available.

        The iPhone's Operating System could have been installed on a physically different and separate storage device that is not part of the advertised available storage capacity.

        There would have been valid technical reasons for doing so. This separate flash storage device used for the OS could be a different Class than the one available to the user for storing music or videos. OS updates happen less frequently than the user writes or erases photos or videos, so, storing the OS on a physically separate device reduces the overall probability of single-point-of-failure of the phone.

        So, quit playing storage know-it-all on the Internet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: truth in storage

          Ah, but you did not read past the first paragraph so I wonder how you came to your opinion.

          You may describe yourself as a "techie"; but it seems you are not an inquisitive one and are not used to reading the sort of technical specifications published with these sorts of devices by most manufacturers or suppliers. You could have found out a lot more about IOS and the hardware on the many web sites discussing it. Apple make no claim that the OS is on separate storage; other comments have covered that too. Details such as IO channel numbers are irrelevant to this discussion and, indeed, to 99.99% of users and, I suspect, to you other than to boost your own claim to credentials.

          There was no "playing storage know-it-all…". You are playing at being a hardware expert for mobile devices and at being an OS design architect - on the internet. Feel free. But, as you said, you did not read past the first paragraph, so your remark has got no basis.

          1. ST Silver badge

            Re: truth in storage

            > Ah, but you did not read past the first paragraph so I wonder how you came to your opinion.

            I assume you mean "how I reached my conclusion". Answer:

            By reading the idiotic first paragraph in your original rant.

            Grammar lesson: one does not "come to an opinion". One comes to a conclusion, or one holds, or has, an opinion.

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: truth in storage

          @ ST

          >I am a techie. Guess what: it is not obvious to me at all that the iPhone has only one physical storage device available, and that its Operating System is installed on the same physical storage device as the one dedicated to general-purpose storage.

          You are NOT a techie, cut the crap! All current generation smartphones use this storage strategy. I heard Nokia smartphones were different back in the day ... Note that I did not/will not comment or vote on the guy you are answering to ...

          >The Tech Specs do not mention any details about the physical storage device layout, nor do they mention anything about how many I/O channels are available on the iPhone's motherboard. And assuming that a mobile phone has only one physical storage device available is just as dumb and ignorant as assuming that a laptop or a PC has only one hard drive available, or that a laptop or PC motherboard has only one I/O channel available.

          Do the tech specs mention expansion slots of any sort ? Yes. Do they mention a built-in sd card port ? no ... ouch, sorry. Now, why do you need to know how many I/O channels a device has ? You know, it can have 1000, if they are not hooked up to a connector, you will not be able to connect anything to them - unless you bolt something onto the hardware.

          Now, an iOS device can read an sd card!! You can get an sd card adapter that plugs into the magic connector (dunno the name of that thingy on JesusPhones, too lazy to look it up). You can get an sd card adapter that converts a micro sd card into a plain sd card as well ... no, you cannot launch any apps from it, just like unhacked android phone. Not sure you can write to it ... I guess you can.

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: truth in storage

            "you cannot launch any apps from it (sd card), just like unhacked android phone"

            Not sure where you get that from. I've used unhacked Android for some years, and have always moved those apps which can be moved (not all can, admittedly) to uSD with no problem. In fact, my old Note looked positively sparse with the card removed, as most apps were unavailable.

            I always used App2sd as part of the 10+ toolbox app to do this, but the option to move individual apps to sd has always been there in the standard Google toolbox. Generally I look for apps which do what I want and CAN be moved. Heck, I even had seperate cards with different apps on them in my old Dell Streak days (yes I know, dumb, but it worked).

      2. Kirk Northrop

        Re: truth in storage

        Actually, I think this all stems from old dumb phones. When we had an Ericsson with 4Mb of memory, that was what it had, and all the OS was in flash. Therefore people understandably expect the same behaviour today.

        I suspect also when you had the old iPods the situation was the same, and if the OS did take up space on the disk it was 100Mb or so...

      3. WereWoof

        Re: truth in storage

        There was a class action suit against Western Digital for exactly this reason - "The class-action lawsuit against Western Digital Corporation involves the way the company reports hard drive capacity. For example, an 80GB model reported by the hard drive manufacturer will only hold 74.4GB of data, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. This is a known fact throughout the storage community and is no news to those of us who have ever bought or used a hard drive." They settled. ref:http://www.dailytech.com/Western+Digital+Settles+Drive+Capacity+ClassAction+Lawsuit/article3072.htm

        1. Looper
          Angel

          Re: truth in storage

          The prefix gibi (symbol Gi) represents multiplication by 1024^3, therefore:

          1 gibibyte = 2^30 bytes = 1073741824 bytes

          The gibibyte is closely related to the gigabyte (GB), which is defined as 10^9 bytes = 1000000000 bytes, but has been used as a synonym for gibibyte in some contexts. 1GiB ≈ 1.074GB.

          Historically, the prefixes kibi, mebi and gibi were officially made standards by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 1998 to distinguish binary multiples from their decimal multiple counterparts.

          To add to the confusion, the prefixes kilo, mega and giga can be used interchangeably for BOTH binary and decimal multiples giving each prefix two distinct and incompatible byte capacities.

  9. Mikel

    Unspeakably dumb

    I'm not a fan of iStuff, but this is stupid. It will go nowhere.

  10. pro-logic

    At least Microsoft Australia advertises actual user available capacity on their surface tablets.

    Storage:

    64GB has >36GB available disk space

    128GB has >96GB available disk space

    256GB has >211GB available disk space

    512GB has >450GB available disk space

    Wonder if it's because of a lawsuit?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I suspect it's more to do with Australia's advertising laws which place a little more emphasis on telling "the whole truth". Australia can smack down and fine a firm whose ads cross the line into "deceptive".

    2. thames

      If I recall correctly, Microsoft did run into trouble over exactly this with respect to their Surface tablets. I can't recall though if it resulted in a lawsuit. It was headline news for a while. The fact that most people can't recall it probably has something to do with the fact that most people can't recall that the MS Surface tablet even exists.

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      It is also because in one of those cases that is over 50% of the advertised space. A reasonable consumer expects a degree of space used by OS paraphernalia but not in that magnitude. They also expect that a 32GB device from manufacturer A holds roughly the same amount of their stuff as a 32GB device from manufacturer B.

  11. Shane Sturrock

    Nothing new here

    The phone has 16GB of storage. You need an operating system and that takes up some of that space and this has been true even back to 8 bit computers like the Commodore 64 which didn't have 64K of space for programs but rather just 39K (although if you didn't need BASIC you could use more.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing new here

      You know that. I know that. Millions of people don't. The people here who are calling other people dumb may not know the real loading capacity of their washing machines, whether or not their domestic boiler capacity is throttled by the area of their radiators, or (and this is very common) the true cost of their car ownership.

      We tend to think what we know about is obvious. A bit of truth in advertising might not come amiss, though.

  12. ukgnome Silver badge

    Dumb

    some people are dumb

    1. TheProf

      Re: Dumb

      Hmm? Would you be more specific.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Would you be more specific.

        Would you be more grammatical.

        1. ukgnome Silver badge

          Re: Would you be more specific.

          No

  13. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    What? No lawsuit about RAM?

    I think they should sue everybody because operating systems also tend to take a bit of the advertised RAM...

    Ridiculous as the lawsuit is, I noticed that, e.g., Samsung have a footnote to the specs on their website (UK, at least): "User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the phones features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the mobile phone operator and may change after software upgrades are performed." Seems fair.

    The Apple iPhone6 spec (https://www.apple.com/iphone-6/specs) does not have a similar footnote, but it does have another curious one: "1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less." I am not sure what it means, except that maybe they don't operate in powers of 2 (and thus 16GB is a bit less than what I would expect) and they don't use the full 16GB storage (not sure if "formatted capacity less" only means some filesystem overhead).

    With all the hype that iStuff is somehow "magical and revolutionary" I am not surprised that some non-technical users may have expectations...

    1. Peter27x
      Boffin

      "actual formatted capacity less."

      The 16GB refers to the raw storage capacity, i.e. for flash memory the number of binary bit-states the flash cells can hold. When you format the storage to be able to hold a file system (FAT, NTFS, ext3, XFS.. etc) that will take an amount of the raw storage as well.

      And then the above mentioned Operating system will take an additional chuck of that storage again.

    2. Ian Joyner

      Re: What? No lawsuit about RAM?

      >>but it does have another curious one: "1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less." I am not sure what it means<<

      Not curious. When you format a (disk) device, the formatting software is likely to find bad areas on the magnetic medium and to remove them from the allocation list. This reduces the actual capacity of the device. It's not any software overhead, just imperfect manufacture, and the integrity of your data is more important than device capacity.

      The basis of this is that programs and data live in an idealized software environment - that environment is provided by the system software since hardware can be faulty. The OS will even avoid bad areas of RAM if it finds them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What? No lawsuit about RAM?

        It doesn't work like that. Sectors are reallocated at a low level, which is transparent to the operating system. If your OS sees bad sectors in a modern disk drive, then you're really in trouble and your drive is about to die.

        The disk drives themselves have a pool above the capacity to reallocate sectors.

        You actually get less because the file system itself takes up space for metadata. This varies depending on the file system: FAT disks allocate sectors for directory records. Other file systems have inodes or journals etc. etc. These take up space.

        Of course, if you use a compressed file system you can find you have more allocated capacity than the device's raw capacity.

        The other difference relates to the "1GB = 1 billion bytes" assertion. It does: G is an SI prefix meaning a billion (using the now-common short scale) so this assertion is absolutely true and has led to the adoption of the GiB notation. Operating systems inevitably use the latter, so the amount seen by the OS appears to be far less, especially as 1 TiB is way less than 1 TB. It wasn't a big deal when hard drives were sold in MB.

    3. David Beeston

      Re: What? No lawsuit about RAM?

      Its because apple uses base 10 to calculate disk space (as does pretty much every other hard drive vendor). Interestingly most operating systems still used a base 2 to display - which leads to confusing results as the user sees much lower storage than was previously advertised.

      Really interesting is that for a while apple OSX display in base 10 too, which means a 250GB hard drive reports as 250GB even though it is actually a little less (something like 240GB or so I think).

      The formatted capacity may also be taking into account EFI Partition, Restore Partition, Wear-leveling blocks, Write-buffer area and a whole bunch of other stuff I have no idea the meaning of.

      Source: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201402

  14. Da Weezil

    So how is this any different to PC makers selling you a machine with a drive that is partitioned down from its stated size to accommodate the cab files to reinstall the OS?

    Oh of course its bad because its Apple, cue much gnashing of teeth....

    This is getting so old.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Call it a basic math problem.

      > So how is this any different to PC makers selling you a machine with a drive that is partitioned down from its stated size to accommodate the cab files to reinstall the OS?

      One of those does not take up a double digit portion of the available storage. The other one does.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Probably because you can reallocate that partition back if you were inclined to do so (just pray that you never need to reformat)

  15. Haku

    CRT screen sizes and viewing area

    Who else remembers back when CRT's ruled the world and you got a big 21 inch TV only to discover the viewing area was actually 20 inches?

    Advertisers were forced to disclose the actual viewing area so they got away with this by selling you a TV with the tube size described in inches in big bold letters whilst disclosing the actual viewing area in cm, which because of the numerical relationship between inch & cm it appeared to be a big number, when in reality when converted to inches was smaller than the tube size.

    I think this page is a bit outdated now: http://www.metric.org.uk/screen-sizes

    They're all despicable because they'll try any tactic available to make you think you're getting something better than what you actually get, for example I bought some rechargable AA's recently that are called the 2400 series, ther're really good and I am pleased with them but the actual capacity is 2300mAh.

    1. phil8192
      Devil

      Re: CRT screen sizes and viewing area

      That's the art of sales — sell 'em the sizzle, not the steak.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: CRT screen sizes and viewing area

        Yeah, but sometimes that backfires. A natural response to your slogan would be, "But where's the beef?"

      2. Ian Joyner

        Re: CRT screen sizes and viewing area

        Apple has been the one company to lead against sizzle, not steak. They build a really steak first - it naturally sizzles. Others start from the sizzle down.

        Steve Jobs was once asked about design (pre his return to Apple). His response was most revealing: "you know some people think that design is just how something looks, but if you go deeper, design is really how something works".

        Even deeper, that is the core of computing - we are not building static objects in a stuck state, we are building fluid things where state changes in millions of ways. That is the complexity of computing.

  16. Peter27x
    Stop

    Does Moore's Law not apply to the system memory in phones/tablets?

    Hasn't the price of flash memory not halved at least once for a phone/tablets minimum system memory to have increased yet? It sure has for SSD drives.

    Damn phone/tablet companies greed :(

  17. ACx

    Please forgive the vagueness of this, but what happened (or happens still, I don't know, haven't looked for years) where main RAM is shared by the video chips? I remember a lot of ads where is was explicit that built in video shared the main memory, resulting in less ram available for normal use. My memory of it was that sellers and or builders were quite upfront about it. Did people who weren't clear about it sue? Or where sellers more honest back then? I realise it can be easily argued to be very different to what these devices now do, but does that set any sort of precedent?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Still there, especially at the cheap end of the laptop spectrum.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        time got a shoeing over this I seem to remember. They used to sell silly RAM sizes such as 128Mb when 32Mb was taken up by VGA etc.

        This day and age you don't notice 128Mb disappearing from 2Gb RAM.

  18. jake Silver badge

    The storage is there, as advertised.

    The only problem is that the average user has zero clue how the system works. The OS takes up storage space. These things don't exist in a vacuum. Remember swapping boot/program/data floppies on single floppy MS-DOS systems with only 256K bytes of RAM?

    I won't go into MegaBits and MegaBytes of storage & the numbers involved ... much less how the Marketards have been manipulating the concept since at least the late 1970s.

    1. phil8192
      Go

      Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

      Most likely, the people pushing this lawsuit, including their lawyers, are too young to remember floppy disks, let alone personal computers where "mass storage" consisted entirely of floppy disks, with no hard drive at all. (Apple II, anyone?) They also don't remember hard-wired telephones, 8-track tapes, reel-to-reel tape recorders, nor would they know what to do with a vinyl record and a phonograph.

      Since a few of us actually remember using these things and may even be old enough to remember when they were "cutting-edge", we find the premise of the lawsuit patently ridiculous. Let's hope the judge is old enough, too, and simply dismisses the case before it ever gets to trial. Some lawsuits are good and bring product safety improvements to the market, but this kind of lawsuit will do nothing but increase expenses for the manufacturer, which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices than Apple's already ridiculously high prices.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

        Amiga 880k disks were regularly formatted to 1Mb though.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

          They could only get away with it because the Amiga's floppy controller was much more programmable. I also recall custom formats had a problem down the road when it came to reliability.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

        >>Most likely, the people pushing this lawsuit, including their lawyers, are too young to remember floppy disks, let alone personal computers where "mass storage" consisted entirely of floppy disks, with no hard drive at all.

        Interesting, so you must think this is actually an honest lawsuit brought to court by people who honestly feel wronged?

        I'm not sure that would have occurred to me.

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

        "Most likely, the people pushing this lawsuit, including their lawyers, are too young to remember floppy disks, let alone personal computers where "mass storage" consisted entirely of floppy disks, with no hard drive at all."

        IIRC, floppy disks weren't considered "mass storage," as in storage of large amounts (a mass) of data, and the title didn't catch on until the first hard disk capable of holding several floppies worth of data at once.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

      "The only problem is that the average user has zero clue how the system works. The OS takes up storage space. These things don't exist in a vacuum. Remember swapping boot/program/data floppies on single floppy MS-DOS systems with only 256K bytes of RAM?"

      MY early PC days were all about fighting with HIMEM and XMS drivers to stuff as much necessary cruft (like CD drivers and MSCDEX) out of the base 640K so as to be able to run those games with tight memory requirements (this was back in 1990, before Microsoft opened up DPMI allowing third-party extenders to remove this obstacle).

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

        I just fired up my 1988 386sx16, math-co, 8megs, 40meg, 1meg on VLB video card ... DOS 5.0 (mouse driver loads high automatically! [was HUGE back then ...]), DESQview, QEMM, Windows 3.0, Lotus, dBaseIII+, WP ... Still runs nicely, is pretty snappy, even.

        The "640K should be enough" attributed to Bill Gates is a myth. DOS could use 760K(ish) of so-called "low-mem", before it ran into IBM's built-in hardware stoppage. Which was an IBM hardware issue, not a Microsoft coding issue.

        The real "should be enough" quote was from Steve Jobs, when demoing the original Apple Macintosh at the Home Brew Computer Club, a couple weeks before the official unveiling. He said, and I quote, "256K should be more than enough for home users" ... and he had a point. We had flight simulators running in 64K of RAM back then.

        Sometimes I look at the modern world and despair over the sheer waste ...

        1. Vic

          Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

          DOS could use 760K(ish) of so-called "low-mem", before it ran into IBM's built-in hardware stoppage

          It couldn't, it could only use 640KB before it ran into the video hardware at address A0000.

          Vic.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Vic (was: Re: The storage is there, as advertised.)

            You are wrong, Vic. It's true that you had to know how to make use of bits & pieces of RAM above 640K, including telling hardware it's new memory address (with jumpers and/or dip switches, usually; sometimes by physically pulling the hardware). It's also true that IBM "reserved" the upper 384 KB of memory space that the 8088 could address.

            Not all of us listened to IBM. Some of us used dumb terminals attached to a serial port to run the system (granted, most users had no clue what CTTY was for ...), and physically or virtually pulled the video hardware taking up unnecessary RAM. That took XT computers up to about 704K. Later memory managers took the barrier to 736K (or a hair higher, I hit 740 on one system, with good stability (for MS-DOS)). Still later, add-on hardware & attendant drivers could take DOS memory up above 950K on XT machines.

            Note that box-stock DOS 1.0 and up could use the memory, if available, without modification. It was IBM's stupidity of putting hardware ROM near the top of the memory that caused all this hassle. I'm no fan of Microsoft, not by a long shot, but blaming MS and/or Gates on IBM's built-in hardware limitations is just plain daft.

            And don't get me started on Intel's lack of MMU ...

            As a side-note, I'm typing this on a dumb terminal attached to a laptop's docking station serial port. Running Slackware-current instead of MS-DOS, but it still works. When I'm writing, an IBM 3151 terminal & model M keyboard have no equals ;-)

            1. Ian Joyner

              Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

              Jake: >>And don't get me started on Intel's lack of MMU ...<<

              MMUs are not needed - if you design your virtual memory system right. The only system I know to do that was the Burroughs B5000 (now Unisys Clearpath MCP) which was the original virtual memory system in 1964. No MMUs needed on those machines, since virtual memory was tightly coupled to the design.

            2. Ian Joyner

              Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

              The original IBM PC was nothing two kids in a garage could not have done - only two kids probably would have thought of an operating system which IBM overlooked. Hence they ended up at Microsoft (Gates' mother was on same charity committee as IBM chairman), which sold IBM a system called QDOS (for Quick and Dirty OS) from Seattle Computer Systems.

              Burroughs already had the B20 on the market (built by Convergent Technologies) a much more capable, multiprocessing machine using the 8086.

              Apple was well advanced developing the Macintosh (released less than a year later) to do away with the sort of garbage the IBM PC was (which was very similar to the Apple II in overall architecture).

              1. jake Silver badge

                @ Ian Joyner (was:Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                "Gates' mother was on same charity committee as IBM chairman"

                Rumor & innuendo. Post proof this had anything to do with anything? I have never seen any. Wiki is not "proof".

                "(which was very similar to the Apple II in overall architecture)."

                So 6502s are similar to 8088s? Interesting. I never observed that. Care to share the particulars? I might just learn something.

                Note that I'm not a PC+Microsoft fan, nor am I anti-Apple[1]. I'm just irritated by all these supposed "facts" (which aren't) being propagated as "truth".

                I was hacking BSD on vaxen back then, and rather perplexed at the interest in the fairly useless single-tasking word-processing machines.

                1. Ian Joyner

                  Re: @ Ian Joyner (was:@Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                  >>"Gates' mother was on same charity committee as IBM chairman"

                  Rumor & innuendo. Post proof this had anything to do with anything? I have never seen any. Wiki is not "proof".<<

                  Not rumour or innuendo at all, but fact.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Maxwell_Gates

                  http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/11/obituaries/mary-gates-64-helped-her-son-start-microsoft.html

                  The whole story including QDOS (do you deny that as well?)

                  http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/software/286148-the-rise-of-dos-how-microsoft-got-the-ibm-pc-os-contract

                  This stuff is not hard to find. I suggest you do some research, as with my comment on computational science and infinite memories. And actually wikipedia is quite good for technical issues.

                  >>"(which was very similar to the Apple II in overall architecture)."

                  So 6502s are similar to 8088s? Interesting. I never observed that. Care to share the particulars? I might just learn something.<<

                  Not saying that 6502 is similar to 8088, although programmer-accessible register-based microprocessor architecture is similar (programmers should never have direct access to registers).

                  The system architecture is very similar. 5.25" floppies, slots for extra devices. Those were copied from the Apple II.

                  >>Note that I'm not a PC+Microsoft fan, nor am I anti-Apple[1]. <<

                  Good.

                  >>I'm just irritated by all these supposed "facts" (which aren't) being propagated as "truth".<<

                  No, you are irritated by the fact that you have an erroneous picture of the world in your head and that is being disproved by THE facts.

                  >>I was hacking BSD on vaxen back then, and rather perplexed at the interest in the fairly useless single-tasking word-processing machines.<<

                  Unix was a toy OS compared to OSs like Burroughs MCP - the first OS written in a high-level language. Unix and C came along five years later and C is a terrible language - could not even copy the Burroughs define mechanism right.

                  You see I have the facts (although happy to change when new information comes along) and I put my real name on everything I write, whereas people like Jake throw mud around and hide behind anonymity.

                  1. Vic

                    Re: @ Ian Joyner (was:@Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                    programmers should never have direct access to registers

                    Errr - bullshit.

                    Vic.

                    1. Ian Joyner

                      Re: @ Ian Joyner (was:@Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                      Vic: >>programmers should never have direct access to registers

                      Errr - bullshit.<<

                      Defend that claim. I'll defend mine (I hope you can understand it). All computable computations can be done with a single flat memory space. Hierarchical memory adds nothing to computational power - it is merely an implementation detail for efficiency (computations go faster when data is close the the CPU).

                      When programmers start deciding what registers data should be loaded into, their programs become implementation dependent and not so easily movable between machines. Register allocation should only be determined by compilers and better yet, the runtime system, (Google's Dalvik is just weird).

                      Consider Turning machines for flat infinite memory. Then for practical example look at Burroughs B5000/Unisys MCP systems - the best CPU and systems architecture ever.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burroughs_large_systems

                      Yet another example is cache memory - what is saved in cache is completely done without knowledge of the programmer - that should be extended to registers which are a kind of cache. In fact, variables in programs are just a cache of previously computed result. Perhaps we can do away with all programmer accessible variables.

                      What programmers must learn is that most of what they have been taught is rubbish.

                2. Ian Joyner

                  Re: @ Ian Joyner (was:@Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                  >>"Gates' mother was on same charity committee as IBM chairman"

                  Rumor & innuendo. Post proof this had anything to do with anything? I have never seen any. Wiki is not "proof".<<

                  Another reference: Overdrive by James Wallace p 145:

                  "Gates said his mother never stopped stressing the importance of family... He recalled the well-known story of how his mother's connections with former IBM Chairman John Opel had helped Microsoft make the deal of the century when Big Blue needed an OS for it first PC in 1980 and came calling on MS. At the time, Opel and Mary Gates served together on the national board of United Way."

                  See - you really can't make this stuff up.

            3. Vic

              Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

              You are wrong, Vic

              No, I'm not. The video hardware was mappe din at A0000, and that's what limited lowmem.

              It's true that you had to know how to make use of bits & pieces of RAM above 640K

              Of course it is. There was memory there - albeit some masked by the video hardare that was inaccessible under any circumstances - but the memory space above the hardware could be addressed, usually using things like himem.sys. But that wasn't lowmem, which was necessarily limited to 640K on the grounds that there was a gert chunk of non-RAM hardware in the memory map.

              Vic.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

                "But that wasn't lowmem, which was necessarily limited to 640K on the grounds that there was a gert chunk of non-RAM hardware in the memory map."

                You are wrong, Vic. Do some more homework. All that useless video ROM (and a couple other bits), could be worked around, if you knew what you were doing. Over the long-haul, we figured out how to use all but the top 64K, which was hardware mapped to ROM-BASIC and system BIOS, giving over 950K of so-called "conventional" memory available to DOS.

                Like it or don't, them's the facts.

                1. Vic

                  Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

                  You are wrong, Vic.

                  No, I'm not.

                  All that useless video ROM (and a couple other bits), could be worked around

                  Yes, it could be worked around. But that didn't make it part of lowmem. Memory - both extended and expanded - could be added to a system, but it could never be part of lowmem. That didn't make it inaccessible under any circumstances, but it was never, ever part of lowmem. It simply couldn't be, because lowmem was bounded by the video hardware in the memory map.

                  Now you can try to convince us of how clever you are to your heart's content - we all used more than 640K back in those days, you weren't special. But none of us had more than 640K of lowmem because that is physically impossible, and trying to claim otherwise is simply incorrect.

                  Vic.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

                    Plus, in the context I was describing (~1990), computers were expected to have VGA-compatible video hardware installed to be practical (either to use Windows 3 or for games). This pretty much means the video hardware is safely assumed to be present, which means the BIOS mapped the video memory and made the stuff above 0xA0000 reserved. Until the publication of the DPMI and the arrival of protected-mode DOS extenders in the early 90's, there was no practical way around the limitation. Thus all the HIMEM juggling I distinctly remember back then. How many of us remember trying to load up a DOS game and getting rejected with a "Not enough memory" error? How many remember all those READMEs and addenda that noted you may need to juggle with your system settings to get software to work?

                  2. jake Silver badge

                    Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

                    I'm not wrong, Vic. You are.

                    In this context, lowmem is the amount of RAM available to MSDOS under the first hardware-imposed memory barrier when it comes to the 8088 architecture. It can be over 640K.

                    Again, like it or don't, them's the facts.

                    (Out of curiosity, are you trolling? Or are you willfully, intentionally and stubbornly ignorant? Serious question.)

                    1. Ian Joyner

                      Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

                      MSDos on IBM PCs - who cares. Garbage OS on garbage machines.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        @Ian Joyner (was:Re: @Vic (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                        "Garbage OS on garbage machines."

                        Agreed, kinda[1][2][3]. But let's not lie about reality. Folks USED these ugly contraptions. And they brought you the intraweb pron that you enjoy today.

                        [1] MS/PCDOS is/was a program loader, not an OS (this includes Windows).

                        [2] IBM's use of Intel's hardware with Microsoft's software was a kludge that worked (for small values of "work") for a lot of years.

                        [3] I never said it was a good option, now did I?

                        1. Ian Joyner

                          Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

                          Actually, the web was developed on NeXT machines which is the basis of today's OS X on Mac.

                          [1] An OS is a resource manager. As such it gives programs as perfect an environment as possible. Program loading is part of this function, as is memory allocation (and garbage collection), media management, etc.

                          [2] That is the power of computers - you can really get it wrong and they are still very powerful (Church-Turing thesis).

                          [3] I can't improve on that one!!!!!!!! ;)

        2. Ian Joyner

          Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

          >>Sometimes I look at the modern world and despair over the sheer waste ...<<

          But in CS theory, you must have an infinite amount of memory (that's flat memory, no hierarchies of registers, cache, RAM, disk, etc all those are an implementation issue) to do all computable problems. This is the Turing model.

          Some computable problems will fail because you run out of memory, others because you run out of time (intractable), and still other problems are impossible. Computing tends to stick to easy, tractable problems.

          Ref: Algorithmics, The Spirit of Computing by David Harel.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @ Ian Joyner (was: Re: The storage is there, as advertised.)

            "But in CS theory, you must have an infinite amount of memory"

            No. Just no. Kids these days.

            ::sighs::

            1. Ian Joyner

              Re: @ Ian Joyner (was: The storage is there, as advertised.)

              Me: "But in CS theory, you must have an infinite amount of memory"

              Jake: "No. Just no. Kids these days."

              Jake just showed complete ignorance of computational theory. It is important to remove any restriction on memory size when considering computability. Of course, to do a computation that requires a lot of memory will take a long time, and infinite memory will take an infinite amount of time. Thus time becomes the only constraint (and the only thing relevant to what is mistakenly called 'software engineering'). Go away and do some research. OK, I'll help you start:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine

              1. jake Silver badge

                @ Ian Joyner (was:Re: @ Ian Joyner (was: The storage is there, as advertised.))

                A self-proclaimed "computer expert" quoting Wiki.

                The irony is palpable.

                1. Ian Joyner

                  Re: The storage is there, as advertised.

                  Jake:

                  1) For a start I'm not self-proclaimed anything. Did I say anything to that effect.

                  2) Which wiki are you talking about, there are lots of them.

                  2a) if you mean wikipedia, it is quite good for technical issues.

                  3) if you think I am wrong, put up an argument not smug derision and personal attacks.

  19. Frankee Llonnygog

    Re: two fans complain to court

    They're not fans, surely?

  20. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Dozens if not hundreds of Shysters

    Are just salivating at the possibility of Apple losing this case

    Pretty well every company who has ever sold a device that has an OS is in the frame to be sued

    If Apple loses this case may well have to go to the USSC to be resolved.

    Lets hope the lawyers in this case have very, very deep pockets.

    This could take 5+ years before we see a resolution.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dozens if not hundreds of Shysters - USSC

      USSC is the United States Sentencing Commission. Unless you meant that they should set guidelines for penalties for deceptive marketing, I think you meant SCOTUS.

      And I don't think it will. Samsung have a disclaimer as do some other manufacturers. The question here is whether Apple explained to buyers that if they really wanted to store 4 DVD equivalents, they needed the 32Gbyte model.

  21. CSJ

    Absurd

    Troglodyte emerges from cave and discovers computer technology requires memory for program storage. Offended, he starts throwing stones at computer. Emerging crisis employs out of work attorneys. Henry the Sixth decrees "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Absurd

      And does the technology require the advert to include the space the technology uses as part of the sale pitch?

      Selling a range of products differentiated only on storage space and including space the user can't use is fraudulent. It's like selling a 40" TV with a 32" screen and a 4" bezel then telling customers that if they want a 40" screen they should buy the 56" model.

      But Microsoft is worse, my 64Gb Surface tablet includes a hidden 12Gb re-install partition containing windows and office installers and only about 34Gb of usable space.

  22. redhunter

    Another Apple class action . . . waiting for the email from the settlement trustee indicating that I can file a claim to get $2.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This lawsuit is f'ing bogus.. I'm not an iPhone lover or hater, in fact I have both 6 and a S5.. Look at what Apple's competitors are doing tho. Microsoft Surface RT's available storage on 32GB models was 50 percent of stated capacity and unavailable to users, and 28 percent on 64GB RT. Which? magazine conducted a study a year ago, iPhone 5c's available storage exceeded every major smartphone competitor, with the 5s barely less than that... And, look at the Galaxy S5, on the 16GB phone about 1/3 of the capacity is unavailable to the user, and about 1/2 on some of the LG models.... And besides, you can buy up tp 20GB of storage on iCloud for $0.99 a month.... That's 99 CENTS!! The world is full of haters....

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "And besides, you can buy up tp 20GB of storage on iCloud for $0.99 a month.... That's 99 CENTS!!"

      That's PER MONTH, not ONCE. Furthermore, this necessitates paying for Internet access to reach the iCloud, not to mention submitting all the data you upload to it to Apple's scrutiny.

      Sorry, but I prefer my storage to be always available and removable...while still able to charge the phone (so forget USB On-The-Go, which disables using the port for charging). That leaves only two viable candidates, and of the two, only a local SD card slot doesn't require additional accessories apart from the card itself.

  24. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    How much was used before?

    How much was used before? If ios8 like doubled in size, I could see there being room for complaint (losing like 2GB on a 8GB storage system is a big deal). If it's like 100MB bigger they're just bitching IMHO. Keep in mind that Apple senselessly disallows SD card use with their phones so once your out of space your f**ked buddy (not only not building an SD card slot in, but they produced *one* SD Card reader for IPads, artificially disabling support for it on iphones.)

    Keep in mind, Microsoft got sued for the same thing -- they managed to come out with a WinPhone8 that was, what, like 20GB? So people sued, they bought a "32GB" phone and found they had like 12GB available.

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Yeah, yeah, whatever!

    I'm just dark on Apple cancelling the 160G iPod Classic.

    160G (or whatever) of space.

    Bastards.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, yeah, whatever!

      That wasn't Apple's fault. Toshiba stopped manufacturing the drives. Anyway, flash capacity is catching up. 128GB MicroSDs are now available (and can be used in SDXC-ready devices like the S4, S5, etc.) and 256GB should show up this year.

  26. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    For once, I'm on the side of the apparently frivolous lawsuit...

    As already pointed out by several previous posters, people here understand - to a greater or lesser degree - what happens with the storage and memory usage of an operating system on a generic computing device, and many are capable of reconfiguring things.

    Nonetheless, we are not the target market (apart from those who have to have the latest/newest/biggest/shiniest) - that target market is being sold a device with a specified *capacity* and it is disingenuous to suggest that buyers should be aware of the initial and changing requirements of the OS. As suggested by a previous poster, there are exactly no reasons why the OS could not be contained within a completely separate storage area, and a lot of reasons why it should: no sane operating system design mixes the OS and user data.

    If I - as a generic purchaser - am sold a device with a specified *storage* then it is entirely reasonable to expect that all that storage is available to me.

    1. Haro

      Re: For once, I'm on the side of the apparently frivolous lawsuit...

      Although I agree with this, once you start sliding down the stupidity scale, there is no stopping. Does the average i-buyer know what 16G is? My unscientific poll suggests that perhaps not.

  27. johninokinawa

    What are they bleating about? They have plenty of free storage on iCloud!

  28. Shooter

    Personally, while I'm glad to see this lawsuit, I don't think it goes far enough. As a number of commentards above have mentioned, this is not *just* an Apple issue - most, if not all, manufacturers are guilty of the same behavior. It started out with storage devices losing a small percentage of capacity due to formatting requirements, and there were few complaints. After drive manufacturers got away with that (and I don't believe that was an intentional attempt to deceive), there was the technically correct but weasel-worded confusion over (Giga)(Mega)-bytes and (Giga)(Mega)-bits that came later; more people were angry about that but it soon blew over.

    Even having the operating system take up a large percentage of the drive is nothing new; my first PC (a 33SX) had a 40MB drive that only had about 30MB available when Windows was installed - I promptly ripped out Windows and went back to DOS. But that isn't really an option with current devices; any suitable OS is going to use a more-or-less comparable amount of drive space. And people have been complaining for years now about the amount of bloatware pre-installed on their devices (PC Decrapifier, anyone?). It's just become more of an issue now that the crap is taking such a large percentage of drive space, especially with so much of not being readily un-installable.

    What I would like to see come out of this is a legal requirement for manufacturers to advertise only the amount of storage that is available to the consumer out-of-the box. If Apple/Samsung/Microsoft/whoever want to use 5 GB for OS and bloatware on their advertised-8GB device, fine; put a 13GB (or bigger) drive in it. Because now that they have been getting away with selling us less and less of what we thought we were getting and more and more of the stuff we didn't actually want, it's only going to get worse.

  29. Ian Joyner

    All smart devices must be a big fat lie. Who is suing Google over the same issue in Android, and Microsoft over Windows phone. In fact, every computer with an operating system comes with storage overhead for the system software.

    A non story. Yet another anti-Apple beat up by those old IT people who still can't get over IBM's downfall and have passed their anti everything-not-IBM venom onto others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not another non-story, as suggested by the comments here. Yes, this lawsuit is against Apple and they are by no means the only culprit. However, there is a lack of transparency, not just for advertised storage capacities, but in other areas too. Broadband is advertised as "up to" when you're unlikely to get anything near. And they always say £x.99 a month when in reality they skew the amount you're forced into paying over a fixed length contract so that you pay far smaller instalments at the start.

      Other industries are affected too. Car manufacturers are renowned for claiming mpg figures that cannot be achieved. The only way to stop this behaviour is to force them to be transparent and tell you what you are actually getting. Consumers should also be able to claim back any costs incurred by manufacturers failing to provide what they claim.

      And what does IBM have to do with it, aside from the fact that it's one of those culprits?

      1. Ian Joyner

        It is a non story in the sense that this is not peculiar to Apple - it is done by every vendor that sells an OS with their machine. The whole focus of the story was a beat up on Apple as if it is something that Apple does that no one else does.

        This kind of story has to do with IBM since it was the way that they obfuscated and confused the industry by throwing mud at other vendors. Their army of followers were quite happy to spread the mud and FUD, and these people while dying off thankfully still have their presence felt.

        In fact, it goes back to before IBM at NCR where Patterson put around stories about rival cash registers. His partner in crime, T.J. Watson senior who went on to found IBM and use the same tactics except from his experience at NCR, he learnt how to be more subtle about it so as not to get caught.

        Reference: Richard Delamarter "Big Blue: IBM's Use and Abuse of Power"

        It is time to stop the industry using these tactics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >>It is time to stop the industry using these tactics.

          Agreed. It's worse in the business side of things. RFPs are often written by vendors on behalf of customers, to ensure the competition will fail. It's corruption, basically.

          1. Ian Joyner

            Anonymous Coward: >>>>It is time to stop the industry using these tactics.

            Agreed. It's worse in the business side of things. RFPs are often written by vendors on behalf of customers, to ensure the competition will fail. It's corruption, basically.<<

            Now there we agree, AC. I'm sick of seeing system specifications built around particular solutions. Specific technology is the last thing that should be specified. See the ODP Viewpoint analysis scheme.

            http://ianjoyner.name/ODP.html

  30. Ian Joyner

    Please Register - can you use some AJAX to record the like/don't like votes.

  31. Palpy
    WTF?

    Just a note on Android and SD chip storage

    I think that the problem with accessing SD chips is somewhat a consequence of filesystems. SD chips are traditionally formatted as FAT. It's a system which is compatible with just about everything but which does not allow fine-grained folder-and-file permissions.

    Google got in a security-vs-usability bind: allowing all apps read-write access to the FAT-formatted SD chip meant any app, even a malicious one, could mess with anything there. (Because Android's internal filesystem is EXT3 (I think) and can handle permissions correctly, only the SD storage has this issue.)

    So Android KitKat and above restrict access to the SD chip. In what seem like complicated and ugly ways.

    Useless information, mostly. For what it's worth.

  32. Kimo

    According to Apple's site...

    iOS 8 is "the biggest iOS release ever." That should provide sufficient CYA.

  33. David Kelly 2

    Lets Sue Microsoft And IBM

    After all, Windows 8.1 no longer runs in my 640MB PC-XT. Clearly they didn't tell me the OS requires memory!

  34. nfreeman22

    They have a point...

    I think they have a point. Although I completely understand that the operating system does take up space and you never have the full 32gb for example, not everybody does. I'm sure the operating systems keep getting bigger in space, as well. I wanted to free up some storage and used detoxmymac.org which worked well and was free. I really can't see this going far in court though... just an additional piece of information to add in the fine print going forward.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: They have a point...

      >detoxmymac.org

      LOL, no, ROFL ... do you know "du" ?

  35. Ian Joyner

    Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

    The heading says it. This case and story is equivalent to someone complaining to a car manufacturer that the engine is taking up room that could otherwise have been used for their shopping.

    I hope the lawyers think of that one - case closed - thrown out of court.

    1. thesykes

      Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

      No, the case is equivalent to you ordering a car with space for 7 people, but, when it's delivered, there are only 5 seats. The engine is taking up the space where the other 2 people could have fitted.

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

        >>No, the case is equivalent to you ordering a car with space for 7 people, but, when it's delivered, there are only 5 seats. The engine is taking up the space where the other 2 people could have fitted.<<

        Seemingly a good point but that's not the analogy at all. It is just saying the total space is something like 10 cubic meters. Computer storage has nothing as concrete as number of people you can get in the car. Your files can be any size whatsoever. The 16, 32, 64, 128 GB is just an indication of how much user data you'll get on, but there is no such definite measurement as a person's size.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

          Then how about this? The interior of the car has 10 m^3, but the seats and dash occupy 4-5 m^3 of it. At some point, this smacks of "half the truth, twice the lie." That's why court testimony and such always demands "the whole truth." Why shouldn't we demand the same of advertisements? And while we're at it, demand that all testimonials espouse typical rather than atypical results.

          1. Ian Joyner

            Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

            Charles 9: >>Then how about this? The interior of the car has 10 m^3, but the seats and dash occupy 4-5 m^3 of it. At some point, this smacks of "half the truth, twice the lie." <<

            You are trying to disprove the original analogy by obfuscation and complexity. I think the original clearly explains to users why you don't get all the space as it is specified.

            Software that takes up non-volatile storage space is the norm. It is just too complex to measure it another way.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

              "Software that takes up non-volatile storage space is the norm. It is just too complex to measure it another way."

              Well, whatever happened to TWO nonvolatile stores: one for the OS that ISN'T counted, and one for the user space which IS counted? Over-provision the OS space by say 50% and it should have plenty of space to handle enough updates to survive its working life. And given how tiny Micro SD cards are, I don't buy the lack of space argument, which is the only practical one there is.

              1. Ian Joyner

                Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

                Charles 9: >>Well, whatever happened to TWO nonvolatile stores: one for the OS that ISN'T counted, and one for the user space which IS counted?<<

                That went out sometime in the 1950s when John Von Neumann (and actually people before him, but he is the most widely recognized one) recognized that software and data could both go together in main memory. Before programs were separate.

                Partitioning is a pain. If the manufacturer kept a partition for the OS it would

                1) risk that the next version of OS was larger than the partition or

                2) waste memory space in the partition for updates.

                Partitioning is a bad thing (I believe IBM still sets up their systems this way - separate partitions for programs in main memory - when I asked someone last year. I'd hope he is wrong).

                So that idea of separate partition for OS is not practical of flexible. We like to keep flexibility in computing, even if it means overhead.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

                  "Partitioning is a bad thing (I believe IBM still sets up their systems this way - separate partitions for programs in main memory - when I asked someone last year. I'd hope he is wrong).

                  So that idea of separate partition for OS is not practical of flexible. We like to keep flexibility in computing, even if it means overhead."

                  You may be interested to know Android's /system directory (where all the critical OS stuff normally is including the system apps) is normally housed in a separate logical partition from the /data directory (which is where all the user apps and data go), and this is in turn kept in a separate partition from the rest of the internal memory that's normally left to the user.

                  If they can be kept on a separate logical partition, they can be kept on a separate physical partition just as easily.

                  PS. The von Neumann vs. Harvard argument was the idea of separating code and data. von Neumann won because of the realization that code itself can be considered data (self-modifying code and JIT compilers spring to mind—neither are possible in a Harvard architecture).

                  1. Ian Joyner

                    Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

                    Charles - logical and virtual partitioning is fine, but a physical partition, or one that is fixed at system compile time (or SYSGENs as this horrible mechanism was called on IBM) is a very bad idea. Modern computing moved on from that. You mean Android really goes backwards and does that (aside from Dalvik making registers visible to programmers - a really bad, but common idea).

                    Partitioning is static and is known to waste resources, particularly memory. Customers aren't happy when their disk space runs out and there is heaps of free wasted space because the OS can't make use of it.

                    Your PS is confusing two things. Programs are loaded into the same RAM memory as data. This is the von Neumann model. However, a program should not be treated as data itself which can be overwritten (except in a virtual environment like LISP and descendants).

                    If a program can overwrite program code, that results in all sorts of security breaches.

                    I really suggest you study the B5000 architecture where both these aims are achieved - so yes the two are possible (because it is dynamic and the system configures itself on the fly, not at SYSGEN time).

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

                      "Charles - logical and virtual partitioning is fine, but a physical partition, or one that is fixed at system compile time (or SYSGENs as this horrible mechanism was called on IBM) is a very bad idea. Modern computing moved on from that. You mean Android really goes backwards and does that (aside from Dalvik making registers visible to programmers - a really bad, but common idea)."

                      Yes, they do, for security reasons. Mainly, /system, under normal operation, is mounted read-only. This is one of the chief reasons hacks need root access: to be able to remount /system read/write so as to make the necessary changes. As for moving on, we haven't. A physical partition is still limited to the size of the media. Now, logical partitions can work around it, but that normally takes level of sophistication not present (or needed) in your average mobile device.

                      "Partitioning is static and is known to waste resources, particularly memory. Customers aren't happy when their disk space runs out and there is heaps of free wasted space because the OS can't make use of it."

                      Then you should've heard some of the howls of protest when the S4 came out. Take mine: a baseline 16GB. About 2.5GB of it is partitioned /system, some of it /data, /cache, etc. Leaving us about 9GB free. I get around it with an SDXC card, but Apple users don't have that luxury. Basically, partitioning, especially on mobile devices, is a necessary evil. Trying to monkey with them is considered high-risk since the architectures involved are rather sensitive to where things are stored. So, if you have to partition to fixed sizes, why not segregate the OS onto another chip with additional safeguards and so on? To Android and the system at large, it shouldn't be able to tell the difference.

                      "Your PS is confusing two things. Programs are loaded into the same RAM memory as data. This is the von Neumann model. However, a program should not be treated as data itself which can be overwritten (except in a virtual environment like LISP and descendants).

                      If a program can overwrite program code, that results in all sorts of security breaches."

                      It's also sometimes the only way to achieve some kinds of speed optimizations. Treating programs as data is the basic remit of the compiler, and for a JIT compiler, it has to be able to compile it and then run it in the same context. Sure, there's the risk of security breaches, but that's the tradeoff of using self-modifying code.

                      I'm simply saying that the von Neumann argument isn't part of the discussion. We're discussing partitioning and the reservation of OS space such that it's not included as part of the advertised space, not the segregation of code and data.

                  2. Ian Joyner

                    Re: Would a car buyer complain about the space the engine takes up?

                    More interesting reading:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_architecture#Von_Neumann_bottleneck

                    http://web.stanford.edu/class/cs242/readings/backus.pdf

                    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5038330

                    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=D4nLBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=burroughs+von+neumann+bottleneck&source=bl&ots=EwrEP_nBzD&sig=ds59XJIJpu7yGw27O5l46RUQqMs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dQiyVNvWFcm58gWBhoDwBw&ved=0CFcQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=burroughs%20von%20neumann%20bottleneck&f=false

                    Thanks for pointing out the Harvard architecture - it has clarified what is meant by the Von Neumann bottleneck.

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