Does iOS 8 Mark the End of 8 GB iPhones?

I have an 8 GB iPhone 4S, and the only way I was able to install iOS 8 without using iTunes was by wiping it back to its original state. No matter how many apps and files I removed, I could not create enough free space for the iOS 8 installer otherwise. Apple brags about how your can update your iDevice without the need for a computer running iTunes, but they’ve run out of room to do that realistically on an 8 GB iPhone.

iOS 8 memory usage on 8 GB iPhone 4SiPhone 4SAfter installing a clean copy of iOS 8 with nothing extra, I had used 951 MB of storage space, leaving 4.5 GB available for apps, music, photos, and so on. I suspect an 8 GB iPhone 5 or 5C would have similar results.

Because Apple is adamant about not including any type of memory slot in its iPhones, iPods, or iPads, the owner of an 8 GB iPhone has used almost half of its total storage capacity for the operating system and apps that Apple won’t let you remove. Even though the iPhone 5C is now available as an 8 GB model, I suspect this will be the last 8 GB iPhone. iPhone 5C owners may not have enough memory to install iOS 9 using only their iPhones when it arrives next year, instead being forced to use a Mac or PC with iTunes installed.

I can’t see Apple continuing to offer an 8 GB iPhone unless they change the way they do online updates. Any update system that requires over 5 GB of free space needs to be rethought. Maybe Apple could deliver iOS 9 in segments for iDevices with limited free memory. It would be a slower process, but it’s the only way I can conceive of Apple being able to continue support for online iOS updates going forward.

I think it’s much more likely that Apple will no longer offer an 8 GB model when the iPhone 5C is discontinued, making 16 GB the base level across the board – and 64 GB at just $100 more makes for a real good deal.

What do you think? Do 8 GB iPhones have a future?

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