Following Apple’s WWDC 2017 product announcements earlier this week, the company made a big change to its iCloud Storage tiers. While those with smaller iCloud Storage capacities were unaffected, Apple eliminated its 1TB option and cut the price of the 2TB option in half, from $20 per month to $10.
Now, just two days later, one of Apple’s competitors in online storage has responded, but not in the way consumers were hoping for. Amazon, which launched its Amazon Drive service in early 2015, announced today that it is killing its “unlimited” storage plan and replacing it with a new 1TB tier at the same $60 per year price, starting June 8th.
Those who need less storage will have the option of a new 100GB tier for $11.99 per year, while those who need more can request up to 30TB for an additional $60 per terabyte per year. Users currently subscribed to the unlimited Amazon Drive plan will continue to have access until the end of their current subscription period, at which point they’ll be automatically enrolled in the 1TB plan unless auto-renew is turned off on the account. Those who have more than 1TB stored online when their unlimited account expires will have 180 days to either remove the excess data or sign up for the additional per-terabyte plan. After that 180-day grace period, Amazon will delete any data, “starting with the most recent uploads first,” above the allotted limit.
Amazon’s change of heart on unlimited data closely mirrors that of Microsoft, which also ditched unlimited storage for OneDrive just one year after initially offering it as a perk for Office 365 subscribers. In Microsoft’s case, it cited both customer abuse (some customers allegedly uploaded dozens of terabytes of pirated content) and the fact that the vast majority of its users had well below 1TB stored with the service as justification for the switch. Amazon, meanwhile, has yet to offer an official explanation, remarking only that it wants to offer customers storage plans that are “right for them.”
Those currently subscribed to Amazon Drive will want to check their Manage Storage page to verify their current expiration date and auto-renew settings, view their current storage amount, and make any changes regarding the new plans and pricing tiers. Of note, today’s changes only affect the primary Amazon Drive storage platform which, like Dropbox or Google Drive, allowed users to store any type of file online. Amazon’s existing offer of “unlimited” photo storage for Prime members remains unchanged, at least for now.