Why do Apple devices (iPod, Touch, iPhone) lack memory card support?

Discussion in 'iOS / iPhone' started by tbessie, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. tbessie

    tbessie PIM-Loving Maniac

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    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but has Apple ever stated WHY they NEVER put memory card support (sd or sd micro card slots) in their devices?

    I just tried many searches with Google, and there are definitely complaints about it, and a few people saying it's because Apple wants to be able to make you have to buy a more expensive device if you want more storage (which is probably the case), but I haven't found as much discussion of this omission as I would have expected.

    Does anybody know if there's any information about Apple's decision to leave out this feature that almost every other company includes?

    - Tim
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    Apple doesn't generally spend a lot of time explaining their choices as the simply feel they are the right choices and, thus, don't need explanation. I doubt they have come out and made an official explanation.

    I suspect, while it has the added bonus of forcing you to pay a premium for additional memory (but you generally pay a premium for anything Apple), the main reason is reducing customer support issues.

    It could also be that they would be required to let the user have (access to) a real file system.
     
  3. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Besides what Hook has already pointed out, a scope that Apple follows is that any need for additional storage shall invoke a net-supported storage service. Whether a local network-based or a web-based system. Best of course if an Apple-provided service is chosen. And a final reason is that Apple has long since abandoned the PC-styled scope in which a digital device can or shall be enhanced ad infinitum on the hands of the user. Past several peripherals offered for each platform, if it's not on-board, you don't need it. Or that's how they think over there :rolleyes:

    <Posted from my laptop bearing two USB multi-connectors, all slots occupied> :D
     
  4. questionfear

    questionfear Google'd.

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    They've never officially said, but I think you hit on the major issues. In general, Apple has never been a fan of external storage solutions. The original iPods didn't have slots either.

    And if Apple were really pressed, they'd probably argue they can't easily fit a microSD into an iPhone as well.

    Plus it would mess with the aesthetics of the devices.

    I don't think there's any one reason, but a combination of issues from wanting to upgrade people to bigger devices to control to design issues to simply not wanting to deal with the support headache and lack of simplicity.

    While the hardcore geek crowd gets their hackles up about it, the average consumer isn't bothered by it (and I'd wager the average consumer who buys an Android device never removes the SD card that comes with it anyway) so they're not going to change until external pressures force them to. Look at how long it took to get an SD card slot on the Macbook Pro line...that didn't appear until it became a glaring failure not to have one.
     
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    I rarely remove the 8GB microSD card from my TP2 (WinMo 6.5).

    I used to swap SD cards regularly on my Palm devices because: it was easy (external slots), max capacity was 4GB, transferring large files was faster via card reader than Card Export II, and device/software instability required frequent backups.

    I did remove my 8GB microSD card from my TP2 last night...AND FORGOT IT IN THE CARD READER!!! :mad:
     
  6. questionfear

    questionfear Google'd.

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    Oh noes!!!!

    I agree though, I meant to add that in 2 years of owning a Droid I don't think I ever needed to remove the 16gb SD card that came with it. I did find myself wishing it was just 16gb built-in since moving apps to SD caused some stability issues for me.

    But that's the thing. You and I are relatively savvy, or at least know the benefits of removable storage, but we hardly use it. So why throw it in there, with all the associated support headaches, for the handful of people who want it? Not saying it's right or wrong, but there's a logic there that goes beyond any "Apple wants you to upgrade" conspiracy, and it ties into Apple's "Keep it simple, stupid" philosophy.
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    I don't disagree with you, but wanted to add it isn't necessarily about removing it, but being able to decide how much and get it at good market rates.
     
  8. questionfear

    questionfear Google'd.

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    Right, but, again, if no one is clamoring for it then it's not going to change, and you have to consider the tradeoff of Apple working on making iOS compatible with external storage versus Apple being ok with people going elsewhere with their smartphone dollars if external storage is a huge priority.

    I just think there's a very small overlap of people for whom external storage matters AND who want an Apple device. :p

    I also think if we're going to rake Apple over the coals for it I would throw Amazon there too, since they stopped offering SD cards on Kindles.
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    Okay. <shrug> I already said I agreed with you. I'm actually not critical of Apple over this. It's their decision. I deal with it however I deal with it. :rolleyes: ;)
     
  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I have owned several devices with removable memory. In every case but Palm, I never touched it. In no case did I have a "seamless" expandable memory experience. There are memory expansion options for iPad and iPhone but they are very clunky camera connection kit (usb/sd card) which is almost half as big as the iPhone! And then the only thing you could put on the sd card is photos. This is the same limitation I laughed at Blackberry about except the BB internal memory was only 32 meg. Yes I said meg and no I wasn't talking RAM I was talking user available internal storage.

    So iPhone is a pretty good compromise in that the smallest internal memory available is 8 Gig. But the price points for just a little bit more memory are too high. I really think the price points should be 16 GB / 199, 32 GB / 249 and 64 GB 299 but I think the only way this will happen is by healthy competition. And the competition is busy trying to find ways to raise their prices so I guess it's gonna be a while.
     
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