Apple partially refunds paid iCloud customers following price drop

Technology -

Major cloud storage providers are now offering several gigabytes of storage for just a few dollars per month.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters

Apple is now sending partial refunds to paid iCloud customers after the company cut storage prices following its Sept. 9 iPhone and Apple Watch event. The prorated refunds, emailed to paid customers late Sept. 10, come alongside an increase in storage capacity.

As before, all iCloud users receive 5GB of free storage. 20GB is now 99 cents per month (down from $40 per year), 200GB is $3.99 per month, 500GB is $9.99 per month, and 1TB is $19.99 per month. Apple previously did not offer more than 50GB of additional iCloud storage space.

"This offer supports our core Google Cloud Platform philosophy: we want developers to focus on code; not worry about managing infrastructure… We look forward to helping the next generation of startups launch great products." Julie Pearl, Director of Developer Relations at Google

Google announced a new program Sept. 12 to give startups with less than $5 million in funding, less than $500,000 in annual revenue, and that are working out of select incubators or accelerators $100,000 worth of cloud computing credit for free. The company's cloud platform powers startups like Snapchat and Getaround.

Dropbox Aug. 27 announced a tenfold increase in the amount of cloud storage it offers paid users. The Dropbox Pro plan now offers 1TB of cloud storage space for $9.99 per month. Dropbox previously offered 100GB of cloud storage space for that same price. Current paid accounts will be upgraded in the coming days.

"We want people to rely on Dropbox as the home for all their stuff as opposed to thinking of it as a fixed storage limit." ChenLi Wang, Dropbox head of product

In addition to increasing storage space, Dropbox also added the ability to protect shared links with passwords and to set time limits for how long shared links remain accessible. The company also added the ability to remotely delete files from lost or stolen devices while keeping them stored on Dropbox.

Box removed all storage limits for its business tier customers July 15, with the cloud storage provider saying that storage capacity is only a concern "when it's a roadblock." Box has offered unlimited storage for its enterprise tier customers since 2010.

Microsoft on June 23 doubled the amount of free storage it gives users of OneDrive, its cloud storage service. All users now get 15GB of free storage, up from 7GB. The company has also cut prices for additional storage space, starting at 100GB for $1.99 per month (previously $7.49 per month).

"It's also clear that you want more than just the ability to store your stuff in the cloud. You want to be able to share it, to collaborate on it, and so much more. The landscape is changing to the point that we believe it's no longer enough to provide only cloud storage — that's table stakes." Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager at OneDrive.com

Microsoft also increased the amount of storage space that comes with a subscription to Office 365, the company's subscription-based version of its Office productivity suite. Subscribers now get 1TB of storage space, up from 20GB. Office 365 starts at $70 per year (or $7 per month).

Amazon in April cut prices by an average of 51% while Google in May cut prices by about 85%. 100GB on Google Drive now costs $1.99 per month, down from $4.99 previously.

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