Which? Says Apple And Others Charge Too Much For Tablet Storage

Manufacturers “fleecing” consumers by charging up to £80 for £6 worth of storage, says watchdog

Tablet manufacturers, including Apple, Google and Amazon, are “fleecing” consumers by charging “outrageous” markups of up to 1,200% for extra storage in their products, according to research from Which?.

The consumer watchdog says that Apple charges £80 more for the 32GB version of the recently-launched iPad Air than the 16GB version, despite the fact that the storage used by the Cupertino-based company costs less than £6.

Apple is not alone. Which? says Google charges £70 more for the 32GB version of the Asus-manufactured Nexus 10 than the 16GB, while Amazon expects a premium of £40 for the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX.

Tablet storage

iPad Air (1)Compounding this problem is the fact that storage actually available to users is often reduced due to the space taken up by the operating system and pre-installed applications. The 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is deemed to be the worst offender, with just 10GB of free space, while the iPad Air and Nexus 10 offer only 13GB.

“With tablets in demand this Christmas, buyers will be shocked to discover what a raw deal they’re getting on built-in memory,” says Which? editor Richard Headland. “If you want the best value storage, then buy a tablet with an SD or microSD slot and add a memory card for a fraction of the cost.”

The report suggests Microsoft’s Surface RT, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Sony Xperia Z as examples of tablets with the ability to add additional storage, while also pointing consumers in the direction of cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, although these services need a reliable Wi-Fi or cellular connection making them unsuitable for some users.

Apple and Google had not responded to TechWeekEurope’s requests for comment at the time of publication.

What do you know about the tablets of 2013? Find out with our quiz!