It’s the End of Unlimited Cloud Storage at Amazon
The cloud market is maturing and prices are becoming more stable and sustainable than before. A clear signal of this trend is the latest move taken by Amazon to end its unlimited cloud storage plan. According to a statement released by the company, members of its Prime subscription plan alone will be eligible for unlimited cloud storage and that too only for photos.
Anyone signing for an Amazon Drive from today on will not be able to select the unlimited storage option Their only choices will be the 100 GB plan that costs $11.99 per year, 1 TB plan that costs $59.99 per year or the 30 TB plan that’s available for $59.99 for every additional TB. This is a big change from the earlier plans that cost customers $11.99 for unlimited storage of photos and $59.99 per year for unlimited storage of everything else. Of course, the first 5 GB is still free for all users.
This is a surprise move considering that Amazon introduced the unlimited storage option only in March 2015. In fact, this move triggered the price wars among cloud companies. As soon as Amazon announced it, other jumped on this aggressive pricing to increase their customer base. Google, for example, announced its own unlimited photo storage option just two months after Amazon’s announcement.
Though these price cuts brought much cheer to customers, industry analysts were skeptic simply because it’s not a sustainable model. They even predicted that the pricing wars would end, but never would they have thought it would end so soon. Exactly two years after Amazon started the whole process, it’s now tightening the screws and this could become a familiar story among other service providers too. At this point though, none of its rivals such as Microsoft or Google has announced any changes in their pricing. But, we can expect it soon given that Amazon is the leader in the cloud storage market and any change is likely to be emulated by others as well.
This brings up the question of what happens with existing customers? They will get to keep this unlimited storage plan until their expiry date. After that, customers who had opted for the auto-renew program will be charged $60 as they’ll go into the 1 TB plan if the data they’ve stored is less than 1 TB. Otherwise, they will be charged according to their storage size.
If you don’t have the auto-renew option setup, you can go to your dashboard and choose one of the limited storage plans that work best for you.
In case, you don’t make any selection, then your storage will fall into the “over quota status” which means, you can’t add any more files. But, you’ll still be able to view and delete content. In such a case, Amazon will give 180 days for users to decide what they want to do with their data. If no action is taken, then Amazon retains the right to delete your data until it reaches the quota limit, with the latest ones getting the axe first.
Well, that’s a lot of changes.