Technology has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Our computers– mobile, desktop, or notebook– are massively more powerful than devices just a few decades ago. By comparison, an iPhone is a supercomputer from another dimension when compared to DOS-based PCs of yesteryear.
This week I came upon news of a new Samsung SSD (like the solid state drives in most Macs, and all iPhones and iPads). My MacBook Pro has 512GB SSD storage. My iPhone and iPad have 128GB SSD storage units.
How does that compare to my very first hard disk drive?
Way back in the day I considered buying an Apple III (no, not the Apple IIe, Apple III) because it had a 5GB HDD. It was called the 5MB Apple ProFile hard disk drive and, if memory serves me well, was priced at around $3,500.
Steve Jobs was very proud of Apple back in those days and charged accordingly.
Fortunately, the IBM PC had been around awhile, Lotus 1-2-3 and WordStar were available, and despite my CP/M roots, I went straight to DOS and didn’t collect $200. A few years later I bought a 10MB hard disk drive for my IBM PC (the faster IBM XT came out about the same time, and it had a built-in hard disk drive).
How much was that external HDD for my PC?
A whopping $1,500. For 10-megabytes.
I mention that little story because today’s new Samsung 4TB SSD; specifically, the 4TB EVO drive, is $1,500. That’s 38-cents per gigabyte. My original 10MB was $1,500 which works out to $150 per megabyte. And even the 38-cents per gigabyte is expensive; relative to the 500GB version of the 850 which clocks in at a mere 5-cents per gigabyte.
Last weekend my wife attended a trade show in Miami and came back with the usual marketing giveaways; freebies handed out by various vendors. One of them was an 8GB flash drive. Amazon has a package of 10 for $28.55 so you have an idea just how inexpensive computer storage is these days. My original iMac, circa latter part of 1998, had 4GB of storage and, again reaching into memory, about half a gigabyte of RAM.
Storage remains dirt cheap and it’s getting cheaper. And faster.
Future iPhones are expected to match the iPad Pro at 256GB of SSD storage. That’s the trend. There may be an issue with physics in the future, and at some point may store everything on the cloud, but all of us want and need more storage.