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The new iPhone still starts at only 16GB of storage

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Ever since 2009's 3GS, Apple's entry-level iPhone has had 16GB of storage for apps, games, photos, music, video, and whatever else you can put on your smartphone. Six years ago, 16GB was plenty of storage for the puny 3-megapixel images the iPhone 3GS captured. Today, Apple announced the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which start at, you guessed it, 16GB of storage. Pricing for the new phones starts at $199 on contract or $649 outright. Purchased on an installment plan, the new phones will cost $27 per month.

Read next: The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus review.

In today's world, 16GB doesn't get you very far. The new iPhones have 12-megapixel cameras and can capture 4K video, both of which will eat up that storage in a hurry. Apps are getting increasingly larger all the time, and many mobile games take up gigabytes of storage on their own. When your free space runs out, you might find yourself deleting photos and videos to make room or unable to install the latest iOS updates from Apple.

16GB doesn't get you far in today's world

You could (and probably should) buy the 64GB or 128GB versions of the new iPhones, but most people won't. The most popular iPhone every year is the one that costs the least, and that happens to also have 16GB of storage. Other similarly priced flagship smartphones offer at least 32GB of storage to start, or they have the ability to expand that with microSD cards.

Only Apple knows why it chose to stick with 16GB as the entry-level iPhone option, when it increased the mid-level and top tiers to 64GB and 128GB last year. It likely has to do with profit margins and not cannibalizing sales of the more expensive models, but earlier this year, Apple's senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said that cloud storage was "lightening the load" for devices without much local storage. That solution is a bit hard to accept, as Apple still only provides a measly 5GB of free iCloud storage, and larger storage options cost monthly fees ranging from $0.99 to $9.99.

Chances are that Apple will sell boatloads of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, many of them being the 16GB size. But if you're a savvy buyer, you might want to budget a little more for the higher tier models if you're planning to get the new iPhone this year.

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