Why Do 16Gb iPhones have 12 Gb Available Space?
Buying a new iPhone has never been this difficult. It used to be easy, but now there are a lot more variants to choose from. Today one can buy four generations of iPhones, with a plus variant for the last three and another SE edition, with most of them coming in four colors. That’s a lot to please the eye, heart and the mind. However, despite factors like color and screen size, something that will really affect you during the course of the lifetime of the phone is the on-board storage, especially considering that (unlike certain android phones) iPhone storage cannot be expanded.
However, before deciding to choose a storage size matching with the size of your wallet, you should understand this. In a 16GB iPhone or any phone for that fact, the available free storage for a user will always be slightly above 12GB. And no, it is not because the OS is taking all the rest of the storage. Confused? Shocked? Don’t worry, here we will give you a comprehensible and logical explanation for this phenomenon.
iOS is a Space Consuming OS
Apple’s most popular operating system, the iOS, does consume some space from your phone’s storage. However, the recent update of the OS, iOS 10, consumes far less space A compared to previous versions such as iOS 8, which required over 4.5 GB for the update. However, the recent updates are known only to take space around to 2.5 GB depending on the device. Yes, the math doesn’t look right, as there is still missing free space on a brand new iPhone even if you deduct the size of an operating system. Here is why:
Software Counts Storage Differently from Phone Makers
The best explanation for the so-called missing storage of iPhone is that the storage volume on the device is counted differently from the perspective by a phone maker and a software. This simply means that 1 GB of space according to the manufacturer won’t be necessarily equivalent to 1GB according to the software or the operating system.
The reason for this is that a manufacturer counts storage units in the decimal system, which means 1 GB = 1,000 MB. On the other hand, the software resorts to decimal system for counting the unit which means 1 GB = 1073741824 byte.
Now dividing 16GB in this binary method, means 16,000,000,000 divided by 1073741824 which will result in 14.9011611, or 14.9 GB, thereby instantly reducing 1.1 GB from the total storage. Now deduct the size of preinstalled apps and the OS from this and you are left with an available storage just above 12 GB.