It's over 3 trillion.

According to Apple, that's the number of photos taken around the world on their phones. At its most recent event, the company announced that milestone.

All I could think of was that it would require a lot of storage. That is where Apple is missing.

In the year 2022, Apple is still offering a maximum storage plan of 2 terabytes. It doesn't seem right.

Apple Event photos

Three trillion photos taken last year on iPhones proves that 2TB of iCloud+ storage isn't enough. Credit: Apple

Major improvements to photo and video quality are offered by the upgrade in camera hardware offered by Apple every year. Better pictures mean that. It means bigger files. A single minute of 4K video can take up as much as 400MB of space according to Apple. The company put a lot of attention on the new 48mp camera in the new iPhone 14 Pro. The high quality ProRAW format can hold around 75 MB of photos.

With photos and videos of that size, you're going to fill up your storage plan fast. Apple wants you to do something.

The latest Apple event proves that 2 terabytes isn't enough.

The iCloud storage conundrum

It's not clear why Apple doesn't offer a bigger plan. It seems like it could be done. It's more money for Apple. Smaller storage options are offered by the company. For a limited time, all iCloud users are offered 5 gigabytes of free storage. 99 cents per month is the price for 50 gigabytes and $2.99 per month is the price for 200 gigabytes. There's a plan that costs $9.99 per month for 2 terabytes.

When you look at the upgrade options page you will see that you already have the largest plan available.

iPhone iCloud+ storage plan

2TB is currently the largest iCloud+ plan offered. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

It's possible that most users won't need a lot of cloud storage. Maybe that's the case for a while. More than 3 trillion iPhone photos were taken in a single year. There are more people taking pictures. That doesn't include videos. Many iPhone users will max out their storage at some point.

The average user of the iPhone isn't the only one who Apple markets the device to. At recent Apple Events, the company often lauds how the iPhone can be used by professional filmmakers and photographers because the device can create high quality media and large files.

Don't forget that the storage space is not just for your photos and videos. Your music and movies, documents, app data, and your iCloud backups all count towards your storage. If you're a Mac user as well, Apple encourages you to connect your iCloud drive to your laptop or desktop computer and share your entire 2 terabytes of storage space with those devices as well. It's insane!

When they max out their iCloud+ storage, there is a lot of advice online about moving older media to physical storage space. That is a solution. The software Apple uses to highlight photos and memories on its cloud service would have to be given up by those users as well.

Losing that won't be a dealbreaker for the average user. Users should keep their photos on a local hard drive as a backup. Those photos need to be backed up on a second cloud or local storage location after they're deleted from icloud. A backup of those files wouldn't exist if you moved those photos off the cloud and onto a hard drive.

The workaround (but it sucks)

If you sign up for Apple One, you'll be able to upgrade the maximum amount of storage to 4 terabytes.

If you sign up for Apple One's biggest plan, Premium, you will get 2 terabytes of storage and access to Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple News, and Apple fitness+. Users can double their storage to 4 terabytes if they subscribe to that.

There is a problem with that. The cost to subscribe to Apple Premium Plus is $29.95 a month. Users will have to keep paying for the $9.99 plan if they want to get that 4 terabytes total. You have to pay four times the price to double your storage.

Apple One plans

Apple One's current offerings. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

Let's compare the two services and see if there is a difference. The storage service is called one by the search engine company. Storage is shared among a user's email, photos, and drive. Users of the operating system can back up their device. Based on the offerings, it's similar to iCloud+. The plans are almost the same: $1.99 per month for 100 gigabytes, $2.99 per month for 200 gigabytes, and $9.99 for 2 terabytes.

There is a limit to the amount of data that can be downloaded from the Google One service. There is a large plan that goes all the way to 30 terabytes. Let's take a look at the next plan after 2 terabytes.

For $24.99 per month, you can get 5 terabytes of storage from the internet company. At a price that's less than 37 percent cheaper, that's a whole extra 1 terabytes. If you paid $50 a month for the service, it would give you 10 terabytes of storage. You get 2.5 times the storage with that $10 more per month.

Apple's math doesn't add up when it comes to the amount of storage that can be accessed.

Is it possible that Apple will eventually offer larger iCloud+ plans at cheaper prices? It is possible. It's mind-blowing that they still haven't, as they continue to upgrade their phones to produce better quality media that uses up more and more storage space.