This article was published on March 1, 2021

Apple may release a 1TB iPhone — here’s some juicy MATH on it

The missing link between Cupertino and a video game character's feet

Apple may release a 1TB iPhone — here’s some juicy MATH on it

Get into your galoshes because we’re about to wade into the rumor marshes and then stomp through the maths swamp. Confused? Don’t be: a 1TB iPhone may be released this year and we’ve got the numbers on that.

This has been rumored a few times, but 9to5Mac picked up a report from the Wedbush analyst firm that stated the Apple iPhone 13 will have a 1TB storage option.

Currently, this amount of storage is available on the iPad Pro, but the highest the iPhone goes up to is 512GB on the 12 range. It’s interesting news, but… does anyone really want a 1TB iPhone?


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That might’ve sounded like a rhetorical question, but it wasn’t. People definitely “want” a 1TB iPhone (me), but do they need a 1TB iPhone? That, friends, I can’t really answer. But I’m going to try — because I’m like Icarus, although instead of wings I have maths.

So, to try and comprehend just how big a 1TB iPhone is, we’re going to ponder the numbers:

  • A 320kbps MP3 (the highest quality available in that format) produces files that are 2.4MB for every minute. If we say an average song is three minutes, then that should come in at about 7.2MB per song. This means you could store 138,889 songs on a 1TB iPhone. This would take you roughly 416,667 minutes to listen to. That’s 6,944 hours. Which is 289 days. I am down to try this out for you, Apple.
  • 4K UHD video uses about 7GB per hour of playtime. This means you could store roughly 143 hours of 4K footage on your 1TB iPhone. That’s just over 57 two-and-half-hour films. Or one extended cut of a Peter Jackson movie.
  • The average iOS app size is 34.3MB. You could fit 29,070 of them on a 1TB iPhone. I think I might be having a panic attack thinking about my home screen.
  • Did you know the original Apple computer — the Macintosh 128K, released in 1984 — only had 400KB of floppy-based storage? You can fit this on a 1TB iPhone two-and-a-half-million times.

Let’s dispense with the bullet points and do one last bit of math on request from my colleague, Nino. This image of Sonic’s feet is 28KB:

sonic feet 1

On the other hand, this one is 1.2MB:

sonic feet 1tb iphone

If we split the difference, we can roughly say each photo of Sonic’s feet is going to come in around 500KB. This means that on a 1TB iPhone, you could fit around two million pictures of Sonic’s feet. You’re welcome, Nino.

So, what have we learned by trekking through these numerical hellscapes? Ah, that’s right, 1TB is a lot of storage and only a handful of phones currently have this. Which makes sense, because it is a lot. What a time to be alive.

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