- 3 Feb 2014
How much storage is there in your phone or
computer? The answer to this doesn't have to
be confusing. But unfortunately, it is. You may
be buying a phone with 16GB internal storage.
But you will never be able to store 16GB
photos on it. In fact, you don't know how much
internal storage your phone has until you buy
it, power it on and look into the settings.
Yes, it is not ideal for consumers but that is
how it is. There are two reasons why you
never get 16GB storage in a 16GB phone. Or
32GB storage in a 32GB phone.
This happens because phone makers count
1GB = 1000MBs. But the software treats it
differently. It counts 1GB = 1024MBs. So when
a phone makers gives you 1GB, you actually
get only 1000MBs and not 1024MBs.
Or in other words, device manufacturers use
decimal system to measure capacity. But
software uses binary units to measure it.
Apple explains it best on its website. It says
(to avoid lawsuits),"1GB = 1 billion bytes;
actual formatted capacity less."
So how much is the actual formatted capacity
of a iPhone, or for that matter any other
phone, that has 16GB specified storage?
According to binary method 1GB = 1073741824
bytes. This means if a device like iPhone has
16 billion bytes internal storage, the actual
capacity that software has access to is:
16,000,000,000 divided by 1073741824 =
So, a 16GB iPhone actually has 14.9GB internal
Explained: Why your new 16GB phone has just 12GB storage available