Although it remains a popular option for cloud-based storage, Dropbox faces a number of new and robust competitors for its customers, including Google Storage, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s revamped SkyDrive.
That competition could lie behind Dropbox’s recent decision to revamp its offerings, offering more storage for the same price. On top of that, the company introduced a storage option for businesses, which have demonstrated an increasing thirst for third-party cloud-based storage.
“We’ve heard from architects with giant drafting files and photographers with huge portfolios, but mostly we hear from families who have more than 100GB of photos, docs and videos,” read a July 10 posting on Dropbox’s corporate blog. “And now that Dropbox can automatically upload your photos from just about any camera or phone, everyone’s adding tons of pictures and videos to Dropbox every day.”
In response to that, Dropbox decided to double the storage capacity of its 50GB and 100GB plans, to 100GB and 200GB, while keeping the same price. The 100GB Dropbox Pro plan will cost users $9.99 per month, while the 200GB one will cost $19.99 per month. There’s also a 500GB option, for those with entire seasons of Breaking Bad to store in-house, and the business-centric Dropbox for Teams, which offers 1TB of space for businesses.
For Dropbox, Google, Apple, and other competitors in the space, the potential rewards are enormous: research firm Gartner recently predicted that consumers will store more than a third of their digital content in the cloud by 2016—a significant jump from 2011, when an estimated 7 percent of consumer content was stored in the cloud.
“As we enter the post-PC era, consumers are using multiple connected devices, the majority of which are equipped with cameras,” Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner, wrote in a June 25 research note. “With the emergence of the personal cloud, this fast-growing consumer digital content will quickly get disaggregated from connected devices.”
Just as employees have brought consumer devices such as the iPhone and the iPad into their businesses, they’ve also begun incorporating consumer cloud storage into their daily workflow—a potential headache for IT administrators concerned about security and the inability to impose corporate policies. Getting the stamp of corporate approval is the next big hurdle faced by vendors in the space.