It’s hard to tell what the equivalent of US$9.99 is with our ever dwindling Kwacha currency. A rough estimate puts it just under K60 though. That’s surely less than what the average Zambian spends for their weekend entertainment. Anyway, that is what Google is charging for its Cloud Storage service, Google Drive. Imagine how much you’d spend for a 1TB hard drive?
The price has drastically dropped in comparison to Google’s competitors in the Cloud industry. For instance, Dropbox charges$9.99/month for 100GB, SugarSync has a $55/month plan for one terabyte of data that is shared by up to three users and Microsoft’s OneDrive, which only features annual plans, starts at 50GB for $25 per year, which is even more expensive than Google’s new $1.99/month for its 100GB plan. Apple wants $100/year for its 50GB plan.
Google’s new prices even significantly undercut those of its own cloud storage platform for developers, as well as those of Amazon’s S3 and Microsoft’s Azure platforms. That’s where most cloud storage startups host their files. Dropbox uses S3, for example.
It looks like Google is willing to sell its storage at or below cost in order to put pressure on its competition. Clealy, Google wants more (paying) users on its platform by offering an attractive price while fighting off competitors in a market it doesn’t yet dominate. If only the same could be said for Zambian telecoms!
Whereas Dropbox is synonymous with cloud storage and syncing, Google Drive isn’t there yet. Even Microsoft Office has a higher name recognition than Google Docs.
According to TechCrunch, “With these recent price cuts, Google locks the competition into a price war where it’s hard to beat because it even undercuts the usual wholesale prices for online storage. At the same time, it’s ramping up investments around its products that use its storage service to shut down competition in that area, too.”
If the writing on the wall is not clear enough, cloud storage is the way to go. Long gone are the days of backing up data on numerous USBs, external hard drives, and even CDs because those things are meant to get lost, misplaced or destroyed. It doesn’t hurt to have secondary backup, although jumping onto the cloud is currently the smartest thing one can do for their information. In order to take advantage of this price-cut, you will need a debit card with online purchasing functionality.