updated 09:45 pm EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
Will be reduced to standard 5GB allotment, may affect mail storage
When Apple's MobileMe suite of online services got revamped and changed into iCloud, existing members were provided with 20GB of extra storage space compared to the 5GB normally allotted, for a total of 25GB (which includes email storage, iCloud iOS device backups and other services such as Documents in the Cloud). The company has now sent out reminder notices to such customers letting them know that the additional free storage will be withdrawn and reduced to the standard 5GB on September 30.
Apple had originally planned to end the free bonus storage last September, but shortly before the deadline decided to extend the free offer for another year. Members of course have the option of paying to keep, downgrade or even increase the 25GB storage level if they wish.
While the 5GB level is free, users can opt to pay for 10GB of additional storage (15GB total) for an annual cost of $20, or retain the 20GB level (25GB total) for an annual cost of $40. There is also a 50GB level (55GB total) for $100 per year. Renewals are charged automatically unless users make changes to their plan. Current MobileMe members who have the 20GB free additional storage will not be charged but will instead be downgraded to 5GB unless they decide to change their plan. Changes made now and any charges required will occur on September 30.
Users can check their current levels of storage on iOS devices (running iOS 5 or later) as well as Macs (OS X 10.7 and up) or PCs using Windows Vista or later. A tech support note details the different methods, how to reduce the amount of cloud storage they are using and what purchase options are.
If a user with the complementary 20GB upgrade currently is using more than 5GB of that storage and has not taken any action on the account by September 30, iCloud Mail, Documents in the Cloud and iCloud Backup will temporarily stop working until the user either reduces the amount of iCloud storage, or purchases a plan in line with their storage needs.