General Question

Iphone35's avatar

IPhone 2G is 8GB but the actual capacity is less?

Asked by Iphone35 (134points) June 1st, 2009 from iPhone

any other iPhone owners 2G and 3G, have you noticed their actual capacities? Both supposedly are 8GB but going through settings and about, their actual GB’s are only 7.1GB? does anyone also think this is rather missleading?

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8 Answers

_bob's avatar

That’s always the case with hard drives, RAM, etc.

dynamicduo's avatar

Well, they have to put the iPhone OS on there, so that counts. And then there’s the issue with the advertised size of hard drives and the actual size, this comes from them being able to say 1GB is 1000MB when it’s really 1024 (they may even define a MB as being 1000KB which just makes the problem worse), this adds up for every gig they advertise until just like that, your 8GB iPod is 200MB smaller.

bythebay's avatar

don’t have an answer, just lurving @robmandu’s 11111…

robmandu's avatar

There’s marketing specification (“8GB” on the box) and technical specification (“7.4GB” in the OS).

As @dynamicduo explains, this is not unique to Apple and the iPhone… but applies almost universally in all realms of capacities for hard drives, flash drives, whatever.

And it’s the stupidest, most maddening thing… I still don’t understand how it’s legal.

Marketing relies on the base 10 with ancient greek prefixes (giga = billion)
where 8 GB = 8×10^9 = 8,000,000,000 bytes.

Computers and their operating systems rely on base 2 numbers and the same prefixes
where 8 GB = 8×2^30 = 8,589,934,592 bytes.

The disconnect is that marketing says you have 8 billion bytes (base 10). But when your OS – on the iPhone in this case, but true everywhere – looks at that 8 billion and converts that to base 2 metrics, it sees it as 7.4 GB.

Like this: 8,000,000,000 bytes ÷ 2^30 = 7.4505 GB

robmandu's avatar

speaking of binary math, 11111 (base 2) = 31 (base 10).

bythebay's avatar

@robmandu: I really wanna lurve your answers but mathmatically, will it throw you off?

robmandu's avatar

I think I shall handle it with my usual aplomb. Thanks for asking just the same!

robmandu's avatar

You know what?

This is even more frustrating the more I think about it. Oftentimes (but not always) you’ll see the capacities advertised are themselves base-2 numbers. Your 8 GB iPhone for example, 8 = 2^3. Or the 16 = 2^4. Or the 32 = 2^5.

I’ve got an old 256 MB USB thumb drive here, 256 = 2^8.

Why would marketing intentionally select a recognizable base-2 number for capacity but then define it as base-10?

I can only guess three reasons:
1 – stupidity—they just didn’t know
2 – opportunism—it’s convenient that base-10 > base-2
3 – collusion—industry agreement to propogate 1 & 2.

Gah! I feel sorry for my parents.

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