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If I upgrade my iCloud storage subscription, do I basically lose my previous upgrade?

As of today, Apple's iCloud storage upgrade options look like this:

  • 10 additional GB (15 GB total): $20/year
  • 20 additional GB (25 GB total): $40/year
  • 50 additional GB (55 GB total): $100/year

If I purchase the 10 additional GB plan today, I pay $20. Let's say that six months from now I decide I need more storage and so upgrade to the 20 additional GB plan.

Do I pay $40 at that point (as opposed to an additional $20 upgrade of the first plan, or some kind of prorated thing)?

Assuming that I do have to pay the full $40, do I drop down to the free level a year after that, or do I drop down to the 10 GB level for six months and then down to the free level?

I've not had much luck Googling this or searching through Apple's support pages, so I'm hoping someone here has experience or (better) can point me to something definite.

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2 Answers 2

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The terms are listed deep in this link to the iCloud terms and conditions:

The applicable storage fee for an upgraded storage plan will take effect immediately; downgrades to your storage plan will take effect on the next annual billing date.

So a literal interpretation would be you would not get any credit for the unused portion of the year you paid for the initial storage if you upsold yourself before that year term expired.

In practice, Apple has been generous with giving pro-rated refunds for AppleCare when you cancel it (but that is listed explicitly in the T&C for AppleCare) and has extended MobileMe storage for free - so you could either get the lower storage tier added to the end of the higher tier (which would be a bit of a complicated thing for Apple to track - especially if you did two buys in one year).

I suppose you could open a ticket with billing support to see if they have a current policy on how they handle up-sales from one paid tier to another, but I would expect the initial purchase to end when you upgrade to a higher tier before the anniversary unless you contact Apple and they offer you a credit or extension as an exception and not something that is programmed into the system.

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That is definitely what it implies and very nearly states, agreed. I think that's good enough, though if someone comes up with something even more specific, I'll accept that. Thanks. –  Matthew Frederick Jan 2 '13 at 21:43
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Here's what the Apple iCloud Help site says - hope it helps

Additional Information

If you purchase a higher-tier storage plan for your iCloud account to replace your existing storage plan (for example, a 20 GB plan to replace a 10 GB plan), the existing plan will be canceled and you will receive a prorated refund for the time remaining. The new storage plan is applied to your iCloud account and the annual payment date is updated to reflect the purchase date for the new plan.

Note: You can't use Apple Store gift cards as a form of payment to upgrade your iCloud storage (payment methods accepted include iTunes store credit, credit cards, and debit cards). If you don't have enough iTunes store credit to complete your upgrade, you'll be charged the remaining amount.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4874

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