Amazon’s consumer-focused storage service, Amazon Drive, will be discontinuing next year, Amazon announced today. In an email to users, the company said it took the opportunity to “focus more fully” on Amazon Photos, Amazon’s answer to iCloud Photos and Google Photos.
Amazon Drive customers have until December 31, 2023 to save their stored files; starting January 1, 2023, file uploading will stop working. Photos and videos will be transferred to Amazon Photos automatically, but other file types must be downloaded manually from the Amazon Drive web dashboard.
Users who are currently subscribed to a paid Amazon Drive plan can cancel their subscription now for a possible refund. Cancellations can be made on the web or via the Android and iOS apps — at least before the app is removed from Google Play and the App Store, respectively, on October 31.
Amazon launched Amazon Drive as Amazon Cloud Drive in 2011, initially offering pay-as-you-go tiered storage plans for both Amazon Prime and non-Prime users. November 2014 saw the launch of an API that allowed third-party developers to integrate Amazon Drive into their own applications to store things like game settings, preferences, and other application state data in the cloud.
Unlimited plans for Amazon Drive were introduced in 2015, and then discontinued two years later. Storage is limited to 5 GB for non-photo uploads in no time afterward. However, Amazon Prime member and Fire Tablet owner. maintain unlimited free photo storage.
Competition was likely a factor in Amazon Drive’s demise. After all, many providers offer cheap cloud file storage these days, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Amazon Drive’s pricing isn’t even that competitive — it costs $119 per year for 2 TB, the rate that applies to the same volume of storage on Dropbox and Google Drive.
According to Statista, Google Drive was the most popular cloud storage service in September 2021, followed by iCloud and OneDrive.