Amazon’s consumer-focused storage service, Amazon Drive, will be ending within the next year, Amazon announced today. In an email to users, the company said it was taking the opportunity to “focus more” its efforts on Amazon Photos, Amazon’s answer to iCloud Photos and Google Photos.
Amazon Drive customers have until December 31, 2023 to back up their stored files; As of January 1, 2023, file uploads will stop working. Photos and videos will automatically upload to Amazon Photos, but other file types must be manually uploaded from the Amazon Drive web dashboard.
Users currently on paid Amazon Drive plans can cancel their subscription now for a possible refund. The cancellation can be done on the web or via Android and iOS apps – at least before the apps are removed from Google Play and the App Store, respectively, on October 31.
Amazon launched Amazon Drive as Amazon Cloud Drive in 2011, initially offering on-demand tiered storage plans for Amazon Prime and non-Prime users. November 2014 saw the rollout of an API allowing third-party developers to integrate Amazon Drive into their own apps to save things like game settings, preferences, and other app state data to the cloud.
Unlimited plans for Amazon Drive were introduced in 2015 and then discontinued two years later. Storage became limited to 5GB for non-photo uploads soon after. However, Amazon Prime members and Fire tablet owners. kept unlimited free photo storage.
Competition was likely a factor in Amazon Drive’s demise. After all, countless providers offer cheap cloud file storage today, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. Amazon Drive’s prices weren’t even particularly competitive – the service charged $119 per year for 2TB, the going rate for the same amount of storage at Dropbox and Google Drive.
According to Statista, Google Drive was the most popular cloud storage service in September 2021, followed by iCloud and OneDrive.