Does the iPhone Have an SD Card Slot?
By John Lister
Some smartphones have a slot for an SD memory card, which gives them additional storage space to store files. Apple's iPhones do not have such a slot or any support for expanding storage. There are several ways you can get round this if you want to access more files from your iPhone.
Forbes reports that Apple has no incentive to add an SD card slot because it is able to command a high markup: the price difference between different models of iPhones with different capacities is considerably more than the price Apple pays for the storage components. Forbes notes that if iPhone supported SD cards, many buyers would buy the cheapest, lowest-capacity model and expand the memory with an inexpensive card.
Independent firm Zoom Media Plus sells an adapter that slots into the iPhone's dock connector. You can then put an SD card into the adapter. To use the device, you must run an iPhone application made by Zoom that can open photos, audio and video files and documents. You cannot access the files on the card through the iPhone's built-in apps such as iTunes.
Apple sells a camera connection kit for the iPad that includes an SD card adapter. It has two major limitations. It is designed for copying only image and video files from the SD card to the device and cannot handle other files such as music. In addition, the adapter is only officially available for iPad and to use it on an iPhone, you must modify the phone's operating software. Apple does not recommend doing this.
Later models of iPhone can access iCloud, an online storage facility. As long as you have a data connection through Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G, you can access and use certain types of files such as music, video or images without having to physically store them on the phone. You can also buy third-party storage devices that connect to your iPhone via Wi-Fi, although these do not always integrate smoothly with iPhone applications and can be comparatively bulky.
If you are short of space on your iPhone and have tried deleting unwanted content and applications, you may be able to make extra space by backing up your iPhone and then restoring it from this backup as if it were a new device. This can clear up storage space that had been incorrectly marked as in use.
A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.