SanDisk 16 GB Flash Storage Phone Cards

SanDisk claims its new flash storage cards offer the world's largest data capacity for mobile phones. The MicroSDHC (SD High Capacity) and Memory Stick Micro mobile memory cards also can used in video cameras, GPS receivers or MP3 players and will cost $100 to $129 each.

Flash memory and storage device provider SanDisk said Sept. 29 that it will soon bring to market the world's largest removable storage capacity for mobile phones—16GB MicroSDHC (SD High Capacity) and Memory Stick Micro mobile memory cards.

Best Buy Mobile and Verizon Wireless stores will be the first major retail outlets in the United States to carry the 16GB-capacity cards, SanDisk said. Stores will have them on shelves beginning in October and November.

SanDisk, the object of a recent proposed buyout by Samsung—with Japan's Toshiba also being a possible suitor—said the new memory cards also can be utilized in several other applications besides mobile phones. They can be put to work in video cameras, GPS receivers or MP3 players with MicroSD slots, such as SanDisk's Sansa players.

The fingernail-sized 16GB memory cards allow consumers to "wake up" previously unused or little-used storage-intensive features offered by portable handsets, such as music and video playback, high-definition digital camera functions, gaming and GPS applications, the company said.

The larger capacity should be welcome news for users of those heavy-duty applications, said industry analyst Avi Greengart, research director for mobile devices at Current Analysis.

"Handsets have become far more than just phones; they've become mobile jukeboxes, mobile offices, even mobile movie theaters," Greengart said. "Flash memory cards have increased in storage capacity, but even an 8GB card may be too small for anyone with GPS map data, a few movies, a game or two, a presentation file and other applications. There is an acute need for more mobile storage capacity. 16GB gives consumers the ability to carry their digital content with them and still have room to do more with their mobile phones."

MicroSD cards are designed for slot-equipped legacy mobile phones and can hold a maximum capacity of 2GB. Current MicroSDHC cards are available in 4GB and 8GB.

The Memory Stick Micro cards are designed for Sony Ericsson's new generation of mobile phones, all of which are compatible with the 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacity levels. SanDisk's 16GB mobile memory cards come with a five-year limited warranty.

The 16GB MicroSDHC card will be priced at $99.99 retail; the 16GB M2 card will have a price of $129.99. The 16GB-capacity cards will be available at Best Buy Mobile stores in October and Verizon Wireless stores in November, SanDisk said.

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