SanDisk Brings 2GB microSD Cards to Japan
SanDisk will begin selling 2-gigabyte microSD cards -the largest capacity of the world's smallest removable flash memory – in Japan starting October 25. This will coincide with the introduction of new microSD-compatible handsets from NTT DoCoMo and other mobile phone carriers between now and the end of the year. With these new models, which include DoCoMo's FOMATM 903i series, there are now, worldwide, well over 300 new handsets available or announced that have slots for the microSD card. According to an analysis by SanDisk, 49 percent of the latest mobile phones that have memory card slots are using the microSD format, making it the preferred memory card of manufacturers and mobile network operators. In second place is the miniSD card, with 24 percent of handsets.
The industry is rapidly shifting to the microSD card as the format of choice for mobile phones. Seven major Japanese handset producers now offer phones with microSD slots, and four of the top five largest manufacturers in the world also support microSD in their latest models. Content is driving the demand for higher capacity flash memory cards in mobile phones. Users can store music, games, digital still images and videos on SanDisk 2GB microSD cards. Apart from handsets, microSD cards also can be used in some digital audio players, such as SanDisk's Sansa e200 series. As an example of storage, a 2GB microSD card can hold up to 500 MP3 songs.
With SanDisk adapters, microSD cards can be "stepped up" to fit into a variety of other electronics devices that have miniSD and SD slots. In line with the release of the 2GB microSD card, SanDisk Japan is offering various capacities of microSD cards in a Mobile Memory Kit. Each kit includes both miniSD and SD adapters as well as the flash card itself, so that consumers can select the appropriate card for their use without being influenced by card size.
SanDisk Japan has also announced that it is adding the 1GB microSD card to its mobile card lineup. Apart from the two highest capacities, the Mobile Memory Kit also comes in 256 megabytes and 512MB. MicroSD cards were developed in 2004 by SanDisk as TransFlash. Last year, the SD Card Association approved its specification as the microSD memory card, thus creating a new standard. microSD cards are one-fourth the size of standard SD cards and are about the size of a fingernail (15mm x 11mm x 1mm). SanDisk manufactures its own NAND flash memory at a facility shared with partner Toshiba at Yokkaichi, near Nagoya. The two companies this summer announced a business venture to build a fourth fabrication plant that is scheduled for completion next year.
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