January 6, 2005, Las Vegas - SanDisk announced a new SD/USB card that not only stores pictures, but flips open into a miniature USB drive. The card will provide users with a convenient way to transfer pictures from a digital camera without digging around for the camera's USB cable.
�We developed a new mechanical design which allows us to fully contain a high-speed 2.0 USB flash drive within the small SD form factor,� said Michael Morganstern, a SanDisk product marketing manager. �The innovative mechanical design eliminates the need for a removable cap, which can be lost, and results in a dual functionality card that is fully SD compliant.�
SanDisk believes a versatile SD card will be highly popular, considering that SD cards are quickly becoming the dominant form factor for digital cameras.
Nelson Chan, executive vice president and general manager of the consumer and handset business at SanDisk, said at a CES press conference that they have �introduced what [he thinks] is a really slick product which combines SD functionality with USB functionality into one card. So what you're going to be able to do is take this card, plug it into an SD camera or any SD device, take pictures, download music, and then you can take that card out, and it's got a hinge that allows you to turn that into a USB card that plugs into a USB port, so it eliminates the need for a card reader.� Chan said that a full product announcement for the SD/USB card will come at the PMA conference in February. Shipments of the cards will come in the first quarter of the 2005 fiscal year. The cards are expected to come in capacities up to one Gigabyte.
The digital camera market fuels about 19 percent of SanDisk's business. SanDisk still considers it as a key market because the attachment rate is quite high. The average digital camera owner buys two memory cards for each camera. And, as technology becomes better and better, consumers desire higher-capacity cards. Nelson said the �sweet spot� of memory cards is moving from 256MB to 512MB. Lower prices are driving this move. Memory card prices drop about 30-40 percent annually in terms of price per Megabyte.